Graduate Certificate in Human Geography for AP®

More than 220,000 students took the AP® Human Geography exam in 2017 and it is estimated that there are more than 3,500 AP® Human Geography teachers nationwide.

As more students take the AP® Human Geography exam, the demand for qualified teachers will increase.

Designed for Educators

Designed specifically for secondary educators, the Graduate Certificate in Human Geography for AP® focuses on teaching spatial concepts as well as basic themes, skills and perspectives of AP® Human Geography and how to apply them in the classroom. The College Board identifies 71 career areas and 20 college majors related to Human Geography.

This certificate helps the educator prepare students for their futures. In small, cohort-based classes, you’ll work with experienced educators and professionals—and receive your certificate in less than a year. The program is offered entirely online, providing the convenience teachers want—and need.

About the Program 

Highlights

The program:

  • Provides secondary educators with lesson plans, exercises and technological application to use in their AP® Human Geography classrooms;
  • Creates a national online learning community to share and collaborate about AP Human Geography® teaching issues, as well as spatial concepts across disciplines; and
  • Affords the opportunity to publish lesson plans and/or exercises in a nationally recognized professional geography journal.

Program Format

The program is offered fully online in five eight-week sessions. Coursework runs at an accelerated pace; students complete 16 weeks’ worth of content and activities in just eight weeks. This five-course program can be completed in less than one year.

There is an option to continue coursework in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to earn a Master of Science in GIS with a Specialization in Human Geography for Advanced Placement.

Required Courses

Designed as the gateway course to the graduate certificate program, this course introduces the discipline of Human Geography to those new to the teaching Advanced Placement Human Geography®. This course is also beneficial as a refresher course to those who may have taught APHG® in the past. Pedagogical methodologies, as well as some technology, are introduced to educators who are teaching APHG® or will be teaching it in the future. The program content correlates directly with the College Board curriculum for AP Human Geography®.

This course introduces spatial concepts and thinking to those who are new to teaching AP Human Geography® and/or other disciplines. This course is also beneficial as a refresher course to those who may have taught AP Human Geography® in the past. Pedagogical methodologies, as well as technological tools in spatial concepts, are explored and implemented.

Participants will use spatial concepts and thinking learned in APH 501 to further implement these principles into the classroom. Activities include hands-on geospatial technology applications (including GIS and remote sensing) that can be used in the AP Human Geography® classroom to enhance and/or supplement APHG® curriculum.

This course builds upon the spatial concepts and technologies learned in APH 501 and APH 502 to further expand upon the topics which are traditionally more challenging in the AP Human Geography® curriculum (urban, economic and population geography). Additional geospatial technological applications and tools are introduced to enhance and/or supplement APHG® curriculum.

Designed as the final/capstone course in the graduate certificate program, this course builds upon the spatial concepts and thinking learned in previous coursework to instruct educators to incorporate the skills and concepts into their own lesson plans and classroom materials. Course participants will work collaboratively with a faculty advisor to write a manuscript that details their lesson plan and how spatial concepts and technology skills will be incorporated into their teaching. The manuscript will subsequently be submitted to the peer-reviewed journal The Geography Teacher for publication. Participants will select one faculty member from the program as an advisor/mentor to assist with the process. Expectation is for the manuscript to be completed and ready for submission by the end of the eight weeks.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from accredited college or university
  • Certification in education
  • Currently employed as a secondary educator
  • Currently teaching AP Human Geography or desiring to teach AP Human Geography in the future

Gainful Employment Disclosure

This graduate certificate program is approved as a Gainful Employment Program through the US Department of Education and is, therefore, eligible for Federal Student Aid.  Disclosure Statements about occupations, on-time graduation rate, tuition and fees, and median loan debt for this program can be found here.

College Board, Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board, which is not involved in the development or operation of Elmhurst College’s AP Human Geography Certificate Course.

Judith Bock

Program Director, M.S. in Geographic Information Systems
Department of Geography and GIS

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