2019-2020 AP Seminar students receive help from former students


AP Seminar students write an in class essay. The students had only an hour instead of the usual hour and a half. “Over the past few weeks AP Seminar has been very stressful… it requires a lot of work to be able to get anything done, it is very overwhelming,” Hunter Hammond (10) said.

Coming back for a second year, AP Seminar is given to students once again, as an opportunity to take another AP class. It was given to the now junior class as a test run, in order to see if Seminar would continue to be offered. It was declared successful and was extended towards incoming Sophomores.

AP Seminar was a difficult class for students to take, it requires determination and other related skills.

“AP Seminar is a class that requires work ethic and organization skills,” Deborah Howell (faculty) said.

It may be difficult for students, however Howell, teacher of AP Seminar, thinks that it can help students improve on valuable life skills.

“Students improve exponentially in their writing ability,” Howell said.

AP Seminar challenges students with essays that are graded at a college level. Students are given sources and they connect them together with a common theme. Students are typically given about a weekend to finish these essays and turn them in.

Students also participate in what are called Socratic Seminars which are named after the Greek philosopher Socrates. Students are given information in the form of videos, packets, and other such things. They are asked to read or watch the material and then write down their thoughts and ideas that relate to the given information. Then they go into class and discuss for around fifteen to twenty minutes about what they learned.

With all of this work and stress, many students become frantic trying to keep up with the workload.

“I think AP Peer mentoring would have been a beneficial thing for me when I was a sophomore, because I would have been learning from experienced Seminar students. This would have been especially helpful because of the class’ self-study kind of structure,” William Tomlinson (11) said.

“I have found the peer mentoring to be useful in some aspects, such as bouncing ideas off of students that have already taken AP Seminar,” Hunter Hammond (10) said. “Although I have not been able to attend as much as I would like due to the fact that I have work to do during most PRIDE times.”

Which is why former AP Seminar students decided that they would help coach students who are currently taking Seminar. With knowledge of the intensity of Seminar students Donna DeRues (11), Jackson Ellsworth (11), Pranavi Gottapu (11), Ariana Ukaonu (11)Luke Parr (11), Seth Tomlinson (11)W. Tomlinson, Sophia Lin (11) and Jude Mullins (11) banded together to create AP Seminar Peer Mentoring. Seminar Mentoring takes place during PRIDE at least every other week. Students such as MullinsParr, and Lin, give advice on picking themes for students articles, helping with presentation skills, and other valuable things to aid current AP Students.

“My plans going forward with peer mentoring are to continue to help prepare current AP students by giving them tips and tricks I have learned from being in their shoes,” W. Tomlinson said.My next goal is to prepare a mock presentation to show the students, as a reference for a decent to good individual presentation.

AP Seminar Peer Mentoring is a time that many students take advantage of in order to receive the coaching they require. However, none of the mentors do the work for the students. The mentors stress that students do their own work because it is beneficiary and honest. But they are more than willing to give help to those who ask.

AP Seminar Peer Mentoring is supervised by Brandi Chester (faculty) who makes sure that everything stays in a calm and organized process.

Some students have certain things they would like to get help on in order to receive the best grades possible.

“I would like to get help on making claims from my personally created thesis,” Hammond said. “I find this to be one of the most difficult things about writing my essays.”

“I would like to receive help on my presentations,” Amber Anderson (11) said.

Despite all the rigor and hard work that is prominent in AP Seminar, this class is helpful to people looking for ways to improve writing. It takes hard work and dedication in order to succeed in Seminar.