In “Advanced Placement: A detour for college fast track?” (USA TODAY, 3/20/2006 11:02 PM), Mary Beth Marklein wrote:
Admissions officials at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, like those at most colleges nationwide, like to see Advanced Placement courses on high school transcripts. And like many colleges, they typically exempt students who have passed AP exams from taking certain introductory courses.
But in recent years, a troubling pattern has emerged. Increasingly, admitted students who boast AP credits “really weren’t in many ways ready for the rigor of our college curriculum,” says Edith Waldstein, vice president for enrollment management.
Like Wartburg, a number of colleges are re-evaluating whether to exempt students with AP credit from certain classes. Already, several highly selective schools, including Harvard, Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, require many students to take introductory courses in certain subjects, even if they passed an AP exam in the same subject.
[T]he California study also found that taking AP (and honors) courses bore “little or no relationship to students’ later performance in college” and suggested that institutions reconsider the use of AP as an admissions criterion.
Meanwhile, in a just-released update of a 1999 Education Department study showing that the “academic intensity of the curriculum” is a predictor of bachelor’s degree completion, researcher Clifford Adelman found that, by itself, AP coursework did not “reach the threshold of significance.”
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