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Faculty Approves Advance Standing Program, Allowing Special Status for Qualified Students

Proposals Passed by Faculty With Unexpected Speed

By David L. Halberstam

In a surprisingly short and sudden meeting, the Faculty of arts and Science yesterday passed the Committee on Educational Policy's proposals for Advanced Standing.

By voice vote, despite loud objection, the Faculty approved plans which encourage unusually able students to move quickly into advanced level work.

Only two weeks after the Committee's docket had reached the Faculty, Advanced Standing was brought to a vote and passed. Two weeks ago, when lit was first discussed before the Faculty, two amendments were defeated; it was then believed that the entire report would probably be postponed and further discussed before any final action was taken.

The program, to begin in the fall of 1955 for qualified students, included: early admission from eleventh grade without high school diploma; advanced placement in courses not regularly open to freshmen; course reduction; sophomore standing directly from his school with immediate entrance into the Houses.

Early in the meeting Faculty members attempted to cut the sophomore standing and early admission clauses out of the proposals, but when these movements were defeated it became apparent that the whole docket would be approved.

In spite of individual protests, no organized opposition to the Plan developed. Several men, including Dean of Admissions Wilbur J. Bender '27, spoke strongly in favor of the whole program.

Only one change was made in the entire three-page docket. The faculty voted, at the motion of John H. Van Vleck, Dean of Applied Science, to change the last sentence under the heading "Course Reduction" to read: "Course reduction will not normally be used to hasten graduation." The CEP's version did not include the word "normally." This change will allow some men to couple course reduction with summer credit and graduate in three years.

The Special Standing Program, as it is called, will be administered by a committee chaired by Dean of the Faculty McGeorge Bundy, and including Wilbur J. Bender '27; Delmar Leighton '18, Dean of Students; F. Skiddy von Stade '38, Dean of Freshmen; and five members of the Faculty to be appointed by the President.

Placement Changes

To qualify for sophomore standing, a high school graduate must attain outstanding marks on the Placement tests in at least three of th fields of Biology Chemistry, English, History, Languages, Mathematics, and Physics. Any student who receives sophomore standing will be encouraged to remain in the Houses for four years and to take courses in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the senior year as an undergraduate.

Bundy has previously stated that the Advanced Standing proposals--which will also apply to Radcliffe--will be tried first on a limited basis.

In an effort to expand the present placement system, the Faculty also called for the extension, strengthening and improvement of placement opportunities so that students in the above fields can work in the most advanced courses for which their secondary school background qualifies them.

Reduction for Honors Men

According to the regulations Honors candidates, including men in the Class of '56 and '57 who are judged ready for advanced placement, may in the last two years receive a reduction of one or two courses in their told programs. This reduction will offer a stronger tutorial system, the option of taking courses in the GSAS, and also "allow students to pursue informally work of a broad or specialized character which is of special interest to them." Petitions for course reduction may be filed by Honors candidates not eligible for Advanced Standing, but who have done outstanding work in their first two years.

The Committee on Admissions, in consultation with the Committee on Special Standing, may now admit students of "superior achievement and maturity" who have completed the eleventh grade of secondary school.

Gen. Ed. to Be Affected

The Faculty also voted to allow entrants, when "their superior achievement in secondary school is considered to have contributed significantly to the objectives of the General Education program," to omit one or two elementary GE courses and meet the requirements with additional upper level courses. Permission to omit these courses will be denied or granted under regulations formulated by the Special Standing Committee and the Committee on General Education. Under the same procedure, men will be excused from Gen Ed Ahf they show superior ability in English composition, "in appropriate achievement tests or by other prescribed means."

Scholarship Awards Adjusted

As criteria for advanced placement within the Departments involved, the Faculty suggested College Entrance Examination Boards, placement tests conducted at the College, and secondary school records.

To aid men eligible for advanced standing the Faculty voted that they be assigned to experienced Freshman Advisers who will aid them in scheduling appropriate upper level courses.

Finally, the Faculty decided that the Committee on Scholarships and Financial Aids, when making awards, should take into special consideration the selections of advanced courses. This motion was prompted by the belief that able men on scholarship will tend to undertake an easier schedule for fear of losing part or all of a stipend

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