American Degree Program (ADP)
American Degree Program (ADP) pre-u courses are designed to prepare students for undergraduate-level studies in American universities by getting them up to the academic equivalent of the 12th grade in American high schools.
Conducted over a period of one to two years, the typical ADP course requires students to take up a set of compulsory subjects (core courses) which are courses relevant to their future major as well as a set of optional subjects (electives). These electives help the students learn more beyond their individual fields of study.
The assessment methods for an ADP course will vary from institution to institution and subject to subject – sometimes even from instructor to instructor. Students can expect tests, quizzes, assignments and presentations as well as mid-term and final exams to count towards their final grades.
Those who have undergone the primary and secondary school levels in Malaysia may find the ADP to be less academically challenging than other pre-u programmes. However, a key feature of ADP programmes is the high degree of class participation required. From group assignments and presentations to discussions, class participation will contribute significantly to a student’s final grade. This feature of the ADP can benefit students who wish to improve on their communication and people skills.
The grading system for the ADP is based on the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) system, where each subject is graded from 0 (fail) to 4.0 (distinction). Students will need to be perform well consistently throughout the duration of their programme to maintain a good CGPA.
Students who wish to undertake the ADP should also familiarise themselves with the credit hours accumulation system, which assigns a certain number of credit hours to each subject. Students will subsequently acquire the credit hours carried by the subjects they pass. In some cases, the accumulated credit hours can be put towards your bachelor’s degree – allowing you to skip some subjects entirely when you finally enter the degree programme. You may even have the option to take up extra electives during pre-u that will allow you to complete your degree course faster.
Another point to keep in mind is that not all ADP course credits are equally recognised by all universities. It would be wise to take some time to do your research before deciding on the subjects you want to take. It’s best to speak to representatives of universities or college counsellors regarding accumulated credit hours.
An American Degree Programme course is right for you if...
- you want to pursue tertiary studies in an institution in the US or Canada
- you enjoy class participation and group work
- you want to keep your study options open through broad-based education
- you are independent and want to make your own decisions regarding your future.
This article first appeared in doctorjob's CoursesNOW! Pre-University 2011.