Credit for Prior Learning

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It shall be the policy of the Sonoma County Junior College District to grant credit for prior learning for eligible courses approved by the discipline faculty and the district for students who satisfactorily pass an authorized assessment. Authorized assessments are created by, and student work is evaluated by, the discipline faculty and may include the evaluation of approved external standardized examinations, Joint Services Transcripts, student-created portfolios, and credit by examination. The Superintendent/President shall consult with the Academic Senate and rely primarily on the recommendations of the Academic Senate to establish procedures to implement this Board Policy.

Please refer to https://classes.santarosa.edu/credit-examination-classes for a list of courses currently available for credit by examination at SRJC.

Note: The Credit by Exam list is subject to change. Contact the office of the Dean of Curriculum and Educational Support Services for the most current information: (707) 524-1554.

REGULATIONS FOR CREDIT BY EXAMINATION

1.0 Types of Credit for Prior Learning

1.1  Students may receive college credit through one or more of the approved alternative methods for awarding credit listed below: 

  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on an Advanced Placement (AP) examination
  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on a high-level International Baccalaureate (IB) examination
  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • Evaluation of Joint Service Transcripts (JST)
  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on an examination administered by other agencies approved by the Department and the District Designee
  • Evaluation of industry-recognized credential documentation 
  • Evaluation of student-created portfolios
  • Satisfactory completion of an institutional examination, known as Credit by Examination, administered by the College in lieu of completion of an active course

2.0 Determination of Course Eligibility for Credit for Prior Learning

2.1  Discipline faculty with experience teaching the course, working with their department chair and discipline colleagues, shall determine which courses will be eligible for Credit for Prior Learning and the nature and content of the course assessment. Eligible courses shall be listed on the college website and included in the current college catalog.

2.2  Course eligibility shall be determined by the Department Chair or faculty designee for the following: 

  • Advanced Placement (AP) examination credit
  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on a high-level International Baccalaureate (IB) examination
  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Evaluation of Joint Service Transcripts (JST)

2.3  Course eligibility shall be determined by the Department Chair or faculty designee, with approval from the Curriculum Review Committee (CRC) for the following: 

  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on an examination administered by other agencies approved by the Department and the District Designee
  • Evaluation of industry-recognized credential documentation 
  • Evaluation of student-created portfolios
  • Satisfactory completion of an institutional examination, known as Credit by Examination, administered by the College in lieu of completion of an active course

3.0 Determination of Student Eligibility for Credit for Prior Learning

  • The student must be in good standing in the District.  
  • The student must have previously earned credit or noncredit from the District or be currently registered in the District.
  • The student is not currently enrolled in the course for which they are seeking Credit for Prior Learning.
  • Credit by Examination: The student is registered in the District and not currently enrolled in nor has received credit for a more advanced course in the same subject. 
  • Upon completion of the educational plan pursuant to Education Code Section 78212, eligible students who are veterans or active-duty members of the armed forces, hold industry-related credentials, or request credit for a course based on their prior learning shall be referred to the College’s appropriate authority for assessment of prior learning. 

4.0 Credits, Limitations on Credits, and Grading

4.1  Credit may be awarded for prior experience or prior learning only for individually identified courses with subject matter similar to that of the student’s prior learning, and only for a course listed in the College catalog and an eligible course. 

4.2 Credits acquired by prior learning are not applicable to meeting unit load requirements such as Selective Service deferment, or Veterans or Social Security benefits. 

4.3  Credits acquired by prior learning shall not be counted in determining the 12-semester hours of credit in residence required for an Associate’s degree. 

4.4  Award of credit may be made to electives for students who do not require additional general education or program credits to meet their goals.

4.5 Prior Learning Assessment Grading Policy

  • Grading shall be according to the regular grading system in accordance with Administrative Procedure 3.10P, Grading. 
  • Students shall be offered the “Pass / No Pass” Grading Option, if that option is ordinarily available for the course. 
  • Students shall be given the opportunity to accept, decline, or appeal the grade assigned by the faculty member, and, in cases of Credit by Examination, pursuant to Title 5 Sections 55021 and 55025.

