In 1973, the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York initiated a pilot study to assess the potential of a college credit advisory service. This project was a direct outcome of recommendations made by the Commission on Non-Traditional Study, a two-year venture supported by the Carnegie Corporation, to provide a national perspective on the future of higher education, including recognizing and granting credit for postsecondary learning undertaken in noncollegiate settings. The Commission called for a system to establish college credit equivalencies for courses offered by government, industry, and other noncollegiate sponsors.
During this preliminary stage, evaluations consisted of 102 courses and programs sponsored by eight organizations, including AT&T, General Electric Company, Eastman Kodak Company, New York Telephone (now Verzion Communications), the New York City and New York State police academies, Literacy Volunteers of America and the American Institute of Banking of Greater New York. Credit recommendations were established when the learning experiences were found to be at the college level. In the process, the components of a model for a reliable and workable review system were identified. The results of the pilot study were published in December 1974 in the Program's first volume of course descriptions and credit recommendations under the title, A Guide to Educational Programs in Noncollegiate Organizations (subsequent volumes of credit recommendations also used this title until 1985, when it was replaced by College Credit Recommendation Service Online.)
The 2002 edition of College Credit Recommendations represented the 22nd volume of descriptions of evaluated noncollegiate sponsored instruction published by National PONSI (now called NCCRS-National College Credit Recommendation Service) before being made available online. Updates are now made available through CCRS Online. Since the first edition of the Directory, NCCRS has served more than 500 organizations across the U.S. and has evaluated and recommended for college credit approximately 5,200 courses, exams, and educational programs.