Now that the College Board has created AP African American Studies, it’s time for them to launch AP Latinx Studies. In schools all over the country, students should be able to learn about many different types of literature and the histories of different peoples.
AP classes are managed by an organization called the College Board. In 2022, the College Board introduced a new AP African American Studies course. They have worked on the class structure and course material for more than a decade, and have just recently launched the class to a few schools to pilot. AP African American Studies will be available to all high schools in the 2024-2025 school year.
In the United States, especially in California, there is a large Latinx population. As of 2022, 19 percent of the US population is of Hispanic descent. This is almost a fifth of the total US population, and in California, it’s even larger. Latinx is the most populous race in California with more than 40 percent of the state’s population tracing their roots back to Latin countries. Because of how large the Latin-American population is, California should undoubtedly be offering an AP class in Latinx history and literature.
Though AP english and history courses already exist, traditional US history and literature frequently focus on the stories of white Americans. Contributions to American history by people of color are often brushed under the rug and ignored. An AP Latinx course would be an opportunity to highlight some of those contributions. Additionally, AP courses boost students’ GPAs and often allow them to receive college credit. Providing AP classes in a variety of topics will encourage more students to take them and allow those students to reap the benefits they bring.
The more variety students have in class choice the better. There have been multiple studies showing that when students are interested in the content of their work they pay closer attention and process the information more efficiently. Similarly, when humans are interested in a task they use more of their self-regulatory skills and persist for longer. One study done by Dr. Erika A. Patall, a professor of education and psychology at the University of Southern California, supported these ideas. She surveyed 218 high school students and found that for the students who reported that they were interested in the material also found that they were more engaged in the course.
An AP Latinx studies course will likely help to make the Latinx population feel more represented, and it will be a great opportunity for many students across the country to learn more about a different culture. There is no reason the College Board shouldn’t create an AP Latinx studies course.