5.0 Transcription of Credit for Prior Learning 

5.1  The student’s academic record shall be clearly annotated to reflect that credit was earned by assessment of prior learning.

6.0 Advanced Placement

6.1  Students requesting Credit for Prior Learning using College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement (AP) shall receive credit for completing a satisfactory score on a District approved AP examination under the following circumstances: 

  • Official AP transcripts must be on file in Admissions and Records.
  • The student achieved a score of 3 or higher, as stated on the Advanced Placement Exams Credit Chart, on the AP examination. 

7.0 International Baccalaureate

7.1  Students requesting Credit for Prior Learning using International Baccalaureate (IB) shall receive credit for completing a satisfactory score on a District approved high-level IB examination under the following circumstances: 

  • Official IB transcripts must be on file in Admissions and Records.
  • The student achieved a minimum acceptable score on the IB examination as recommended by the District’s IB equivalency guide. 

8.0 College Level Examination Program

8.1  Students requesting Credit for Prior Learning using the College Level Examination Program shall receive credit for completing a satisfactory score on a District-approved College Level Examination Program (CLEP) under the following circumstances:

  • Official CLEP transcripts must be on file in Admissions and Records.
  • Credit is applied to the local general education pattern as indicated on the external transcript.

9.0 Credit for Military Service / Training

9.1  Students interested in Credit for Prior Learning using Joint Service Transcripts shall receive credit as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) Directory and approved by the appropriate discipline faculty of the College under the following circumstances:

  • The student shall complete the Credit for Prior Learning assessment petition available in Admissions and Records. 
  • Official transcripts must be on file in Admissions and Records. These may include Joint Services Transcript (JST), Sailor / Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART), Army and American Council on Education Registry Transcript Service (AARTS), Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), Coast Guard Institute (CGI), DANTES / USAFI, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Transcripts (DLIFLC), Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), DLPT Examinee Results, DA Form 330 Language Proficiency Questionnaire, or verified copies of DD214 or DD 295 military records. 
  • Credit course equivalency shall be determined by the Department Chair or faculty designee. 

10.0 Industry-Recognized Credentials

10.1  Students interested in Credit for Prior Learning using industry-recognized credential(s) shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate Department Chair or faculty designee. 

10.2  The student shall complete the Credit for Prior Learning assessment petition available in Admissions and Records. 

10.3  If an industry-recognized credential(s) has not yet been evaluated and approved by the appropriate faculty: 

  • The student meets with the Department Chair or faculty designee to receive further instructions for industry-recognized credential(s) assessment;
  • The student submits all industry-recognized credential documents to the Department Chair or faculty designee for assessment of prior learning; and
  • If the Department Chair or faculty designee determines the industry certification adequately measures mastery of the course content as set forth in the Course Outline of Record, the appropriate faculty member shall sign the petition with the recorded grade, attach the industry-recognized credential(s), and forward the completed petition and supporting documents to Admissions and Records, to be kept on file and recorded on the student transcript. 
  • Admissions and Records will maintain a list of all Department approved industry-recognized credentials

10.4   Admissions and Records shall grant credit for industry-recognized credential(s) that have already been evaluated and approved by the appropriate Department Chair or faculty designee.

11.0 Student-Created Portfolio Assessment

11.1   Students interested in Credit for Prior Learning using a student-created portfolio shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate Department Chair or faculty designee under the following circumstances: 

  • A department-approved portfolio assessment rubric for the course is on file with the department;
  • The student shall complete the Credit for Prior Learning assessment petition available in Admissions and Records;
  • The student meets with the Department Chair or faculty designee to receive further instructions for student-created portfolio assessment;
  • The student submits all portfolio documents to the Department Chair or faculty designee for assessment of prior learning; and
  • If the Department Chair or faculty designee determines the student-created portfolio adequately measures mastery of the course content as set forth in the Course Outline of Record, the appropriate faculty shall sign the petition with the appropriate grade and forward it to Admissions and Records, to be kept on file and recorded on the student transcript.

