The Academic Access Program (AAP) is a first year college program designed specifically for SAIC and its academic requirements in art history, liberal arts, and studio courses. The AAP consists of four intensive courses that focus on students' advancement of critical thinking, analytical reading, and college writing skills.

Placement in the Program

Placement in first year academic courses is based on a comprehensive assessment of application materials, including college entrance test scores and writing samples.

Students who have consistently earned lower than a B in high school English, history and/or social science courses and/or have sub-scores below ACT Reading 22 or SAT Critical Reading 520 and/or have below college readiness level writing skills are placed into SAIC’s Academic Access Program (AAP).

Freshmen who have not been placed in the AAP but desire to begin their academic studies through the AAP may request to participate in AAP courses during their first year on campus. International students may be placed into the AAP rather than the English for International Students program based on their educational record.

How it Works

Students participate in Academic Access Program courses during their first year on campus, while they begin their studio courses in Contemporary Practices and other departments. The AAP courses are:

First Semester

Second Semester

Students may enroll in the Critical Inquiry Seminar only upon successful completion of the Academic Foundations Seminar and may enroll in the Critical Writing Workshop only upon successful completion of the Foundations Writing Workshop. AAP 1002 and 1012, Critical Inquiry and Critical Writing, are open to students who are not AAP participants with permission of the department.

Each AAP course counts as three credit hours toward graduation. AAP 1001 and 1011 earn general elective credit and AAP 1002 and 1012 earn liberal arts elective credit within the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. Some degree programs at SAIC, for example the BFA in Art Education (BFAAE), do not have general elective and/or liberal arts elective credits as part of their curriculum; if you transfer into such programs, you will be required to take additional courses towards the fulfillment of degree requirements.

Academic Resources

To help ensure your success, we provide the following resources:

Performance Review

At the end of each term, the AAP Coordinator chairs a committee to review the academic performance of each student in the program. The committee is composed of the Chair of the Liberal Arts department and undergraduate division academic administrators, including deans from the Office of Student Affairs and Academic Advising.

The possible outcomes for individual students are:

Appeals (Other than Dismissal)

If you wish to appeal a program policy decision other than dismissal, you should contact the following people in this order:

Completion of the program

You are considered to have completed the Academic Access Program when you have met all requirements of the program. You will receive a letter from the Office of Academic Advising informing you of your successful completion of the program.

For more information, contact the AAP Coordinator at: 312.345.3784. See AAP courses here.