While Dartmouth College announced earlier this month that it would no longer offer academic credit to students for their Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate scores because faculty and administrators do not believe the high-school programs are sufficiently rigorous, Georgetown has no plans to follow suit.
Dartmouth’s decision came after its psychology department administered a condensed final exam to students who qualified for credit based on their Advanced Placement Psychology exam scores. Ninety percent of students who took the exam failed.
According to The Dartmouth, the university’s student newspaper, the school had been considering eliminating pre-matriculation credit for about a decade.
The policy will be implemented beginning with the Class of 2018, but it has already ignited debate among students and faculty.
Although Provost Robert Groves wrote in an email that Georgetown currently has no plans to change how it awards academic credit, others question university regulations..
“If an institution has … pride in what it has to offer, it wouldn’t be giving tons and tons of AP credits,” psychology Professor Steven Sabat said. “That’s like saying what we can offer you here is no better than that [exam].”
Nonetheless, students expressed concern over the possibility of matriculating into Georgetown without AP credits.
Kevin Phelan (MSB ’16) received credit for AP Psychology and since coming to Georgetown has taken abnormal psychology and social psychology in order to potentially pursue a psychology minor. He said that although he would be fine with not receiving credit and being placed into a higher-level course the complete elimination of recognition of pre-college courses would prevent him from pursuing more classes.
“I’d probably be deterred from taking General Psychology again,” Phelan said.
Other students say that AP credits should be considered more holistically.
“I think the entire system is somewhat backwards,” Katie Farrell (COL ’16) said. “As applicants, we feel we have to take a lot of AP classes to get into the top schools or because those were the right level of classes for the challenge we desired, the same drive that brought us to Georgetown. We were not taking them so much for placement or credit; those are just bonuses in case the AP courses helped us be admitted.”