For class of 2015, AP, IB nixed in new CCAS general requirements

The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ new General Education Curriculum – previously known as General Curriculum Requirements – will not allow credits transferred through Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests and from other universities to substitute for general requirement courses, University officials confirmed Friday.

The chair of the committee created to revamp the CCAS general curriculum, American studies professor Teresa Murphy, said the faculty agreed the requirements are not just a matter of content.

“There’s a particular skill that we want students to be learning in each of these courses. We reduced the number of courses, but we really want to make sure that those skills are being covered,” Murphy said.

On April 16, the CCAS faculty passed G-PAC, a new 24-credit General Education Curriculum focusing on perspective, analysis and communication as fundamental learning outcomes. Under the new rules, all 24 credit hours must be taken at the University.

Students entering CCAS in the fall of 2011 will not receive G-PAC course credit for placing out of a G-PAC class with advanced college credit. Any credit obtained outside of the University may be used to place into higher levels of a course, toward a major with departmental approval, or as an elective. Sophomore transfer students will be permitted to count three courses toward General Education Requirements.

Columbian College Associate Dean Paul Duff said students must remember there are now fewer requirements to be fulfilled.

“In the past, because we had so many GCRs, students who wanted to, say, double major, going home and taking some general curriculum requirements would give them that flexibility,” said Duff. “We built the flexibility into the G-PAC.”

Incoming freshmen in the class of 2014 said they are glad these changes will not affect them.

Marissa Martina, 18, said using AP credit eases students’ academic burdens.

“I took four AP classes this year just so I could make my life at GW a little bit less stressful. I am very grateful that the changes won’t affect me,” Martina said.

Another incoming freshman, 17-year-old William Charter, said he is coming to GW with AP credit for at least three classes.

“I am almost counting on them to substitute for courses, along with a few college-level credits I received through Syracuse University,” Charter said. “I feel sorry for those coming next year. If they work hard for the credits, as I did, they should be able to receive all the benefits that my peers and I will be given when we come to GW next year.”

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