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Pamela Paulson and Michael J. McDonough

The Academic Assembly Council (AAC) met in New York City, May 2–3, 2014. The Academic Assembly is charged with considering issues and actions related to providing universal access to high standards of learning. Council Chair and Chair-elect Pam Paulson and Michael McDonough discuss key focus areas and takeaways from the meeting.

Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick and Shannon Suldo, University of South Florida
A research team at the University of South Florida has explored the factors that explain students’ success in AP® despite relatively elevated stress levels. Fusing its knowledge of social psychology and gifted education with measurement and analysis, the research team identified several important findings about academic and mental health predictors of student success in AP.
Access & Diversity Collaborative

Two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin and Schuette v. BAMN, are affecting race-conscious admission and enrollment practices of higher education institutions. Although the Supreme Court preserved 35 years of precedent upholding the educational benefits of diversity on college campuses, the cases continue a trend of incrementally more rigorous review and growing skepticism of the need for consideration of race and ethnicity in policymaking.

Willie Gilchrist, College Board Trustee and Elizabeth City State University (ESCU) Chancellor

In October 2012, College Board Trustee and Elizabeth City State University (ESCU) Chancellor Willie Gilchrist reviewed Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) participation and performance maps for North Carolina. He became concerned about the lack of AP depth and success he saw in the northeastern region of the state. In partnership with the College Board, Gilchrist led a comprehensive effort to expand access to AP in his region through the creation of targeted resources, professional development, and in-person convenings.

Paul Sechrist, President of Oklahoma City Community College, celebrates the opening of the Visual and Performing Arts Center
An ambitious plan to invest heavily in the arts that began in 2007 was realized this year at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC). The plan called for the construction of a performing arts center that would include classroom space and a 1,000+ seat theater. The doors finally opened on the 1,049 seat OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater—fittingly on Valentine’s Day, 2014.
College Board International hosts AP professional development workshops to nearly 80 local AP teachers in Dubai
In February 2014, College Board International collaborated with the American School of Dubai to deliver AP® professional development workshops to nearly 80 local AP teachers, with a specialized session for college counselors and a dynamic “unconference” event for AP Coordinators. College Board International will be returning to the Middle East Aug. 17–20 for an AP Summer Institute in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Students use technology in the classroom
SpringBoard Digital, the online curriculum platform that complements the SpringBoard English Language Arts and Mathematics 6–12 programs, has been recognized by several high-profile education technology awards programs.
Ronné Patrick Turner

Ronné Patrick Turner, associate vice president of enrollment and dean of admissions at Northeastern University, shared her unique perspective as an admission professional in a piece for the New England Journal of Higher Education on the redesigned SAT® announcement. You can read the full article here

How will today's students improve tomorrow's world?
The redesigned PSAT/NMSQT®, which will be administered for the first time in fall 2015, reflects the same improved tenets of the redesigned SAT®, including a focus on command of evidence, relevant words in context, and emphasis on the math skills that matter most for college and careers.