Branch Selected to Participate in AP Program Reading – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Branch Selected to Participate in AP Program Reading

For the second consecutive summer, Assistant Professor of Psychology Sara Branch has been selected to participate in the College Board’s Annual Advanced Placement Reading in Psychology. Each June, AP teachers and college faculty members from around the world gather in the United States to evaluate and score the free-response sections of AP Exams.

AP Readers are high school and college educators who represent many of the world’s leading academic institutions. The AP Reading is a unique forum in which an academic dialogue between educators is both fostered and encouraged.

“The Reading draws upon the talents of some of the finest teachers and professors that the world has to offer,” says Trevor Packer, senior vice president of advanced placement and instruction at College Board. “It fosters professionalism, allows for the exchange of ideas, and strengthens the commitment to students and to teaching. We are very grateful for the contributions of talented educators like Sara.”

The Advanced Placement Program enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies – with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both – while still in high school. Through AP courses in 38 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, students learn to analyze complex problems, construct solid arguments, and see many sides of an issue – skills that prepare them for college and beyond. Research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students. Incoming students to HWS who score a 4 or 5 on the AP Psychology Exam are able to enroll directly in 200-level psychology courses without having to take PSY 100.

Branch, who joined faculty in 2014, holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from Purdue University and a B.A. from the University of Portland. Her research has recently appeared in Journal of Engineering Education and Psychology of Popular Media Culture. She currently serves as coordinator of marketing and recruitment for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s Annual Conference on Teaching, and is a member of the Early Career Psychologists Committee for the Society for Teaching of Psychology..