Penn has changed its credit policy for students who took Penn courses in high school without clearly notifying students, leaving many unable to claim academic credit for courses that they thought they would.
The Young Scholars Program allows Philadelphia-area high school juniors and seniors to enroll in one or two College of Liberal and Professional Studies courses at Penn.
Traditionally, the courses that accepted students had taken through the Young Scholars Program would count as credit towards graduation. However, last spring, the College changed its credit policy so that only undergraduates courses can count for credit.
College freshman Emily McCann, who was in the Young Scholars Program, said the University didn’t notify her of this upcoming change when she was taking LPS courses in high school.
"I’m a freshman, and I was taking classes while in high school. The only reason I took a second class second semester was so that I could have the additional credits,” she said.
McCann said she felt that Penn didn’t properly communicate this change while to her she was taking LPS courses.
“It was said out loud to me that this program was very beneficial because when you come to Penn you get those credits, so that’s what I assumed” she said.
Omaya Torres, a College freshman who was also in the Young Scholars Program last year, agreed that Penn should have told them sooner that their courses wouldn't count for credit and that the University should have told students before they enrolled in additional courses.
McCann said the University sent her an email containing a revised version of the Young Scholars handbook, but did not explicitly specify what policy changes had been made.
“The way they did it was really convoluted,” she said.
Lauren More, the administrative director of High School Programs for LPS, admitted that she isn’t sure why the new credit policy was implemented.
“I do not know why it was implemented, or exactly when,” More said.
However, More added that Young Scholars Program is meant as an introduction to the college experience and that the courses can still be used for placement purposes and for credit at some other institutions.
“I think it is a tremendous experience to earn a college transcript, regardless of how they are used in the future,” More said.
McCann said she feels frustrated that she did the exact same courses as other Penn students, but didn’t receive any credit.
“I sat next to sophomores, juniors and seniors and I did the same work as them, I don’t understand why they would get the credit and I wouldn't," she said.
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