12.0 The District Credit by Examination Process

12.1   A student wishing to take an eligible course through Credit by Examination is encouraged to informally discuss the matter with the Department Chair or faculty designee and instructor prior to initiating the formal process. All steps must be completed in the order listed or the Petition for Credit by Examination shall not be processed. The Petition for Credit by Examination must be completed prior to the end of the current semester or session.

12.2   The Department Chair or faculty designee shall determine whether a student requesting Credit by Examination is sufficiently well prepared to warrant being given this opportunity. The determination is based upon a review of previous coursework and / or experience.

12.3   The District will award college course credit for successful completion of a District examination administered by the appropriate Department Chair or faculty designee. Credit by satisfactory completion of an examination administered by the District is in lieu of completion of a course listed in the Santa Rosa Junior College Catalog.

12.4   In order to permit students to demonstrate that they have met the objectives of a course through experience in the workplace, foreign language proficiency, or some other process outside the conventional academic setting, students may earn credit by receiving a passing grade on an examination administered by the appropriate instructional department / program.

The completion of Credit by Examination may require the demonstration of other skills or the completion of assignments in addition to an examination.

13.0 The District Credit by Examination Procedure

13.1 A Department Chair, after consultation with the faculty in the department, may apply to have a credit course within a given department available for Credit by Examination. Examination may not be limited to a written test. It may include: demonstration of skills competencies, or use of a cumulative assessment tool approved by faculty, who normally teach the course, which is deemed an appropriate mechanism to measure student competency in the course. A written application must be submitted to the co-chairs of the Curriculum Review Committee (CRC) along with a copy of the exam. In the case of the use of a cumulative assessment tool, e.g., criteria for skill demonstration, the co-chairs will recommend approval to the CRC.

13.2 The course outline of record shall indicate that examination or another cumulative assessment tool is an appropriate method of assessment for the particular course.

13.3 The student’s academic record shall be clearly annotated to reflect that credit was earned by examination.

13.4 Grading shall be according to the regular grading scale approved by the governing board pursuant to Title 5, section 55023, except that student shall be offered a pass/no pass option if that option is ordinarily available for the course.

13.5 A student who receives credit by exam for a particular course shall not be allowed to subsequently earn credit by exam for any other course that normally precedes that course in a prerequisite sequence.

13.6 Units for which credit is given pursuant to this policy shall not be counted in determining the 12 semester hours of credit in residence required for the Associate’s degree. (Title 5, 55050 (g)) 

13.7 Units earned through credit by exam are not considered for financial aid, scholarships, or veteran services eligibility and payments.

13.8 No more than two attempts to be granted Credit by Examination or cumulative assessment will be allowed including an exam the student registered for and failed to attend. However, if a student registers for an exam and subsequently drops the course before taking the exam, this does not count as an attempt.

13.9 Departments intending to offer opportunities for Credit by Examination or cumulative assessment are responsible for ensuring that examination/assessment dates are well publicized, so that students wanting to take the examinations/assessments receive adequate notice. 

13.10 Registration and fees. Students will be registered for a Credit by Examination section of the course created specifically for this purpose. Variable unit courses should specify how many units are being awarded.  Students who take the examination or cumulative assessment must pay a fee for service equal to the usual per unit enrollment fees for the course, but exclusive of any fee-based supplies.  Fees for credit by exam are non-refundable. (Title 5, 55050 (h))

13.11 The maximum number of units awarded by Credit by Examination or cumulative assessment shall be limited to 15 units per SRJC student record.

13.12 The exam or cumulative assessment can be administered by the department as soon as Curriculum Review Committee approval is secured. The course will then be placed on the list of courses eligible for credit by exam in Academic Affairs. Updated lists shall be published in each printing of the College Catalog.

14.0 The Sonoma County Junior College Board shall review the credit for prior learning policy every three years and report findings to the Chancellor's Office. Findings shall include data disaggregated by gender and race/ethnicity including the number of students who received credit for prior learning,

the number of credits awarded per student, retention and persistence rates of students earning credit for prior learning, completion data (for certificate, degree, and transfer) for students earning credit for prior learning, and qualitative assessments by students of the policies and procedures.

Procedure AP 4235 Revised June 2022