NASHVILLE — This week the Tennessee Department of Education announced Tennessee-based Niswonger Foundation has been selected to develop and support the new Advanced Placement (AP) Access for All program designed to help more students earn college credit while in high school.

The AP Access for All program will provide students across the state access to AP courses virtually, ultimately eliminating financial barriers and supporting student enrollment in AP coursework not currently offered at their home high school.

“Putting all students on a path to success means thinking creatively, breaking down barriers, and putting the best interest of the student at the center of all we do. Students who want to earn college credit through AP coursework shouldn’t be limited by the availability of coursework at the school he or she attends,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “AP Access for All creates more opportunities for our kids to be ready and successful in their lives after high school and invests in our teachers by giving them content knowledge to prepare their students for postsecondary success.”

Niswonger will recruit teachers and students into the program, provide professional development and training for teachers, support the development of the course curriculum, offer platforms and resources for virtual students, and manage the AP test administration process so students can get college credit.

“The Niswonger Foundation has an extensive history of providing access to Advanced Placement courses to ensure rigorous academic opportunities, and preparedness for post-secondary success and career attainment,” said Scott M. Niswonger, chair and founder of the Niswonger Foundation. “We have already witnessed the power of what can happen when this opportunity is provided. We are honored to join the Tennessee Department of Education as partners in this visionary effort to prepare the next generation of leaders for Tennessee.”

The Niswonger Foundation’s interest in the program was sparked by the desire of the state to ensure access across all students in the state.

“We were first attracted to this project by one word – ALL,” said Dr. Nancy Dishner, president and CEO, Niswonger Foundation. “We embrace the challenge that we can create a pathway so that all high school students in Tennessee will have an opportunity for this exceptional preparation for their future. The goals of this program are strategically aligned with the mission of the Niswonger Foundation: ‘To create opportunities for individual and community growth through education.’ We welcome the opportunity to lead AP Access for All.”

The Niswonger Foundation was started in 2001 to create opportunities for individual and community growth through education and other sustainable projects.

Funded through the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, the Niswonger Foundation was selected through the competitive request for application (RFA) process.