APEX test

The AIC Plan for Excellence (APEX) Program is a comprehensive approach for undergraduate students to move toward their own apex. The program has been intentionally designed to develop a solid foundation for a lifetime of personal and professional success.

The APEX Program is intentionally structured around four primary learning goals that we believe students should achieve during their time at AIC. These include:

  1. Intellectual Development & Lifelong Learning: This goal focuses on the intellectual development of each student and encourage their desire to commit to lifelong learning.
  2. Personal Growth: This goal supports each student in personal exploration and the development of skills and identity.
  3. Social & Cultural Competency: This goal enhances the cultural and social competency of each student.
  4. Career & Professional Development: This goal purposefully provides the opportunity for students to gain skills and knowledge in career and professional development to support their future.

If you want to learn more about how the APEX Program can help you be successful at AIC, please email apex@aic.edu.

All undergraduate students in each of the Schools must satisfy the College’s APEX program, including general education requirements. Beyond the general education requirements, each school has its own major fields of study, the details of which are included within each departmental listing.

Apex: the top or highest part of something, especially one forming a point.

Oxford Dictionaries

APEX is a shared undergraduate journey that transforms students through academic, community, and leadership opportunities. These opportunities will foster students’ intellectual, personal, and professional growth and development.

The program is designed to help students as they transition to AIC, engage in learning both inside and outside of the classroom, develop meaningful and lasting relationships, and get connected to the campus community.

Three Parts of APEX

The APEX Program is composed of three interlocking parts: four 1-credit APEX courses, the co-curricular experience, and the general education core curriculum. The series of APEX courses are designed around the core goal of helping the student achieve success in higher education through the development and implementation of educational, professional and personal goals. Each student learns the skills and strategies necessary to fully engage and actively participate in the learning experience inside and outside the classroom. Through the APEX series, each student explores time management, civility and civic responsibility, developing and implementing career goals, internship and leadership opportunities, multiculturalism in the workplace, developing and using a portfolio, budgeting and financial literacy, networking, and finding employment. More information on each part can be found below.

Overview of Apex Courses

APEX 1 Mark



The first in the series of four courses. Think of this as the beginning of your journey to the apex. You will take this course in your first semester on campus and will learn how to be academically successful while developing connections to a thriving campus community. You will learn how to manage your time, prepare for exams, and maximize the amazing campus resources that AIC offers.


APEX 2 Mark



The next course is taken in the second semester of your sophomore year. With a strong foundation from APEX 1, you will refine your resume, hone your skills, and begin to develop your brand. In APEX 2, you will strengthen your e-portfolio and seek out leadership opportunities both on and off campus.



APEX 3 Mark



The third course in the series takes place in the spring of your junior year. In this course, you will start planning for your future after AIC by beginning to prepare for job interviews, consider graduate school options, and further enhance your resume. Throughout the year, you will be encouraged to seek out additional leadership opportunities and continue developing a professional network (which include AIC alums).


APEX 4 Mark



The final course in the series is where you reach the summit. You’ll be engaged in more post-college planning and focus on applying to graduate school and full-time positions. In APEX 4, you will continue to learn important life skills such as creating a personal budget (including student loan payments) and finalizing your resume and e-portfolio.

Co-Curricular Experiences (CCEs)

In order to reach your apex, it is not enough to do well academically. At AIC, we recognize that some of the most impactful learning happens outside of the classroom. You must also be able to interact and get along with your peers, foster your leadership skills, and develop your understanding of the world around you. As part of the APEX Program, you will become an involved campus community member. Over the course of your time at AIC, you will have the opportunity to participate in Co-Curricular Experiences (CCEs) that are organized around APEX’s four learning goals: Intellectual Development & Lifelong Learning, Personal Growth, Social & Cultural Competency, Career & Professional Development.

We know that the transition to college can be a challenging one and that success doesn’t just magically happen. To help you reach the apex, we have designed “Your Co-Curricular Experiences” Paths. This path, for those enrolled in APEX 1 and APEX 2, will provide you opportunities to become an involved and active member of the AIC community.

A Co-Curricular Experience, or CCE for short, is an initiative that helps you feel a sense of connection to AIC, to your fellow students, and the faculty and staff. CCEs can include

  • Getting involved with a student organization
  • Joining a fraternity or sorority
  • Volunteering in the local community
  • Attending a speaker series or event in the community (there’s so much to do both on campus and in the greater Springfield Area)
  • Working on campus
  • Serving as a student leader (Resident Assistant, Peer Mentor)
  • Completing a summer internship experience

There will be a variety of experiential learning-based opportunities available to you. For the APEX 1/2 Path, you will need to participate in 8 CCEs (2 from each Learning Goal) by the time you have completed APEX 2. For the APEX 3/4 Path, you will need to participate in 6 CCEs by the time you have completed APEX 4.

