North Arkansas College provides opportunity for students to earn credit for learning that has occurred outside of the traditional college classroom. The purpose is to accelerate the time by which students accumulate credits towards the acquisition of a certificate or degree such that the awarding of the certificate or degree is accomplished in a shorter timeframe. Credit may be earned through a variety of ways. The granting of credit for prior learning is under the auspices of the faculty. A maximum of 30 semester hours may be awarded for experiential learning or work experience in a degree program according to AHECB Section 3.10, Appendix B.
Prior learning will be transcripted after 12 credit hours with a 2.0 GPA. A crosswalk will identify minimum scores needed for transcripting credit. A few examples of prior learning that can be evaluated include:
- Departmental Challenge Assessments
- Prior Learning Assessments of Portfolios
- Advanced Placement-students may take an advanced placement course and earn a successful score on the related AP exam, students can earn college credit or advanced placement.
- Corporate or military sponsored training and development programs
- Courses and certifications offered by industry or professional organizations
- Standardized testing such as CLEP
- DANTES exams
The recognition, evaluation of prior learning and awarding of college level credit shall be:
Evaluation of prior learning can be awarded using the following criteria:
- Departmental challenge tests are developed by faculty subject experts. Content of the exam should meet the existing course outcomes. Definition of successful completion should be stated and communicated to the student prior to the exam in collaboration of the faculty subject expert and the Testing Center.
- Academic department subject matter experts, designated by the Department chair, will be responsible for providing the rubric used to score a written challenge exam by the Testing Center. Performance-based assessments will be evaluated by the course faculty member via the testing center administration.
- Courses or certifications from industry or professional organizations may be evaluated by the dean, director, or department chair based upon alignment of course outcomes and course content.
- AP and CLEP exams will be recorded by the Registrar’s Office
Students should follow the steps below in order to receive credit for prior learning:
- Students who desire to receive prior learning credit must enroll in course prior to challenging.
- Students who desire credit for prior learning should contact the North Arkansas College Testing Center to complete the Application for Prior Learning Credit to determine whether there is an assessment in the Testing Center for faculty to grant credit for individual courses.
- If the faculty member believes the student has demonstrated mastery for the course outcomes in the form of a challenge examination through knowledge base, they will approve the Application for Prior Learning Assessment Credit initiated by the student, with scores completed by the Testing Center, and approved by the course faculty member who will forward the application to the appropriate Dean of the Division, and then to the Registrar’s Office for the recording of the credit.
- If there is a demonstration of skills, techniques, or any other project-based assessment, the faculty member will assess the student performance for granting course credit after the student applies directly to the course faculty member for skills demonstration only. The Application for Prior Credit form will be submitted to the course faculty member for arrangements to assess.
- If there is a combination of knowledge-based in the form of a written assessment plus a skills-based demonstration, the student will begin the application process with the Testing Center and then proceed to the skills demonstration with the faculty member as stated above.
- The Application for Prior Learning Assessment Credit will be completed by the appropriate levels including the Testing Center, the course faculty member, the dean of the division, and forwarded to the Registrar for recording.
Students will present all required documents as listed on the application to the Testing Center
or the course faculty member for review.
- Students pay a fee of $50.00 per credit hour for any awarded credit plus a non-refundable processing fee of $20. If the student does not pass the assessment to receive the course credit, they will still pay the processing fee.
- No processing fee for documentation of certification, AP
College Credit for Advanced Placement, Challenge Exams, CLEP, or Professional Certification Examinations will not be posted to an academic record until the student has successfully completed at least twelve semester credit hours of work at Northark.
Some introductory courses may be challenged and credit received by successfully passing a comprehensive examination covering academic content and practical skills where appropriate. Students desiring to receive credit through the Challenge Exam process must enroll in the class to be challenged. The course instructor, Dean/Department Chair/Director, or Testing Center will administer challenge examinations. Students desiring to take Challenge Exams must do so no later than the first week of class in a regular semester, the second meeting of once-per-week classes, or the first two days of a summer semester. Successful completion of a Challenge Exam will be documented on a Challenge Exam Credit Form. The Challenge Exam Credit Form will be forwarded to the responsible dean for review and then to the Registrar’s Office no later than the end of the second week of classes in a regular semester or end of the first week in a summer session. The Challenge Exam Credit Form will become part of the student’s academic record maintained by the Registrar.
Advanced Placement (AP)
The Advanced Placement Program, sponsored by the College Board, offers high school students the opportunity to participate in challenging college-level work. College credit for Advanced Placement will not be posted to an academic record until the student has successfully completed at least twelve semester credit hours of work at Northark. Students can receive credit, advanced placement, or both from many colleges and universities. Northark awards AP credit to students who score a three (3) or higher on any Advanced Placement Exam. See details in Student Handbook.
Those desiring more information or to earn college credit through this program should contact the Registrar’s Office.
A student may earn credit at North Arkansas College by writing the CLEP examination. Northark accepts both the general and subject examination programs. College Credit for CLEP will not be posted to an academic record until the student has successfully completed at least twelve semester credit hours of work at Northark.
To receive college credit, a student may not have earned college credit nor have ever been enrolled in the course for which he/she is writing the test. Please see the American Council of Education (ACE) recommendations for minimum scores for granting credit available online at http://clep.collegeboard.org/develop/ace-credit. Those desiring more information or to earn college credit through this program should contact the Registrar’s Office.
Professional Certification Examinations
Numerous professional organizations offer rigorous professional certification examinations or licensure requirements that may be used to earn college credit for courses in related areas. Credit may be granted toward degree or certificate programs subject to the 30 semester credit hour maximum. Those desiring more information or to earn college credit through this program should contact the Registrar’s Office.