Transfer Credit and Assessment of Prior Learning
Goodwin College of Professional Studies recognizes that adults have many opportunities for valuable learning in their everyday lives and work. When this prior learning is college-level, it can be identified in an evaluative process designed to determine whether it is worthy of college credit. These policies and procedures are designed to help students understand the various ways they can demonstrate and earn credit for the college-level learning they may already have. Defining college-level learning can be a complex task. At Drexel University, we use the following standards to decide whether learning is college-level:
- The learning should be theoretical as well as practical. For example, if a student seeks credit for supervising several employees at work, the student should demonstrate some knowledge of the concepts of motivation, management styles and job evaluation techniques, as well as the routine processes of day-to-day operations.
- Students should be able to identify the principles involved in doing what they are able to do.
- The learning should be equivalent to college-level work in terms of quality as determined by college faculty.
- The learning should be identified as college-level when evaluated by an expert in the field. This means students should be able to demonstrate by examination, license, essay, etc., that their knowledge or competence is at the college-level. One way of determining if a topic is college-level is if the topic is taught at a regionally accredited college or university. This means some learning, though valuable, does not qualify as college-level. Some examples of common, learning competencies that are not considered college level might include: driving a car, maintaining the family budget, buying a house, or obtaining a Notary Public license.
Credit is Granted for Learning, not Experience
In addition to learning evidenced by transcripted credit earned at regionally accredited colleges and universities, Drexel University recognizes that learning takes places in students' everyday lives and work. Consistent with CAEL's Standards for Assessing Prior Learning, Goodwin College grants credit only for verifiable, college-level, noncollegiate supported learning acquired through life or work experience.
Possible Sources of College-Level Learning
Some of the possible sources of prior college-level learning that could be considered for evaluation include work, non-credit courses, seminars and in-service training programs, volunteer work in the community, research, military training, among others. This list is intended to give you an idea of possible sources. Other sources of college-level learning are possible.
Students can transfer credit earned at regionally accredited colleges and universities on an official transcript that is sent from the original institution directly to Drexel University's Office of Admissions. Students must have earned grades of C or higher for coursework to be considered for transfer credit.
Standardized examinations such as CLEP (College Level Examination Program), Excelsior College Examinations (ECE), Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP), NYU Foreign Language Testing, and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) are commonly used to verify college-level learning. After some independent study, you can take an exam covering the subject area you believe you have mastered. Study guides are available at bookstores and often on the examination organization's website. If your results meet those established by the college for credit, you can include that credit in your degree program.
Students should discuss these testing programs with their academic advisor to determine suitability for their degree program and transfer applicability. Any credit earned by examination follows the same rules that govern the acceptance of transfer credits at Drexel. Please see the Drexel University's official Transfer Credit Policy [PDF]. Any examinations students take cannot duplicate courses for which a student has already earned credit, other examinations successfully completed, or assessed as prior learning.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers five general examinations in English Composition, Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences and History, which validate non-traditional learning. About 30 additional subject examinations correspond to specific college courses taught across the country.
For more information regarding CLEP exams, please contact:
Princeton, NJ 08541-6600
Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP)
The Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP) offers more than 100 examinations in liberal arts, business and management, and professional/vocational areas.
Obtaining a TECEP Transcript
The official score report indicates whether or not you passed the exam and are eligible for the credit. For more information regarding earning TECEP credit, please visit TECEP website.
Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST EXAMS)
Developed and owned by Thompson Prometric, DSST is a nationally recognized testing program and offers tests in 37 subject areas – applied technology, humanities, and more. For information regarding preparation and registration, please visit http://getcollegecredit.com or call 1.877.471.9860.
Excelsior College Examinations (ECE)
Formerly the Regents College Examinations (RCE), College Proficiency Examination Program (CPEP), the Regents External Degree (RED) Program, and ACT/PEP tests outside of New York.
Excelsior College Examinations are available in business, education, health, liberal arts and sciences, and nursing. Examination content outlines and study guides are available at no cost. For more information, please contact:
7 Columbia Circle
Albany, NY 12203
Excelsior College website
The official score report from Excelsior indicates whether or not you passed and are eligible for the credit.
Military Training [American Council on Education (ACE) Evaluated]
Since 1945, the American Council on Education (ACE) has provided a collaborative link between the U. S. Department of Defense and higher education through the review of military training and experiences for the award of equivalent college credits for members of the Armed Forces. Goodwin College will review ACE evaluated military training. A student must provide an AARTS or SMART transcript to his or her Drexel academic advisor.
Timing of Training
The student must have completed training during the time period that ACE evaluated the training program to be eligible for credit.
Even if a student completed training programs that have ACE credit recommendations, credit will often be granted on a case-by-case basis depending on the student's program of study, credit needs and the policies of the various colleges within Drexel.
