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AP United States History

Below is information from AP Summer Institute workshops that were held in August 2014. Please stay tuned for next year's lineup.

Workshop Description:

The redesigned course and exam for AP United States History launches in the fall of 2014.  The summer institute will focus on the three parts of the new curriculum framework:  historical thinking skills, the concept outline, and the thematic learning objectives.  Through the exchange of ideas in discussion and in the study of materials prepared by the College Board for teachers of the redesigned course, participants will consider ways to incorporate the three parts into their AP U.S. History curriculum.  Teachers will learn the vocabulary of the curriculum framework—key concepts, historical thinking skills, chronological reasoning, contextualize, etc.  They will be introduced to the new multiple choice questions, the short essays, the long essays, and the DBQ and will work together to develop ways to prepare their students to respond to them by creating examples of each type of question for their classes.  The main question to be considered is “How do I teach AP U.S. History to meet the requirements of the redesign?”  The goals are to make teachers aware of the changes in the AP course and exam, to help them become comfortable with the new format, and to work together to develop strategies for preparing their students for success in AP United States History. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the new AP U.S. History curriculum framework
  • Understand the new types of questions on the AP exam
  • Experience in writing the new style multiple choice and short answer questions
  • Developing methods for teaching historical thinking skills
  • Techniques for completing the course audit
  • Pacing using the new curriculum framework


Consultant Bio

Michael Hjort just finished his 16th year of teaching Social Studies, 10th year teaching AP US History and is in his 7th year as an AP Reader and Table Leader in Louisville, KY reading and scoring the APUSH essays. Michael currently teaches 6 sections of AP US History and is the Social Studies Department Chair at Rouse High School in Leander, TX. He has been a College Board consultant since 2013, presenting one-day conferences, two-day conferences, and one-week AP Summer Institute s. Michael has just postponed his 16 year coaching career after leading the Rouse tennis team to a Sweet 16 Finish as a team last fall and was named 4A District 25 Coach of the Year.

Michael Hjort has been the Gilder Lehrman National History Teacher of the Year Award Nominee (2014), 4A District 25 – Fall Varsity Tennis Coach of the Year, HEB Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award Nominee  (2013), Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation Student Teacher Academic Recognition Award Winner (2014 – double nominee and 2012), Coaching Hall of Fame Inductee Tolleson Union HS – Golf (2009), CEAI National Educator of the Year Runner-up (2006), National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teacher (2005/2006), Teacher of the Year Tolleson Union HS (1998 – 1999 & 2004 - 05), Who’s Who Among American Teachers (2002, 03, 04, 05) Disney Teacher of the Year nominee (2002 – 2004) West Valley Region Golf Coach of the Year (1997 & 1999), Tolleson HS Excellence in Education Award (1999 – 2004). Michael Hjort has been married to Kristy for 21 years with two teenagers one of which will be a Senior at Vista Ridge HS and the other a Junior at Rouse High School (in my class this year).


The next AP Summer Institute will be June 23-26 at the downtown campus for Pre-AP courses, and August 4-7 at the main campus for AP courses. Please use the sign-up below to receive an email alert when registration opens.

Consultant Bio

Bill Shelton has taught AP United States History for 35 years, the last 30 at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth.  He is a reader, table leader, and exam leader for the AP exam and served from 2004-2013 as one of three high school teachers on the AP U.S. History Test Development Committee that designed the AP exams.  He has a B.A. in History from TCU and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Kentucky.  He has served as an AP consultant for the Southwest Region of the College Board since 1991. Bill received awards from the Southwest Region of the College Board, the Mary Isham Keith chapter of the D.A.R., and the Daughters of the War of 1812 as an outstanding History teacher, and in the fall of 2013 he was featured in Fort Worth, Texas magazine as an “A+ Educator” in Tarrant County.



Important Registration Details & Directions

The next AP Summer Institute will be June 23-26 at the downtown campus for Pre-AP courses, and August 4-7 at the main campus for AP courses. Please use the sign-up below to receive an email alert when registration opens.

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