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Statement from College Faculty Involved in AP

January 2013

We are among the more than 5,800 college faculty, including subject matter experts and specialists in learning and assessment, from the nation’s leading colleges and universities who collaborate with secondary faculty to shape the Advanced Placement Program.

College faculty — ourselves or our peers — review each AP teacher’s course syllabus, develop and validate the AP curriculum, write and evaluate AP Exam questions, establish standards aligned with college-level performance, score exams and lead the AP scoring process. Our involvement ensures that AP curriculum is comparable in content to introductory college-level courses and that the examination standards to which AP students are held are what we expect of our own students in our college classrooms. Peer-reviewed studies demonstrate that students earning placement into advanced coursework based on AP Exam scores perform as well as — or better than — students who have completed the introductory course at many colleges and universities.

Colleges and universities establish and maintain their own policies for credit and placement — based upon successful AP Exam scores — that align with their own course content and institutional goals. As faculty, we encourage institutions to regularly review, on a course-by-course basis, the alignment between AP curriculum and the curriculum for their institution’s introductory course in each subject. Although AP courses are based on a careful study of introductory course syllabi from leading institutions across the nation, in some cases, the content of an introductory course at a particular institution may differ enough from the AP course content that there is low comparability, and therefore no credit or placement is warranted. However, where there is course-to-course comparability — as we have found to be the case at our colleges and universities — credit or placement is warranted, and can be of enormous value to students and to colleges in saving families money in expediting students’ education and/or freeing up space in course-roster requirements so that students are free to pursue broader interests within their college curricula.

Thus, even more compelling than the rigorous process of developing AP is the effect of AP on the lives of the students who pursue AP programs. Studies—and the testimony of students — demonstrate the vital role Advanced Placement plays in students developing a clear understanding of college-level academic expectations and a lasting passion for and engagement with academic disciplines in which they often eventually major.

Disciplines

Arts
English
History and Social Science
Mathematics and Computer Science
Sciences
World Languages

Additional Statements

Arts

Susan Aberth

Associate Professor of Art History
Bard College

Dale Clifford

Associate Chair, Foundation Studies Department
Savannah College of Art and Design

Andrea Feeser

Associate Professor, Modern and Contemporary Art History
Clemson University

Jonathan Bailey Holland

Associate Professor of Composition, Berklee College of Music
Faculty, Vermont College of Fine Arts

Amy Petersen Jensen

Department Chair, Theatre and Media Arts
Brigham Young University

Joseph Kraus

Professor of Music Theory, College of Music
Florida State University

Teresa Reed

Associate Professor and Director of the School of Music
University of Tulsa

Diane Reilly

Associate Professor, Department of History of Art
Indiana University

Rebecca Stone

Masse-Martin/NEH Distinguished Professor of the Humanities
Professor of Art History
Faculty Curator of Art of the Americas
Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University

Jon Winet

Associate Professor of Intermedia, School of Art and Art Historya
University of Iowa

English

Mark Bauerlein

Professor, Department of English
Emory University

Ernest Morrell

Professor, English Education Director, Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME)
President-elect, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Teachers College, Columbia University

Hephzibah Roskelly

Distinguished Professor of English
University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Renee Shea

Professor of English, Emerita
Bowie State University

Susan Strehle

Distinguished Professor, English Department
Binghamton University, State University of New York

History and Social Science

David Anderson

Paul G. Blazer Professor
Chairman, Economics Program
Centre College

Fred Anderson

Professor of History, University of Colorado, Boulder
Archie K. Davis Fellow, National Humanities Center

Andrew Barnes

Associate Professor of History, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies
Arizona State University

Sarah Witham Bednarz

Professor of Geography
Texas A&M University

Craig G. Benjamin

Associate Professor of History
Meijer Honors College
Grand Valley State University

Lisa Benton-Short

Interim Director, GW Institute for Sustainability
Academic Program Director for Sustainability
Graduate Director for Geography
Associate Professor of Geography
George Washington University

Stanley Chodorow

Professor Emeritus, Department of History
University of California, San Diego

Kenneth R. Curtis

Professor of History
California State University Long Beach

Terri Fine

Professor of Political Science
Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government
University of Central Florida
Schusterman Fellow, Brandeis University

Ernest Freeberg

Distinguished Professor of Humanities, History Department
University of Tennessee

Adam Goodie

Associate Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator, Department of Psychology
University of Georgia

Frank A. Guridy

Associate Professor, Department of History and African and African Diaspora Studies
Director, John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies
University of Texas at Austin

Jeffrey Hamilton

Professor and Chair, Department of History
Baylor University

Elizabeth Yost Hammer

Professor of Psychology
Director, Center for the Advancement of Teaching
Xavier University of Louisiana

Glenn Hastedt

Professor and Chair, Justice Studies Department
James Madison University

Susan Kent

Chair, Department of History
University of Colorado at Boulder

Lloyd Kramer

Professor and Department Chair, Department of History
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

David Lanegran

John S Holl Chair of Geography
Coordinator of Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education
Macalester College

