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Alternative Credit Opportunities (ACO)

Portfolio Credit

At the request of the student, the University will evaluate previous experience in nontraditional forms of learning for certain programs (see program pages for more information). To be validated for course credit, experiential learning must be comparable in outcomes to the content of courses and experiences, and to the knowledge, insights, and understanding developed through existing college programs. The experiential credit is for the knowledge gained and not for the experience itself, and must correspond with an existing Waynesburg University course. Many students have valuable experiences that do not translate into academic credit.

Any student petitioning for life experience credit is required to submit a portfolio to the appropriate program director. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with the program director prior to submission of the portfolio, which must include at least:

  1. Detailed personal resume and job description(s);
  2. Identification of the Waynesburg University course title and number for which credit is sought;
  3. Student analysis of his or her learning experiences and the knowledge and skills that he or she has gained as it relates to the identified course content; and,
  4. Records of Testimony — Verification of the life experience where appropriate. For example, a) letters from supervisors, co-workers, clients, or b) work samples such as artwork, reports, articles, budgets. A detailed set of instructions can be obtained from the Registrar's Office.

In addition to submitting a portfolio, the student may be required to take an examination to verify the life experience learning.

The program director will discuss the portfolio with the student and appropriate faculty members. The program director may recommend that life experience credit be granted, or not be granted, for specific courses offered by that program. A positive recommendation from the program director goes to the Provost or designee for final approval. In the case of a negative recommendation from the program director, the student may submit and appeal, in writing, within three days to the Registrar for consideration by the Graduate and Professional Studies Committee. If the committee decides there is merit to the student’s petition, a recommendation for approval will be forwarded to the Provost or designee for final approval.

Portfolio credits in the Graduate and Professional Studies RN to BSN program will be considered in the context of the student’s nursing career so that individual disciplines will be evaluated within the scope of how the disciplines are applied in a clinical setting.

A maximum number of credits for experiential learning may be awarded to a student based on the total credits of the program. Please see the Transfer and Alternative Credit Opportunity Table for more information. Experiential learning credits will not be assigned a grade and will not be used to compute the student’s grade point average.

A fee will be charged for evaluation of each portfolio.

Departmental Examination

Credit by Departmental Examination (CDE) may be granted by the University in the absence of appropriate nationally developed proficiency examinations for certain programs (see program pages for more information). Students wishing to take credit by departmental examination must meet any eligibility requirements established by the program and approved by the Provost or designee. The following criteria govern credit by departmental examination:

  1. Program directors, with approval of the Provost, will determine which, if any, courses within the department(s) will be available for credit by departmental examination.
  2. The nature of examinations and standards of evaluation for designated courses will be determined by the program director, in consultation with the Provost.
  3. Examination for any course can be taken only once.
  4. The student wishing to take credit by departmental examination must:
    1. receive permission from the Provost, program director, and the faculty member currently teaching the course;
    2. meet any eligibility requirements established by the program and approved by the Provost;
    3. be enrolled as a degree seeking student during the semester the examination is to be taken;
    4. have received no transfer credit or grade of audit or withdrawal in the course for which credit by departmental examination is being sought;
    5. not have previously failed the course for which credit by examination is being sought;
    6. receive a grade of “C” or better on the examination in order to obtain credit. Credit will be listed on the student transcript as CDE only.
  5. After the examination has been taken, the Alternative Credit Opportunities Form shall be filled out by the evaluator, signed by the program director, and forwarded to Academic Affairs.
  6. Upon receipt of the completed form and verification of payment (the fee established by the University for credit by departmental examination), the Registrar shall enter the course title and credit earned (CDE) on the student’s permanent record. The CDE credits will not be assigned a grade and will not be used to compute the student’s grade point average.