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3.4 All Educational Programs

Comprehensive Standard:

3.4.8 The institution awards academic credit for course work taken on a noncredit basis only when there is documentation that the noncredit course work is equivalent to a designated credit experience. (Noncredit to credit)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

The University of West Georgia provides academic credit for noncredit pursuits when the appropriate knowledge base and skill set are demonstrated and sufficient documentation is available to assess the awarding of credit.  The University of West Georgia  publishes the criteria for noncredit to credit options in the Undergraduate Catalog.  Academic Credit by Examination is one of these options [1]. There are three alternatives under this option: Advanced Placement Program, College Level Examination Program, and Department Exams. As stipulated in the University of West Georgia Undergraduate Catalog:   

"The Advanced Placement (AP) Program is available through many high schools, and enables a high school student to earn credit toward college in a variety of subjects.  Usually, these courses are equivalent to college freshmen/sophomore-level courses such as American Government, American History, Composition, etc.  College credit will be awarded based on standardized exams administered at the high schools in mid to late May.

High school students who earn AP exam scores of  3 or higher (on a scale of 1-5) on most exams and who submit official score reports to the University of West Georgia’s Admissions Office will automatically receive credit for coursework.  Scores of 4 or higher are required to receive credit for history exams.    

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is offered at the University of West Georgia by appointment and allows persons to earn college credit by achieving appropriate cutoff scores on nationally standardized exams.  Exams available cover a range of courses including math, history, government, literature, and sciences.

As for the third alternative, Department Exams, there are a few academic departments at UWG that offer the opportunity for credit by examination.  The English Department, for example, allows persons who feel confident about their writing skills to write an essay evaluated by a department committee.  If a passing credential is earned, the person will be allowed to exempt English 1101 and/or 1102, depending on the score.  The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures also allows students to exempt certain introductory foreign language courses.  To receive credit by examination, the student must pay a fee of $6/credit hour fee.  Interested persons should contact specific departments for testing criteria/dates."

 Another option is earning Academic Credit by Internship/Cooperative Education Experience. The Professional Practice Programs, managed by the Career Services department, have two components both of which can result in the awarding of academic credit. Within the Professional Practices Programs, students may participate in an Internship or in a Cooperative Education experience. Internships may be "salaried, volunteer, or stipend paid." Cooperative Education experiences are "always salaried." All Internships and Cooperative Education experiences must be relevant to the program offerings of University of West Georgia academic departments and are available to the students enrolled in them. Hence, all Internships and Cooperative Education opportunities are approved, supervised, and reviewed by the sponsoring University of West Georgia academic department.  Both offerings place students in a professional setting and can result in the awarding of academic credit or academic recognition (non-credit). However, Cooperative Education opportunities are usually non-credit experiences unless special arrangements are made with the student's sponsoring academic department. Successful noncredit Internships or Cooperative Education opportunities result in a notation on the student’s transcript.  Successful "for credit” Internships or Cooperative Education experiences result in a coursework grade. Processes and procedures are in place for both offerings and all required guidelines must be followed in order for a student to receive the requisite academic recognition or academic credit [2], [3].

Students are officially enrolled in the Internship or Cooperative Education Program (COOP001 or COOP002) through the Career Services Office.  At the end of the internship, they are awarded an S, U, or I, depending on the successful completion of the work program  [3]. Although Career Services often organizes internships for interested students, the office does award academic credit.

Finally, students may earn credit for coursework completed outside the university setting and for relevant occupational experience through a program that awards academic credit for Military Experience [4]. Military Experience credit is governed by the American Council on Education (ACE) guidelines. As explained, on the American Council on Education website:

"The American Council on Education (ACE) Military Guide presents ACE credit recommendations for formal courses and occupations offered by all branches of the military. All recommendations are based on ACE reviews conducted by college and university faculty members who are actively teaching in the areas they review" [5].

The Military Guide is updated and maintained in conjunction with the materials available from each branch of the United States Military. For example, the Army publishes a Military Occupation Specialty manual (MOS) which describes "the duties and qualifications for each MOS..." Interested students must submit the appropriate documentation in the form of the official Military Transcript or military form DD214 in order to initiate the review process [4].  Upon submission of the required documentation, the University of West Georgia transfer credit team then reviews the military experience on the American Council on Education website to determine whether or not any of the recommended courses and/or training can be matched to an equivalent University of West Georgia course offering. Determinations concerning credits earned are made by examining fields 11 (Primary Specialty), 12 C (Record of Service - Net Active Service), and 14 (Military Education).  Additionally, students with two or more years of military service are automatically eligible to waive the University of West Georgia Physical Education (PWLA) requirement.  Field 12C shows the total duration of active duty services. This information is used to determine if a student is PWLA exempt.  (Transfer Credit-Military Experience, American Council on Education [5].

Supporting Documentation: