The Advanced Placement (AP) Program is a cooperative educational endeavor between secondary schools and colleges and universities.  It exposes high school students to college-level material through involvement in an AP course, and it gives them the opportunity to show that they have mastered it by taking the AP Exam.  Colleges and universities can then grant credit, placement, or both to students who have done so.  Students can benefit from taking AP courses by learning a subject in greater depth, developing skills that will be critically important to successful study in college, and demonstrating to colleges their willingness to undertake a challenging course.

In order to place the “Advanced Placement” designation on the student transcripts, each AP course offered must have received approval by the College Board through preparation of an AP syllabus and course audit.  Furthermore, AP teachers must receive certification through the College Board by attending an intensive AP Summer Institute.  All AP courses at Canyon Creek Christian Academy have been approved by the College Board, and all AP teachers are certified through the College Board.



Students are selected to participate in AP English courses on the basis of their preparation for such a course, their willingness and ability to meet its academic challenges, and the level of support they have from family and friends.  In order to prepare students for participation in AP courses taken during their junior and senior years, CCCA employs the English Vertical Team approach in grades six through twelve.  The concept of English Vertical Teams incorporates the idea that AP English should not be an isolated course but rather a planned program of teaching skills and concepts over several years and that a planned program is best achieved by the vertical cooperation of teachers working together to coordinate their teaching efforts.  An intended outcome of a successful vertical team is the development of a continuum of skill building from one grade level to the next.

Additionally, ninth through twelfth grade pre-AP and AP students are required to complete a self-study of a work in the summer each year.  Entering freshmen study Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, sophomores study The Odyssey by Homer, juniors study The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and seniors are given individual reading assignments by the AP English IV teacher.

AP English is a challenging but rewarding experience for students, and our AP English program, begun in 1997, has met with great success in helping our students develop the strong analytical thinking, reading, and writing skills necessary for success in the program, resulting in a high passing rate for AP English exams.  According to the College Board, an exemplary program has an exam pass rate of 60%.  At CCCA, our AP English exam pass rate averages between 80% and 90%.  Not only do our students regularly earn up to twelve hours of college English credit, they are prepared for success in college across the curriculum.

AP English Language and Composition-11th Grade

Course Description: This is a college-level course both in effective writing and close, critical reading.  Students closely read and analyze various modes of discourse, including both non-fiction and fiction selections of exposition, description, narration, and persuasion.  Students consider a work’s structure, style, and theme, as well as smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Students then write their own selections giving attention to developing and organizing ideas in clear, coherent, and persuasive language.  Emphasis will be placed on helping students develop stylistic maturity which is characterized by a balance of abstraction with specific illustrative detail; a logical organization; a variety of sentence structures; a wide-ranging vocabulary used with denotative accuracy and connotative resourcefulness; and effective use of rhetoric, including controlling tone and maintaining a consistent voice.


The college prep program at Canyon Creek Christian Academy is designed to prepare students for success in their post-secondary education, particularly in the areas of critical thinking, reading, and writing.  In grades six through eight, the primary focus is grammar, vocabulary, composition, reading comprehension, and literature.  In grade nine, students are introduced to the literary genres and literary terms through various works of literature and to the process of essay writing along with a continued study of vocabulary and SAT/ACT preparation.  Grades ten, eleven, and twelve are chronological survey courses of world literature, American literature, and British literature, with a continued emphasis on SAT/ACT exam preparation.  In grade 11, students also take a separate writing course which prepares them for college writing across the curriculum. Additionally, all students in grades six through twelve complete a summer reading assignment that must be read prior to the beginning of classes each fall.

All college prep courses stress academic excellence and a Christian world view, particularly in the study of great classic literature.  If a student at Canyon Creek Christian Academy successfully completes six years of college prep English courses, he or she should be a capable reader and effective writer who can succeed at the university level.

As an extension of the college preparatory program, Canyon Creek Christian Academy offers dual-credit courses on our campus in conjunction with senior English.  Students enroll through Collin College and receive concurrently high school credit for senior English and six college credit hours for freshman composition, 1301-1302.  Upon graduation, these students will enter college having already earned six semester hours of college English.  This one-year course of study often completes their entire college English requirement, depending upon the major they have chosen.