The Cavalier Daily
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LETTER: William & Mary's new curriculum explained

Dear Editor,

We read the February 17 editorial “Don’t discredit APs” and want to clarify how AP and IB credits will work under William & Mary’s new general education curriculum, also called the College Curriculum (COLL).

First, it is important to note that students with acceptable AP and IB credits will still be able to use those same credits toward their requirements to graduate. There is no change to William & Mary’s curriculum in this regard. What will change is where students can apply those credits among the 120 credits needed to graduate.

General education courses will continue to represent 25 percent (30 of the 120 credits) of the credits needed to graduate at W&M. The remainder will continue to be split between elective credits and degree requirements for each major. It is true that the AP/IB credits cannot be used to satisfy COLL-designated courses within the new general education curriculum. These courses will be designed by W&M faculty and taught by W&M faculty to provide students with a common and integrated undergraduate liberal arts experience over an undergraduate’s entire career.

But within and alongside the COLL curriculum, which will be implemented for the entering class in Fall 2015, the AP/IB credits can be used in a number of ways. This includes being used as elective credits within the general education distribution requirements and for electives generally, to fulfill required proficiencies (such as the mathematics requirement) and, in the cases of some majors, toward major degree requirements.

The William & Mary faculty has adopted a new general education curriculum that aims to raise the liberal arts to the forefront of the undergraduate educational experience here. At the same time, it will provide the necessary flexibility for today’s high-achieving students.

We hope this clarifies the matter for your readers.

John Griffin
A&S Dean of Undergraduate Studies,
College of William & Mary

Lu Ann Homza
A&S Dean for Educational Policy,
College of William & Mary