Published on August 25, 2021 by Morgan Black  
Birmingham AB09180741

Samford University has received a grant from the Community Foundation of Birmingham to support the university’s Advanced Placement (AP) STEM Success project. The program, managed through Samford’s Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives (ODII), seeks to increase the self-efficacy of students from marginalized backgrounds by providing them elevated educational opportunities and support to formulate best practices for success in AP biology and chemistry course work. 

The Advanced Placement (AP) Exam can enhance the standing and visibility of high school students who aspire to attend college. Successful AP test results offer students college credit, advanced placement in college courses, tuition savings and a higher recruiting and scholarship profile.

Leaders of Samford’s project will work with administrators in Birmingham City Schools, Fairfield City Schools and Holy Family Cristo Rey High School who have all expressed a desire to receive guidance on how to enhance their current AP curriculum. Through this project, in addition to supporting student success, Samford staff will work with teachers in the respective schools to enhance AP course development.

“I am excited to work with our area school systems and to build upon the great work of our high school teachers,” said Denise Gregory, associate provost for student success and diversity and inclusion. “Our team is committed to working with the teachers and students to assist them in strategic learning outcomes that lead to positive growth on AP science scores.”

In addition to the schools already committed to partnering with Samford for the AP STEM Success project, key faculty and staff will engage with other local district school teachers and students to help them prepare for the AP exam.

“Adopting the posture of a guest instead of an expert consultant comprises a crucial touchstone for success,” said Cam Thomas, director of diversity enrichment and relations. “Listening with intentionality and respect is indispensable and will be crucial to the success of this project which seeks to marshal new resources to support youth in our city. We are grateful to the Community Foundation of Birmingham for their support in this endeavor.”

Through the AP STEM Success program, Samford’s mission “to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith and personhood” will be put into action.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.