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AP Access for ALL Providing Thousands of Tennessee Students Access to Online College Prep Classes

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AP Access for ALL Providing Thousands of Tennessee Students Access to Online College Prep Classes

Spring Registration for Free, Online AP classes Now Open for Tennessee High School Students

NASHVILLE, TN – Today, the Tennessee Department of Education, in partnership with the Niswonger Foundation, announced spring registration for the AP Access for ALL is open for free, online Advanced Placement (AP) classes to eligible high school students. More Tennessee students than ever before now have the opportunity to take AP coursework – helping students prepare for college, skip introductory classes, and earn college credit while still in high school. 

Before the launch of AP Access for ALL in June 2021, only 50% of Tennessee high school students had access to an AP class at their school. Now, 86% of all public high schools, representing 110 school districts, have partnered with AP Access for ALL to give their students access to college-level courses and the opportunity to earn college credit during high school. Students are encouraged to sign up through their high school counselors.

“Every Tennessee high school student deserves the same opportunity to earn college credit while in high school, no matter where they live,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “AP Access for ALL launched just a few months ago and is already eliminating barriers and increasing access to rigorous college preparation coursework that will help students be successful after graduation.”

AP Access for ALL is putting emphasis on the underserved regions of the state – serving 29 counties that are classified as at-risk or distressed. Students who had little to no access to AP classes can now choose from 15 different advanced placement courses.

In its first semester, AP Access for ALL enrolled 1,200 high school students in online courses taught by 53 Tennessee educators. Research consistently shows that students who take AP coursework in high school are more likely to enroll and stay in college, succeed in their classes, and graduate in four years. 

“AP classes help students build college skills and confidence and explore new topics and career paths before they ever step foot on campus. We encourage students to talk to their counselors about taking these free, online AP classes,” said Gina Pavlovich, Director of Niswonger Online and AP Access for ALL.  

While these courses are virtual, many schools are providing time and computer labs for their students to complete coursework at school during their school day. 

“AP Access for ALL aligns with my core values as a teacher by taking away the elitist stigma associated with AP coursework and allowing all of my students access to rigorous art coursework,” said AP Access for All Art History Teacher Dr. Karen Fine. “This is a wonderful example of how the ‘brick and mortar’ classes can logically coexist with online alternatives. I have enjoyed the online peer contact, sharing ideas, and creating the best experience for students all over the state of Tennessee.”

All AP Access for ALL courses are taught by certified and trained Tennessee teachers.  In order to provide the online coursework, AP Access for ALL has provided scholarships to 119 teachers to receive College Board certification. This summer, the program will once again offer free College Board training and certification to nearly 800 Tennessee teachers.

Funding for AP Access for ALL is provided through the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds.

For a full list of participating counties, courses offered, and more information, visit

For additional information about Tennessee’s advanced placement courses, click here. For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact