Credit recommendations are established through a thorough and objective evaluation process. Click program policies for more details.
Noncollegiate organizations participate in NCCRS on a voluntary basis. Each sponsoring organization selects courses and programs for review with the assistance of Program staff. Only educational programs and courses conducted on a formal basis and with official approval of the sponsoring organization are considered for review. Informal training or job experience is not reviewed.
Courses and programs must present what is thought to be college-level material, must have a prescribed program of instruction and be taught or facilitated by qualified individuals, and must include an appropriate method of evaluating student performance. In the case of on-line learning and proficiency examination programs, there must be evidence of security measures established to ensure student identity.
Each organization also supplies information on the administration of its educational activities, including an explanation of procedures for curriculum and examination development and revision, procedures for record keeping and reporting, and controls to ensure uniformity of quality and content when a course or program is taught at more than one location or by more than one instructor.
Review teams are generally composed of three persons selected on the basis of their knowledge and experience in the subject area of the courses or programs to be reviewed. Evaluators are suggested by postsecondary institutions, professional and educational associations, and noncollegiate organizations. Click here for a list of NCCRS evaluators.
Evaluations are usually conducted at the location of the organization sponsoring the learning experiences and are supervised by a member of the NCCRS staff. Organizational staff members familiar with the curriculum must be available to answer questions that may arise during the review of the instructional materials. After a thorough assessment of all the information and materials supplied by the organization, the team members first decide if the learning experience is at the college level. If it is, they then determine whether the method to assess student performance is adequate to judge that students have achieved the stated learning objectives and mastered the subject matter. When the team determines that a credit recommendation is warranted, they determine the level of credit, the number of credit hours, and the appropriate subject area or areas where credit may be assigned.
In some cases, the team may evaluate together a group of two or more related courses or programs which individually are too short to be eligible for review. If appropriate, a single credit recommendation is established for the group, and it applies only when a student has completed the entire course grouping.
In other cases, the team may not recommend that academic credit be granted. Reasons for declining to extend a credit recommendation include:
- the limited scope or organization-specific nature of a learning experience compared to college courses;
- the lack of comparability of instructional materials to those found in college-level courses;
- the absence of adequate measurement of student mastery; and
- failure to present sufficient materials on which to make a judgment.
Courses or programs that have been evaluated but for which credit recommendations were not extended are not listed in the NCCRS online directory CCRS Online.