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October 20, 2014
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Opinion

Editorial: AP coursework gets no credit

The limiting of transferable Advanced Placement credits may make the college unattractive to prospective students and restrict academic choices
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Jon Yoskin

Beginning with the Class of 2017, Ithaca College is limiting application of Advanced Placement credits toward courses for the Integrative Core Curriculum. These changes align with the goals of IC 20/20 and help to maintain enrollment all four years of college. However, they repel transfer students, early graduates and high schoolers who have taken AP courses.

AP credits allow students who can’t afford $38,400 tuition for four years to earn their bachelor’s degree in less time. The credits also make it easier for students to add a second major or study abroad because their course load is more flexible.

However, one objective of the ICC is to ensure students take as many credits as possible through the college itself. By preventing AP credits from counting toward Themes and Perspectives courses, students will have to fulfill all 16 credits of their ICC-themed coursework and major requirements, during four carefully planned years of education.

This approach isolates many prospective students. High school advisers tell their students that all AP credits will be accepted by any institution they attend. Limiting transferable credits may turn away students who took AP courses for that reason. By limiting credit transfers and adding  requirements, future students who can’t afford four years at the college may not enroll, and fewer students can declare double majors or study abroad.

Restricting AP credits while adding more requirements eliminates many choices in a student’s degree path. If the college wishes to retain its image as a place where students have the freedom to choose their coursework and activities, it must rework the ICC to permit more AP credits.