Desert Heights Preparatory Academy receives grant

UWorld, a leader in online learning to prepare for high-stakes exams, recently dished out more than $130,000 in AP resources and support to 21 high schools in 14 states.

Among those 21 high schools was Desert Heights Preparatory Academy in the Desert Heights School District.

“We’re excited to be able to promote this,” said Amanda Brownlow, AP coordinator and college and career advisor for ninth and 10th grade at Desert Heights. “We’re excited to see where it goes and hope we can continue this partnership with them.”

Brownlow said Desert Heights had already been looking at purchasing the UWorld program prior to being selected for the grant, but with being a Title I school, she said they wanted to see if they could get the grant first.

“It is about giving (the students) the opportunity to earn that college credit to help lower the cost because it is so expensive,” Brownlow said.

Additionally, Desert Heights was the only school located in Arizona to have received the grant from UWorld. Being a smaller school with roughly 250 students in its high school program, Brownlow was ecstatic to receive the grant.

“We’re not one of the bigger high schools; we’re also a charter school,” she said. “So, it feels really good.”

The grant from UWorld gives Desert Heights free access to its online learning tools for AP courses for all available AP subjects throughout the 2022-23 school year, as well as personalized startup training and ongoing support.

“There’s a misconception that students in AP courses don’t need much support,” said Chandra S. Pemmasani, M.D., UWorld’s founder and CEO. “But after helping millions of medical, law and accounting students understand very difficult concepts, we know that’s not true. Our passion is empowering educators in providing opportunities and support to all AP students while helping students achieve success in high school and beyond.”

Brownlow said Desert Heights applied for the grant just prior to the deadline at the end of March, and found out within a few weeks that they were going to be one of the recipients.

The program that UWorld offers is one that Brownlow really thinks serves students who will be participating in AP testing well, so she is excited that her program is getting access to it. She said Desert Heights is using the program for its AP U.S. history and AP government classes.

“It shows the student the correct answer, but it also gives them why the other answers are incorrect, so it gives that explanation,” she said. “They can turn it into flashcards that they can study later, and they have embedded images that help describe what they’re looking at.”

Between its two AP classes, Brownlow said there will be about 50 students utilizing UWorld’s program. As the prices at colleges continue to rise, getting students college credit while still in high school is the top priority.

“I think our students are really going to like the explanations, because what we find is they don’t understand why they’re getting the questions incorrect,” she said.

“So, the explanation will really help further them and hopefully get their scores up to passing so they can get that college credit.”

For more information on UWorld, visit uworld.com. Schools that are interested in applying for the AP grant next year can do so at uworld.com/uworldcares.