Emma Lapsansky-Werner

Emeritus Professor of History and Curator of the Quaker Collection
Haverford College

Carolyn Lougee

Frances and Charles Field Professor in History
Bass Fellow in Undergraduate Education
Director, Structured Liberal Education
Stanford University

Raul Madrid

Associate Professor, Department of Government
University of Texas at Austin

Maureen McCarthy

Professor of Psychology
Kennesaw State University

Laura Mitchell

Associate Professor, History
University of California, Irvine

Robert Ostergren

Professor, Department of Geography
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Arthur Raymond

Professor and Chair, Department of Economics
Muhlenberg College

Clark G. Ross

Johnston Professor of Economics
Davidson College

Scott A. Sandage

Associate Professor, Department of History
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Carnegie Mellon University

Pamela Schmitt

Professor of Economics
Director of Academic Counseling
United States Naval Academy

Carole Shammas

Professor Emerita and John R. Hubbard Chair Emerita in History
University of Southern California

Sussan Siavoshi

Chair and Professor, Political Science Department
Trinity University

Suzanne Sinke

Associate Professor, Department of History
Florida State University

Victoria Thompson

Associate Professor of History, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies
Arizona State University

Don Ziegler

Professor of Geography
Old Dominion University

Mathematics and Computer Science

Christine Alvarado

Lecturer, SOE, Computer Science and Engineering
University of California, San Diego

Owen Astrachan

Professor of the Practice of Computer Science
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Duke University

Ellen Breazel

Lecturer, Mathematical Sciences
Clemson University

David M. Bressoud

DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics
Macalester College

Amy J. Briggs

Professor of Computer Science
Middlebury College

Stephen Davis

Professor, Department of Mathematics
Davidson College

Dan Garcia

Senior Lecturer, SOE, Computer Science
College of Engineering
University of California, Berkeley

Jeff Gray

Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year (Alabama, 2008)
Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science
University of Alabama

Charles Isbell

Professor and Senior Associate Dean
School of Interactive Computing
College of Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology

Elizabeth Johnson

Chair and Associate Professor, Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science
Xavier University

Donald R. King

Associate Professor of Mathematics
Northeastern University

Stephen Kokoska

Professor of Mathematics, Director, Bloomsburg University Honors Program
Bloomsburg University

Jody Paul

Associate Professor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Roxy Peck

Associate Dean Emerita, College of Science and Math
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Manuel A. Perez-Quinonez

Associate Professor and Associate Department Head for Graduate Studies, Computer Science
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Allan Rossman

Professor of Statistics
California Polytechnic State University

Beth Simon

Lecturer, SOE, Computer Science and Engineering
Director, Center for Teaching Development
University of California, San Diego

Tara L. Smith

Program Director, Algebra & Number Theory, Division of Math Sciences, National Science Foundation
Professor, Mathematical Sciences, University of Cincinnati

Paul Tymann

Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Department
Rochester Institute of Technology

Henry M. Walker

Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Professor of Natural Science and Mathematics
Professor of Computer Science
Chair, Department of Computer Science
Grinnell College

Roger Woodard

Assistant Department Head and Director of Undergraduate Programs, Department of Statistics
North Carolina State University

Sciences

Brenda Alston-Mills

Professor of Animal Science
Director and Associate Dean, Office of Diversity and Pluralism
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Michigan State University

William E. Barstow

Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biology
University of Georgia

Spencer Benson

Director, Center for Teaching Excellence and Associate Professor
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
University of Maryland College Park

Larry Cain

Richardson Professor of Physics
Davidson College

Domenic Castignetti

Professor and Chairman of Biology
Loyola University of Chicago

Eugenia Etkina

Professor, Graduate School of Education
Rutgers University

Andrew J. Friedland

The Richard and Jane Pearl Professor in Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies Program
Dartmouth College

John Gelder

Professor, Department of Chemistry
Oklahoma State University

Thomas J. Greenbowe

Professor of Chemistry
Iowa State University

Anne M. Houtman

Head and Professor, Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
Rochester Institute of Technology

John Jungck

Professor, Biological Sciences
Director of the Interdisciplinary Science Instruction
University of Delaware

Pat Marsteller

Professor of Practice in Biology
Director, Emory College Center for Science Education
Director, Hughes Science Initiative
Emory University

Alan McIntosh

Professor / Director of Environmental Sciences Program
The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
University of Vermont

Jose Mestre

Chair, Department of Educational Psychology
Professor of Physics and Educational Psychology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Nancy Songer

Professor of Science Education and Learning Technologies, School of Education
University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Jim Spencer

William G. and Elizabeth R. Simeral Emeritus Professor
Recipient of the George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education, 2005
Franklin & Marshall College

Peter Strom

Professor, Department of Environmental Science, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences
Rutgers University

Vicente Talanquer

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Arizona

Gordon Uno

David Ross Boyd Professor
Chair, Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology
University of Oklahoma

Donald Wink

Professor, Department of Chemistry Faculty, Learning Sciences Research Institute
University of Illinois at Chicago

William Wood

Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
University of Colorado, Boulder