For current CCE offerings, please visit the AIC Engage site.

General Education Core Curriculum

The General Education requirements serve as the academic basis for lifelong learning. It is a framework for the acquisition and use of broad bodies of knowledge and a foundation of intellectual, social, and ethical skills and behaviors. Through this program, students are provided with a sequence of general education courses that complement the major program of study. Students are required to complete 42 credits of approved general education courses, according to the requirements listed.

Personal and Professional Development

4 courses, 4 credits or 6 credits (ACE students) total

  • AIC1140 APEX 1 (1 cr) or AIC1100 Introduction to ACE (3 cr)
  • AIC2140 APEX 2 (1 cr)
  • AIC3140 APEX 3 (1 cr)
  • AIC4140 APEX 4 (1 cr)

Civic and Social Responsibility

4 courses, 12 credits total, with at least 1 course in each area

Individual and Interpersonal Behavior

  • PSY1401 General Psychology I
  • PSY1501 General Psychology II
  • SOC1010 Introduction to Anthropology
  • SOC1100 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC1400 Social Problems

American Heritage/Society

  • AMS1100 Introduction to American Studies
  • ECO1000 Survey of Economics
  • ECO1401 Macroeconomics
  • ECO1402 Microeconomics
  • HST1600 Introduction to African American Studies
  • HST1510 U.S. History to 1877
  • HST1520 U.S. History Since 1877
  • POL1000 Introduction to Political Sciences
  • POL1400 Introduction to American Politics

Global Perspective

  • ECO1010 World Economic Geography
  • HST1400 Western Civilization I
  • HST1420 Western Civilization II
  • HST1420 World History I (to 1500)
  • HST1430 World History II (since 1400)
  • HST1500 World History
  • HST2440 History of the Ancient Mediterranean
  • IBS1420 Diverse Cultures of the World
  • POL1500 Comparative Politics

Human Culture and Expression

5 courses, 15 credits total, with 2 courses in Composition and Communication and the 3 remaining courses in at least 2 of the remaining 3 areas

Composition and Communication

  • ENG1201 English Composition and ENG1202 Analytical Writing
  • ENG1601 Advanced First-Year Composition and ENG1602 Advanced First-Year Composition and Literature

Language and Literature

  • Any ENG2XXX-level or higher literature course
  • Any elementary or intermediate foreign language, including sign language

Visual and Fine Arts

  • ART1000 History of Art
  • ART1010 Aesthetic Experience in the Contemporary Visual Arts
  • ART1030 Art Appreciation through Drawing
  • ART1100 Art Appreciation through Painting
  • ART1120 Craft and Design
  • COM2460 History of Photojournalism
  • COM3290 Great Directors
  • MUSXXXX Any 3-credit course
  • THR1400 Introduction to Theater
  • VDA2460 Cultivating Creativity

Philosophy and Ethics

  • PHI1000 Introduction to Critical Thinking
  • PHI1200 Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHI1400 Philosophy through Literature
  • PHI2010 World Religion
  • PHI2030 Spirituality, Religion and Healing

Scientific Perspectives and Inquiry

2 courses with labs, 8 credits total including 2 credits in lab

  • BIO1020/1021 Animal Diversity in Massachusetts
  • BIO 1100/1101 General Biology I
  • BIO 1110/1111 General Biology II
  • BIO 1130/1131 Environmental Biology
  • BIO 1200/1201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I *
  • BIO 1210/1210 Human Anatomy and Physiology II*
  • BIO 1300/1301 Principles of Microbiology *
  • BIO 1400/1401 Biology I **
  • BIO 1500/1501 Biology II**
  • CHE 1100/1101 Chemistry and Society I
  • CHE 1110/1111 Chemistry and Society II
  • CHE 1200/1201 Introduction to Chemistry
  • CHE 1600/1601 General Chemistry I
  • CHE 1700/1701 General Chemistry II
  • PHY 1010/1011 Science for the 21st Century
  • PHY 1020/1021 Earth Science for the Liberal Arts
  • PHY 1030/1031 Physics: From Playground to Battlefield
  • PHY 1050/1051 Astronomy for the Liberal Arts
  • PHY 1600/1601 General Physics I
  • PHY 1800/1801 General Physics II

*Restricted to majors in the School of Health Sciences, or with instructor permission
** Restricted to Biology majors, or with instructor permission

Quantitative Literacy

1 course, 3 credits total

  • MAT1310 Statistics in Occupational Therapy
  • MAT1430 Foundations of Statistics
  • MAT2004 Biostatistics
  • MAT2030 Statistical Analysis for Business Decisions
  • PSY2302/CRJ2302 Statistics


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