The O'Donnell Foundation Advanced Placement Arts Incentive Program™ is based on the College Board's nationally respected AP® arts courses which include AP Art History, AP Studio Art (Drawing, 2-D Design, 3-D Design), and AP Music Theory. These rigorous, college level courses prepare students for college and beyond.
In 1994, the O'Donnell Foundation created the AP Arts Incentive Program to motivate high school students' interest and success in AP Studio Art and AP Art History. The AP Music Theory program was added in 1998. Recognizing the need to better prepare students for AP Studio Art courses, the Foundation initiated a Pre-AP training program for vertical teams of studio art teachers in middle, junior high, and senior high school in the fall of 2005. During the fall of 2006, an innovative interdisciplinary program was developed to build horizontal teams of teachers across disciplines (AP English, History, and Foreign Languages) to work cooperatively to better prepare students for AP Art History.
On August 1, 2013, the O’Donnell Foundation began a five year extension of the AP Fine Arts Incentive Program in 10 Dallas area senior high schools; selected schools offer all three AP Fine Arts courses: AP Art History, Music Theory, and Studio Art. The program will conclude in June 2018. Based on 2015 College Board exams results, ODF grant schools accounted for 19% of the state's qualifying exams in AP Art History, Music Theory, and Studio Art, and included the top three schools for AP Fine Arts comprehensive programs with the highest number of qualifying exams.
In the 2015-2016 school year, 16 Dallas-area high schools will participate in the program with more than 1,600 AP fine arts students,121 AP, Pre-AP, and interdisciplinary teachers, grades 9-12. Over 17,500 arts and music students across North Texas and as far west as Abilene have benefited from the O'Donnell Foundation's AP incentive programs since 1994.