AP Human Geography Online Courses and Certificate Program

Do you know what the fastest growing Advanced Placement (AP®) course is?  It’s AP Human Geography!  Over 113,000 students took the APHG exam in 2013, up from 2,000 just 12 years ago, and there are an estimated 3,200 AP Human Geography teachers in the USA alone.  That’s the good news!  But the challenges are that (1) the scores on APHG are among the lowest of any AP exam, and (2) there is a growing demand for experienced geography educators who can effectively teach these courses.  To help educators and their students gain key geography content, skills, and perspectives, Elmhurst College has designed a series of online courses specifically for secondary educators in a Graduate Certificate Program in Human Geography.  This program focuses on teaching spatial concepts as well as basic themes, skills and perspectives of human geography and how to apply them in the classroom.

In this program, in small cohort based online settings, you’ll work with real geography educators as peers and colleagues.  I am thrilled to be one of the instructors for this program, instructing the “Teaching Urban, Economic, & Population Issues” course, and I have enormous respect for the courses my colleagues on the instructional team are building and teaching.  These colleagues include Rich Schultz, Diana Stuart Sinton, Seth Dixon, Judy Bock, Margaret Chernosky, and myself.

The APHG curriculum correlates with the curriculum that the College Board has established.  Moreover, in this program, you will use new and exciting techniques and tools such as ArcGIS Online, the Urban Observatory, GapMinder, and others to grapple with issues of agriculture, political organization of space, urbanization, demographic and land use change, and more, from local to global scales.  You will be able to explain the patterns and implications of those patterns, associations, regions, and trends of our changing planet.   You will be grounded in key readings and videos that delve into core geographic and spatial thinking fundamentals.

This is a 5-course part-time program that can be completed in less than one year. Through the Elmhurst College Online Center, the program is fully online and offered in 8-week sessions.  Graduate students in the APHG certificate program complete 5 course credits (15 semester hours) with the successful completion of all 5 core courses.   You may also choose individual courses to take that may be of interest, too.  Those who wish to complete only elective courses will receive 1 course credit (3 semester hours) per course.

The courses include APH 500:  Teaching APHG, APH 501:  Learning to Teach Spatial Concepts and Tools, APH 502:  Implementing Spatial Concepts and Tools into the Classroom, APH 503:  Teaching Urban, Economic, and Population Geography Issues, and APH 504:  APHG Capstone.

No, you don’t have to be a AP Human Geography instructor or even a secondary school instructor to take any of these courses.  The courses will be valuable to anyone teaching geography, on any level.    For more information, see this video I created, and then navigate to this link at Elmhurst College.

AP Human Geography online program through Elmhurst College.

AP Human Geography online program through Elmhurst College.

Joseph Kerski

About Joseph Kerski

Joseph Kerski is a geographer who believes that spatial analysis through digital mapping can transform education and society through better decision-making using the geographic perspective. He serves on the Esri education team and is active in GIS communication and outreach, creates GIS-based curriculum, conducts research in the effectiveness of GIS in education, teaches online and face-to-face courses on spatial thinking and analysis, and fosters partnerships to support GIS in formal and informal education at all levels, internationally. He is the co-author of Spatial Mathematics, The Essentials of the Environment, The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data, and other books. Follow him on Twitter @josephkerski
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