Meet the College Board Endorsed Consultant for African American Studies, Jennifer Showalter

Jennifer Showalter has taught African American Literature at Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, WA since 2018 as a certified “College in the Classroom” instructor through Eastern Washington University.  Among the first group of teachers to pilot the AP African American Studies class, Jennifer trained at the Howard University APSI in 2022 and attended the Smithsonian Museum’s gala celebrating the inauguration of the course in 2023.  

A certified College Board Consultant, Jennifer served as a Reader for AP African American Studies Pilot Year 1 in 2023.  Jennifer also participated in the Zinn Institute’s Teaching for Black Lives study group with teachers locally and around the country in 2023-2024.  Having attended multiple AP Institutes in English Literature, English Language, and AP Art History, Jennifer’s highlight was attending the 2019 College Board A Dream Deferred: The Future of African American Education Conference in Los Angeles, CA.  

Jennifer earned a BA Degree in English from Washington State University and an MA in English literature from Eastern Washington University. She is certified to teach secondary ELA, social studies, and journalism, and has taught all levels of English as well as AP Art History and journalism. 

APSI Session Description:  This workshop is designed for teachers of AP African American Studies.  We will focus on examining the diversity of African American experiences through the course’s direct encounters with authentic and varied sources. The workshop will demonstrate how students will explore key topics that extend from early African kingdoms to the ongoing challenges and achievements of the contemporary moment.  This interdisciplinary course foregrounds a study of the diversity of Black communities in the United States within the broader context of Africa and the African diaspora.  Our workshop will explore lessons proven to effectively teach the main skills required for success in the course: applying disciplinary knowledge, source analysis, and argumentation.   

Because AP African American Studies students need many opportunities to discuss complex texts in multiple genres, participants will gain hands-on experience with evaluative and analytical reading approaches to historical documents, literary texts, music lyrics, works of art, material culture, maps, tables, charts, graphs, and surveys.  If available, we will conduct simulated readings of recent Free-Response exam questions and APAAS project essays to inform teaching and learning.  Please bring a laptop or tablet for immediate access to multiple digital resources. 


APSI Session Goals: 

  • To identify and apply the standards of the AP African American Studies (APAAS) exam to classroom practices 
  • To explore and develop effective APAAS units, lessons and syllabi 
  • To expand participants’ repertoire of successful instructional strategies 
  • To explore online resources such as AP Classroom and AP Daily (if available) 
  • To develop a network of valuable colleagues 
  • To promote the cross-disciplinary benefits of APAAS curriculum