If you have completed advanced courses or educational experiences in high school or at a career and technology center, you may be eligible for advanced credit. This option does not apply to general education courses. For those courses, students may apply to take credit by examination.
Competency Assessment involves your high school instructor completing an evaluation that assesses your competencies in specific areas related to a course in the curriculum for your intended major. Evaluations are sent upon request of the student to the high school or career and technology center instructor. Instructors are directed to review and return evaluations to the College.
Contact the appropriate school office for details:
College-level advanced credit exams include the Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam.
It is the student's responsibility to request that the official scores be mailed to the College by the agency.
Minimum scores are defined for each exam, as are the Penn College courses that will be awarded if students achieve those minimum scores.
Note: Advanced placement exams offered by College Board do not require taking of actual AP courses. CLEP exams are offered to military members free of charge.
Alternative Credit Options
Enrolled Penn College students have the opportunity to earn credit by demonstrating skills and knowledge obtained through prior courses or through specific work or living situations. This type of credit may be achieved by:
- Successfully challenging a specific course through credit-by-exam, a scored assessment (written and/or practical examination) of the student’s knowledge and skills relating to the course’s learning objectives.
- Successfully documenting work/life skills and experience that are equal to a course’s learning objectives.
Students who earn credit through these options save time and money while working toward their degrees.
Students may submit credentials/licensure received through examination to receive a variety of credit in specific degrees.
It is the student’s responsibility to send an official copy of the valid credential to the Admissions Office. Credit is applied by the Registrar’s Office according to the chart below.
Students may apply to take most 100- or 200-level courses by examination. Programmatic accreditation standards and requirements may limit the eligibility of certain courses for credit by exam. 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 Bursar’s Office. No examination will be prepared or administered until the student presents the evaluation fee receipt. The examination fee will be waived for incoming students seeking credit for ENL 111 (English Composition I) who have been invited based on placement scores to an accelerated cohort CBE session. The examination fee will be waived for students testing for technical skills gained through high school programs as long as testing is completed prior to attending a semester at Penn College.
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 at the beginning and end of the fall and spring semesters on the dates specified in the request form.
Implementation of credit-by-examination may vary by academic school.
Contact the appropriate school office for details:
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:
Maximum Credits and Impact on GPA
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.