Please visit The American Council on Education (ACE) for more information regarding the guidelines and experiences that are eligible for review by ACE.
Go to ACE for more information on requesting a transcript.
Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction and Professional Training
The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) and The American Council on Education (ACE) have pre-evaluated a variety of structured programs, experiences and licenses. If you have learning from a pre-evaluated experience, you may be able to gain credit by supplying the appropriate documentation. The dates, location and length of time of your training must match the dates, location and length of time stipulated in the by NCCRS or ACE.
National CCRS evaluates courses, training programs, licenses and/or certificates and recommends credit. Credit recommendations apply only to training received during the period of time, at the locations, and for the length of time listed in the directory.
Among their evaluations are:
- New York City Fire Department
- New York City Police Department
- J.P. Morgan
The American Council on Education (ACE) recommends credit for training programs and courses offered by noncollegiate organizations. These recommendations are published in the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs. Noncollegiate organizations include business and industry, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, professional associations, labor unions and some other types of organizations. Credit recommendations apply only to training received during the period of time, at the locations, and for the length of time listed in the guide and directory.
- American Council on Exercise
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- National Court Reports Association RPR and RMR Examinations
Individualized Credit by Evaluation (CBE)
If you have college-level learning that cannot be evaluated by the methods already mentioned, you might consider individualized credit by evaluation. There are two CBE options: Department-Approved Assessment and Portfolio Assessment.
An evaluation of learning from prior experience for a specific subject area may be based on examination, the submission of papers, presentation of a portfolio of completed work, and/or a demonstration of acquired skills.
Assessment of prior learning is based on a faculty evaluation of the respective learning experience(s) in terms of their identified relationship to the knowledge and skills of the subject matter. Assessment of Prior Learning credits will be granted toward a student's specific program of study. If a student changes his or her program of study, assessment of prior learning credits may not be recognized in the new program.
Approval of relevant prior learning credit must be in writing with the signature of at least one faculty member, the student's academic advisor, and the Director of Prior Learning Assessment.
Assessment of Prior Learning Application Procedures
- If you are interested in applying for a prior learning assessment, please contact your academic advisor to discuss this possibility.
- The Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) assessment fee is $200.00 per course. Fees and tuition are payable to Drexel University. The APL fee is paid regardless of the final outcome.
- The Assessment of Prior Learning fee is for the assessment of the learning, not for the "purchase of credit." Therefore, the fee is not refunded if the petition for credit is denied.
- The student is responsible for any fees related to the assessment and posting of Prior Learning credits.
- Grades are not assigned for credits earned through prior learning outside of the academic classroom. If credit is granted for Assessment of Prior Learning, transfer credit is awarded.
- Any credit earned from evaluated noncollegiate sponsored instruction follows the same rules that govern the acceptance of transfer credits at Drexel. Please see the Drexel University's official Transfer Credit Policy [PDF].
Specific Academic Requirements
- A maximum of 30 quarter credit hours can be granted through the Portfolio Assessment of Prior Learning process.
- Students may use the APL option, testing or transfer coursework to fulfill a maximum of one-half of the upper division of the major or minor degree requirement.
- A maximum of 8.0 credits (2 courses) in a certificate program may be completed through via Portfolio Assessment.
- Assessment of Prior Learning credit must not duplicate transfer credit or any other coursework used to fill degree requirements.
How many credits can be earned via Assessment of Prior Learning?
There are limits to the number of credits that can be earned via the APL process as delineated below:
- The maximum number of credits that can be earned via any combination of credit by external exam (CLEP, DSST, TECEP, NYU Foreign Language Testing, etc.) is 30.0 quarter credits.
- The maximum number of credits that can be earned via any combination of ACE (military and corporate training) or NCCRS recommendations is 60.0 quarter credits.
- The maximum number of credits that can be earned via individualized portfolio assessment is 30.0 quarter credits.
- The maximum number of credits that can be earned via individualized departmental assessment is 30.0 quarter credits.
- The maximum number of credits that can be earned via any combination of APL options listed above is 90.0 quarter credits.
- The total number of transfer credit hours a student can transfer through traditional transcripted credit or Assessment of Prior Learning is 135 quarter hours as stipulated by Drexel University's Transfer Credit Policy [PDF].
- Each college engaged in the assessment of academic and work experiences determines its own procedures for review and testing; students should contact the appropriate advising office at Drexel for information about the procedures for assessment.
Note: The above options are considered by Goodwin College of Professional Studies and may or may not be considered by other colleges or programs at Drexel University. Acceptance of noncollegiate supported learning for credit is at the discretion of the individual college or program and must be vetted with an authorized representative of the college or program.