The Evaluation Process
Before the Evaluation: Prior to the evaluation, all evaluators receive a confirmation form and package containing introductory materials about NCCRS, the non-collegiate organization, and the courses scheduled for review. Evaluators should be familiar with the material before the team meets.
During the Evaluation: Under the supervision of a member of the Program staff, an evaluation progresses through a number of prescribed steps, all of which require active participation of the evaluators. (This process may be done “off-site” also.)
By reviewing the materials listed above, evaluators should be able to assess the breadth and depth of the course, and ultimately its comparability to college-level instruction. It is expected that evaluators, by virtue of their background in the subject matter, will not need to read all instructional materials in detail to determine the course content, but rather will be able to sample selectively. Whenever possible, course instructors will be available to answer questions from the evaluation team.
- Presentation by organization representative(s): A staff member of the non-collegiate organization provides an overview of their mission and the rationale for the courses scheduled for evaluation.
- Review of course documentation: See Guiding Questions. This is the heart of the review process. Generally, the team considers one course at a time and comes to closure on each course before proceeding to the next. Sponsoring organizations are asked to present the following material, as applicable, for each course or proficiency exam.
- A syllabus and comprehensive list of learning objectives
- All instructional materials
- Copies of all assignments and assessments given
- Graded samples of student work for all assessments used to determine the final grade
- Instructors’ qualifications
- Class roster, attendance records, and official grade list for each course
- Access to the master record keeping system
- Sample evaluations of classroom instructors and overall course rating completed by students
- Determining the credit recommendation: The task of evaluation is easiest when there is a readily discernible match between instruction offered by a non-collegiate organization and established college courses. Such exact one-to-one correspondence is not necessary, however, for credit recommendations to be extended. If non-collegiate course work complements an existing degree program, and has sufficient depth to place it at the college level, it has potential for academic recognition and merits recommendation for credit by NCCRS.
After a thorough review of the material, the team makes the following determinations:
- Is the course comparable to college-level instruction?
- How much credit, if any, should the course be recommended for?
- What degree level does the instruction correspond to?
- In what category or subject area(s) should credit be recommended?
Following the review sessions, there are several different outcomes possible in extending credit recommendations:
- A college credit recommendation is granted unconditionally for a period of five years.
- A college credit recommendation is granted with the understanding that revisions will take place.
- A college credit recommendation is granted conditionally until remediation is made.
- No college credit recommendations are established and a follow-up site visit is warranted.
If credit cannot be recommended, the team formulates a rationale and offers suggestions about ways the organization could revise the course in order to make it eligible for a credit recommendation at a future evaluation.
The credit recommendations established by evaluation teams are valid for five years. Revalidation of the credit recommendations requires a review that is similar to the original. Over the five-year validation period, NCCRS monitors the courses for substantive changes that would compromise the credit recommendations via an annual off-site paper review.
Concluding briefing session: When the team has completed its evaluation of all the courses submitted for review, the organization representatives are called in to hear the team's findings. Conclusions presented to representatives of the organization represent the team's consensus, not the viewpoint of one individual, and will be relayed by the NCCRS staff member supervising the evaluation.
After the Evaluation: A final report is written by NCCRS staff member detailing all of the specific recommendations and suggestions. The report is then provided to the organization. Generally, within two month’s time you will receive an honorarium check and reimbursement of travel expenses from the USNY Fiscal office.
Fill out this form if you want to be considered as an NCCRS evaluator.