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2018, October, Student Life, AP Euro, Schweighoffer

What Was 75 Students is Now 12
by Alexa Schweighoffer, 2019 (posted 10-28-18)

    The AP European History class at Cheshire High School is receding, due to lack of student interest. Some students do not feel they need European History for their future career path. Inclusion of the AP US Government course has also lead to a drastic decline. Students may feel that European History is disadvantageous because it does not affect and relate to the US and students as directly as an AP Government subject might. However, the session has major benefits for students.

    Students at Cheshire High School today feel they would not use AP European History for their future careers as much as other classes. Cheshire High School senior Sam Alexander has future plans to work in the physical therapy field. “I’m into science and the human body. European History, although it does have a lot of inventions carried over to America, which is helpful, I can learn about it in documentaries,” he states. There are other students focused on different subjects more towards their career fields who still want to take AP Euro, however, they couldn’t fit it into their schedule. “People who graduated before said they liked taking AP Euro, however, I wanted to take more of a social science and not a history, but I would have taken it,” claims Shreya Dhume, a Cheshire High School senior. 

    Another issue in the decline of students in the AP European History class is the establishment of the AP US Government subject. AP European teacher Brian Kirby mentions how the launch of the AP Government course drastically influenced the number of kids in the AP European session. “There used to be three sections (of AP European class) with around a total of 75 kids before AP government, (When AP Government began) there was only three sections, and now myself I teach six sections,” says Kirby. As Brian Kirby talks about the past leading up to the present, there may be a change in the future.

    There are reasons why the enrollment should go back up to the 75 students it once was. Cheshire High School senior Jennifer Ndjomou, a previous student of the AP European History class, describes the benefits of taking this course. Ndjomou states, “I heard this was a lot of writing and analysis, and I wanted to improve my writing.” She also describes how the subject would improve with more students. “It’s sad it is not as popular and that it (her class) only had six kids. With more students it would be more fun and there would be better in class discussions,” Ndjomou adds. AP European History teacher Brian Kirby also mentions benefits for taking this, claiming “There is a lot of good writing prep for college and since it is ECE college level, it provides more credit than the AP classes do.” Although there is a major decrease in the AP European course today, there is opportunity for students and the growth of the class.