Advanced Standing/Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

This policy has been designed to address the needs of our nontraditional students who may have acquired prior college-level learning and/or skills outside the traditional classroom without having earned college credit.

A student can receive college credit for prior learning that is equivalent to college-level learning (at the 100-level and above) in specific HFC courses under the following conditions:

  • Total credit for prior college-level learning plus total transfer credit shall not exceed 40 credit hours for an associate degree and 25% of the required course/credits for a certificate.
  • Only a department/school may identify which, if any, of their courses will be allowed to have credit for prior college-level learning granted.
  • No department/school will be required to grant credit for any course.
  • If program admission, accreditation or licensure issues preclude credit for prior college-level learning, credit will not be awarded for that program.
  • As with transfer of credits from other colleges, credit for prior college-level learning will be granted with no grade and no impact on GPA.
  • A department/school can exempt pre-requisite(s) when deemed appropriate.

Candidate Requirements

  • The student must be degree and/or certificate seeking
  • A degree-seeking student must take course placement tests as part of the College admissions process.

Acceptable Prior Learning Credit

Prior learning may be evaluated through departmental exams or a portfolio evaluation.

  • Departmental Exams — Exams must demonstrate that the student has met the applicable, measurable course objectives as identified on the approved course master.
  • Portfolio Evaluation — The student will prepare a portfolio that documents his or her mastery of the subject matter as identified on the course master. Supporting documentation may include verification of competence (letters, job performance reviews); learning products (essays, work samples, art products, performances, etc.); certifications (business, industry, or professional organizations); recognition of profession or rank, licensure or other direct evidence (publications, test scores, membership requirements, syllabi/learning objectives, job descriptions).

Any appropriate documentation, skill, certifications and/or knowledge acquired by the student and submitted for consideration will be evaluated by the appropriate department faculty. Each decision made by the faculty to grant credit for prior college-level learning must be approved by the Associate Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who then will forward the approval to the Office of Registration and Records for posting.

Evaluation of Prior College Level Learning

  • Any department/school that grants credit for prior college-level learning will identify eligible courses in writing and develop a written procedure for evaluating student learning for the course. The procedure must be approved by the school, appropriate educational council, and the College Council to ensure it adequately addresses the course objectives as identified on the course master.
  • The College will provide a mechanism for assisting students in developing a portfolio that meets the requirements of the department for a particular course.
  • Course masters will be updated to indicate that credit for prior college level learning can be granted for that course and how the learning will be evaluated.

Advanced Standing - Career Education

Entry into a program of study with advanced standing permits selection of advanced courses only and does not grant college credit(s) for those basic courses that may be waived. In all cases, the number of credit hours required to earn an associate degree remains as stated in the catalog.

Direct requests for advanced standing to the Office of Registration and Records or the department/school chairperson at least six weeks prior to the time of enrollment if an advanced class is desired.

Those students eligible to request advanced standing are:

  • A high school graduate who has completed a specialized high school preparation in the specific area in which advanced standing is being requested. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required in the specialized area.
  • An individual with extensive business or industrial experience in a particular technology whose experience has been attested to by his or her employer.

The department/school chairperson may require the applicant to submit examples of work and take a proficiency examination in the field of specialization.

Upon being granted advanced standing, the department/school chairperson will provide a statement of eligibility for entrance to the next sequential class.

How to Apply:

  • Student should contact the Office of Registration and Records regarding eligibility of a course.
  • Please submit the following application for Prior College Level Learning.
  • There is a $50.00 non-refundable application fee that will be applied to your account.