Buried deep within the “articulation” action item passed by the Florida Board of Education this morning was the official approval for the new AP Physics 1 and 2 courses to count for algebra-based physics credit at the state’s public colleges and universities.
High school students who earn a score of 3 or better on the AP Physics 1 exam, which debuts next May, will earn credit for the course labeled PHY 2053C at State University System institutions and PHY 1053C at State College System institutions. A score of 3 or better on the AP Physics 2 exam (also set to debut in May) will give credit for PHY 2054C or PHY 1054C.
The college courses are generally taken by life science majors. However, it is anticipated that the new AP physics courses will play an important role in preparing high school students for college majors in engineering, computer science and the physical sciences.
The new AP Physics 1 and 2 courses replace AP Physics B, the algebra-based course that was offered for the last time in 2013-2014. AP Physics 1 was designed to replace the traditional Honors Physics course and therefore appeal to a larger audience of students than AP Physics B did. Fewer than 2% of high school graduates had typically passed AP Physics B. In contrast, about 20% of high school graduates have taken an Honors Physics course.
The Ohio public university system (including Ohio University and Ohio State University) approved AP Physics 1 and 2 for algebra-based physics credit last year. Many other state systems, including the Cal State system, have not yet acted on the new AP physics courses.