The Educational Policy Committee's report on advanced standing, providing for the admission of exceptional students as sophomores, and charting a broad new placement system, was outlined yesterday by its chairman, Dean Bundy. The plan will go before the faculty Tuesday.
The Committee's proposals were identical with those announced in unofficial reports ten days ago.
It is almost certain that no vote will be taken on the proposed plan--the most significant academic change in the College since General Education--for at least several weeks, since many of its points are controversial.
Submitted in the form of a three-page pamphlet, the report states the plan only in outline. Details will be worked out by a nine-man Committee on Special Standing that will be established if the plan is passed.
Five major points are covered in the report. Affecting the most people is a greatly strengthened and enlarged placement system designed to give incoming students the opportunity to work at as advanced a level as they are capable. The Committee recommends that placement tests be given in English, history, languages, mathematics, and science. A sufficiently-high grade on a placement test would secure exemption from elementary level courses in any of these fields.
Criticism Expected Tuesday
The recommendation that will almost certainly be the object of serve criticism in Tuesday's meeting is that certain students who receive advanced placement in three or more courses be admitted directly to the Houses as sophomores. But the Committee would encourage these men to remain in the College for four years, instead of graduating in three.
The report says: "Any such student may elect, however, to remain in Harvard College and in a House for four years, and may devote as much of his fourth year as he chooses to courses in our Graduate School of Arts and Sciences."
The Committee also recommends that some students be admitted to the College as freshmen after the eleventh grade of secondary school. Those admitted under this provision would be carefully screened to make sure they were of superior achievement and maturity."
Course Reduction in Honors
A fourth point of the plan provides that the Committee on Special Standing and the individual departments work out a system of course reduction that will allow honors concentrators to omit a maximum of two courses from their total academic load to free them for research work or general study. The reduction would come either entirely in the senior year or one course in both the senior and junior years. Students taking advantage of the reduced course requirements would have the option of taking courses for credit in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
General Education would, of course, be affected by any system of advanced standing. The report states that students may be permitted to omit one or two elementary General Education courses if they secure advanced placement in the area or areas covered by the courses. Freshmen with superior writing ability could secure exemption from General Education Ahf.
The Committee also recommended that a student's election of advanced courses be taken into consideration by the Committee on Scholarships. It is felt that a fear of low grades would prevent many scholarship holders from taking these courses, for they must maintain a certain average to keep their stipends.
Some of the proposals are not new. Until September 1933, it was possible for a man to secure admission to any College class, including the senior, by passing examinations. And reduced course requirements were common until the Second World War, and a rule providing for them is still on the records.