In recognition that many individuals acquire rich academic and technical experiences through prior course work, on-the-job work, or living in a particular situation, alternative credit options are available to currently registered Penn College students. Alternative learning experiences are assessed through testing and/or other forms of competency assessment.

Credits earned through these options will not be used in calculating a student's graduation grade-point average and may not be used to remove or replace any grade previously posted for the courses. A student may earn up to 30 credits in the combined nontraditional credit methods, including those mentioned below and Advanced Credit options.

Credit by Examination

Students may apply to take any 100- or 200-level course by examination. A student wishing to use the credit-by-exam option, should do so prior to scheduling the course; however, the student may challenge the course after enrolling in the course, provided the exam takes place prior to completion of 20 percent of the scheduled instruction for that course (that is, prior to the end of the third week of instruction for a full-semester course, during which time the refund policy applies).

The professor of the course involved and the school dean must approve the student's request for credit by exam. Upon receiving that approval, the student must pay an evaluation fee to the Student Accounts Office. No examination will be prepared or administered until the student presents the evaluation fee receipt. The examination fee will be waived for students seeking credit for ENL 111 (English Composition I) or RDG 111 (College Reading, Reasoning, and Study Skills) as a result of outstanding performance in the respective developmental counterpart, ENL 001 (Basic English) or RDG 001 (Reading Improvement), respectively.

The professor of the course prepares, administers (at a time set by the dean), and evaluates the examination. The student will be notified in writing of the exam results. Assuming the student passes the exam, the course number, title, and number of credits earned will be entered on the student's official College transcript after the student has earned 12 credits at Penn College. (No letter grades will be listed on the transcript.) A student may take an examination in a specific subject only once. Application to take a course by examination must be made in writing to the academic school dean.

The exam for Information, Technology and Society (CSC 124) (a required course for all degree-seeking students) is offered on a limited basis; contact the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies for details.

Implementation of credit-by-examination may vary by academic school. Contact the appropriate school office for details.

Credit for Work/Life Experience

A student requesting credit for work/life experience will be asked to document work and life experiences to show that the experiences are equal to the objectives established for the related Penn College course. The appropriate academic school dean will appoint a committee to assess the candidate's educational and work background. The committee may interview the student and also may require the completion of practical exercises and/or tests where applicable. The committee will recommend the number of credits to be awarded. An evaluation fee is charged per course, payable in advance of the committee's review.

The results of the evaluation of work/life experiences will be sent to the student. Credit earned through work/life experience will be shown on the student's official College transcript after the student has earned 12 credits at Penn College. New enrollees and registered students who feel their work or living experiences warrant consideration for academic credit should contact the appropriate school office for information and applications.