Virginia Bill Proposes Standardization to AP Credit System

A new bill proposed in Virginia may change the way students apply to colleges and universities if passed, as it will mean Advanced Placement (AP) credits will become standardized across the board.

Delegate Steve Landes, Kaye Kory and Senator Emmit Hanger are vying for the HB1336 bill to be passed to bring all AP credits earned by students during high school to an even playing field. Landes and his fellow colleagues, hope to repeal the present code in the state which allows each university to apply the earned AP credits in different ways. Also on the books to change with the passing of the new bill are the International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, Cambridge English: Advanced and the College Level Examination Programs (CLEP).

AP credits at Virginia colleges are not applied uniformly and are counted differently depending on each individual school. Essentially, not all credits are created equally if you’re a college student in the state. Students may apply to one college with their earned AP credits only to have them counted in a different manner at another school.

At a Town Hall meeting on Saturday, Landes said “What Virginia Tech and UVA may have, may be counted very differently, could be three credits could be two credits could be one credit so what I have is a piece of legislation that has the state council of higher education to look at over the year to come up with a standard credit for all AP classes.”

Landes would like to see AP credits the same across the board and equal for all students at every college. If the bill is passed, it will require all colleges and university in Virginia to work together in conjunction with the State Council of Higher Education in order to come to an agreement on a way to standardize a new AP credit system.

The amount of students earning AP credits is undoubtedly growing as Steve Koleszer pointed out during Saturday’s Town Hall meeting. Kolezer, an Albemarle County School Board member, said “20 years ago when I first got on the board, we had 350 enrollments in AP courses and now we have 1,700 students taking one or more AP courses.”

“The bill came about because I have had parents ask me why AP credits care credited differently by universities and colleges. By making the credit standards, it allows students to apply those courses uniformly no matter what college or university they attend in Virginia,” says Landes.

According to USA Today College, Landes has yet to hear back from Virginia’s state colleges about the proposed bill.

The dean of admissions at George Mason University, Amy Takayama-Perez, did have this to say about the possible change to the AP credit system, “We obviously have different program requirements. I think that’s what makes us unique is the ability to look at how those things transfer into our program.” She goes on to say “We’re all known for different things. There’s different value put on different requirements and I think that is the beauty of have a diverse system.”

If HB1336 is successfully passed, it’s intended date to become effective is on July 1, 2016.

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