LSA sophomore Mike DeGraff said he is unhappy that his Advanced
Placement credits for European and American history were not
counted towards his history concentration because of guidelines the
department placed on AP credits a few years ago.
As a result of the complaints of DeGraff and other students, the
LSA Student Government is taking steps to review the College of
Literature, Science and the Arts’ guidelines of accepting
high school AP credits. Representative said they plan to create a
resolution by the end of the school year.
“We want to make sure that students that put forth their
efforts with the AP class is paying off in college, and a lot of
the students I’ve heard don’t feel there was a point of
taking the AP classes,” LSA-SG Rep. Larry Fogel said.
“At the same time though, we have to understand the
administration’s point of view, so what we’re really
trying to do is research and find some median between the two
According to Fogel, LSA-SG is first concentrating on the history
department’s regulations, due to an increased amount of
concern from the history concentrators. Fogel sent out an e-mail to
history concentrators asking for their input and viewpoints on the
matter before Spring Break.
Fogel emphasized that representatives will be looking at
regulations in other departments because their initial
understanding of the issue was that LSA does not have a uniform
policy for accepting AP credits.
“We’re at an exploratory phase in the process. We
have a lot of student feedback and are analyzing the responses of
history concentrators and will try to come up with a general
consensus of what the student government’s position is from
there,” Fogel said.
The history department is one of the LSA departments that
changed their concentration requirements with respect to AP credits
in 2001. History Prof. Susan Juster, chair of the
department’s curriculum board in 2001, said the board felt
that high school classes do not match the rigor of the
“We viewed the content of the AP history exam as well as
the courses, and we felt that the approach and the content of the
courses was not what it is worth for (History 160),” Juster
said. “Our rationale for making our decision was that AP
history courses are more factually oriented, whereas ours are more
thematic and conceptual. We present the courses in a different
framework. While AP history courses help prepare (students), they
don’t substitute for college courses.”
Many students however, disagree with the history
department’s viewpoint. LSA junior Margaret Prest started
college when the curriculum was initially passed. “The
ntroductory classes in history are so much the same as what we did
in high school that it’s quite redundant and there are much
better classes that I would prefer to take,” Prest said.
Degraff said he took the U.S and European History AP tests. He
was hoping it would count for credit for either History 160 or 161,
the University’s introductory American history classes.
“ I think it should take place as one of the introductory
courses. I see no reason why it won’t because the course in
high school is pretty similar, if not even a little harder. I had
no idea about the policy beforehand, so it was a little annoying to
know that it could’ve counted for credit (before 2001) and it
didn’t,” Degraff said.
Some students, however, agree with the department’s
decision. LSA junior David Joo said, “ I don’t think
it’s necessarily a good idea to count the credit towards
college because you don’t learn as much in high school as you
did in college.”