David Yaron

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
Carnegie Mellon University

Jiang Yu

Professor of Physics
Fitchburg State University

World Languages and Cultures

Martha G. Abbott

Executive Director
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

Jianhua Bai

Professor of Chinese
Kenyon College

Giuseppe Cavatorta

Associate Professor of Italian, Department of French and Italian
University of Arizona

Dan Davidson

President, American Councils for International Education
Professor of Russian and Second Language Acquisition
Bryn Mawr College

Elvira G. Di Fabio

Senior Preceptor, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
Harvard University

Patricia Di Silvio

Senior Lecturer in Italian, Department of Romance Languages
Tufts University

Kenya Dworkin

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University

Christina Frei

Academic Director, Penn Language Center
Adjunct Associate Professor of Education, Senior Lecturer Director of Language Instruction, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
University of Pennsylvania

Hazel Gold

Associate Professor of Spanish, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Emory University

Maria Luisa Guardiola

Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Swarthmore College

Burkhard Henke

E. Craig Wall, Jr., Professor of Humanities
Chair, Department of German Studies
Davidson College

Pascal Ifri

Professor of French
Director of Graduate Studies in French
Washington University in St. Louis

Paola Morgavi

Senior Lecturer in Italian
Director of the Italian Language Program
Northwestern University

Fernando Rubio

Associate Professor and Co-Chair, Department of Languages
Literature Adjunct Associate Professor, Linguistics
University of Utah

Duarte M. Silva

Executive Director, California World Language Project
Stanford Graduate School of Education

Sufumi So

Assistant Professor
Language Coordinator, Japanese Studies
George Mason University

John Sundquist

Associate Professor of German and Linguistics, Dept. of German & Russian, School of Languages & Cultures
Purdue University

Additional Statements

 

"In the sciences AP has been a leader in national STEM reform, ensuring that students' understanding of the fundamentals goes beyond simple content and is grounded in a deeper conceptual understanding of how the world works. This deeper knowledge is fundamental for student success in college and beyond. In a world where facts can be obtained wherever there is an internet connection, the ability to find, organize information and use it to create new knowledge and open minds to new possibilities is the skill that 21st century students MUST have. The new AP science courses (e.g. AP Biology) directly address this with a conceptual approach that focuses on deeper understanding and the ability to use information to solve problem and challenges, something that many content-centric college level introductory science courses fail to achieve."

Spencer Benson

Director, Center for Teaching Excellence
Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
University of Maryland College Park

 

"Student success depends on several characteristics: personal motivation, good time management, a willingness to try new things, good note-taking skills, and effective decision making. The Advanced Placement program is built on these pillars. I know from personal experience that students who have taken at least on AP class do better in our courses. These students are better prepared and know what it takes to succeed."

Elizabeth A. Cowles

Professor and Assistant Chair, Biology
Eastern Connecticut State University

 

"The new revisions to the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam provide a solid tool for assessing language and culture knowledge, in line with the national standards accepted by higher education. The revisions make the course and the exam highly relevant for university programs, giving us in academia the information we need to place students in our courses, knowing from the start what they know and can achieve according to their AP grade. They also give high school teachers a clear map of what students need to know to be successful in an AP course. Finally, they help contextualize the instruction of Spanish language and culture, making it meaningful, current, and useful."

Gustavo Fares

Professor of Spanish
Co-Advisor, Latin American Studies Program
Lawrence University

 

"As an example of my personal involvement, I am assisting in an effort with the National Science Foundation and the College Board to pilot a new AP course in Computer Science. This potential new exam is being designed with direct input from college faculty regarding the specific types of content desired as an accredited course. My own university has agreed to offer this course and plans to provide AP credit when the curriculum is finalized. Furthermore, I have taught the Freshman course in Computer Science to which the current AP exam is aligned. By far, the high school course exceeds the content and rigor that is covered in most university equivalent courses, such that those students who score well on the AP exam are confidently more prepared than those who only take the university equivalent."

Jeff Gray

Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year (Alabama, 2008)
Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science
University of Alabama

 

"I can state without equivocation my belief that the AP Chinese Language and Culture Exam—the AP test with which I am most familiar—is a valid and accurate way to achieve university placement and award university credit. Based upon my observations and experience I feel that AP tests provide a valuable academic service to students and institutions by enabling accurate placement of students into classes, thereby allowing them to dispense with the necessity of being exposed to content over which they have already achieved mastery."

Jerome Packard

Professor of Chinese
Professor of Linguistics
Professor of Educational Psychology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

"Science process skills are now a major component of the AP science courses. These are skills that every introductory biology course should include and that every introductory college student should possess at the end of their freshman experience. In addition, there is so much variation in the biological content of one undergraduate biology course to another across the country, that focusing on content alone is an inappropriate measure of comparability between any one college course and AP biology. What's important is the ability to use critical thinking and inquiry process skills to understand and apply whatever content is being taught at the introductory level—those skills are certainly comparable between the new AP Biology course and any Introductory Biology course at the undergraduate level."

Gordon Uno

David Ross Boyd Professor
Chair, Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology
University of Oklahoma