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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

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Resources for NCCRS Member Organizations

Getting Acquainted with your NCCRS Membership

Your organization is part of the esteemed ranks of member organizations with learning experiences that have been evaluated and recommended for college credit by NCCRS (National College Credit Recommendation Service). The information on this page is intended to provide useful information regarding your membership, your credit recommendations, and your association with NCCRS.

Further information on many of these points can be found throughout the NCCRS website.

Accessing your organization's listing on the NCCRS Website

You may wish to add the following webpage addresses to your browser "Favorites" to share with colleagues, instructors, students, and agencies. NCCRS Homepage. The CCRS Online Directory table of contents page contains a list of member organizations with links to their course exhibits and credit recommendations. You will find the name of your organization name on this list. Click on the name of your organization to go to your listing, and then add that page as another "Favorite."

More about NCCRS

NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service), formerly National PONSI, is a program offered by The University of the State of New York (USNY) (not to be confused with SUNY, the State University of New York system), the most comprehensive educational organization in the nation. The "university" is not an educational or academic institution in the usual sense. USNY is the unified system that administers and has responsibility for all educational concerns in New York State. It encompasses museums, libraries and historical societies, vocational rehabilitation, special education services for pre-school and school-age children and teenagers; a school for the blind, a school for the deaf, 25 public broadcasting facilities, including seven public television stations, regulation of more than 750,000 professionals practicing in 48 licensed professions, including, for example, pharmacy, architecture, accounting, and nursing; and 240,000 certified public school teachers, counselors, and administrators.

In 1973, The Board of Regents established NCCRS in keeping with its aim of increasing access to higher education for working adults. NCCRS is based on the premise that it is sound educational practice to grant college credit for high quality educational programs conducted by noncollegiate organizations, provided these experiences are at the college level, and the credit is appropriate to an individual's degree program. Moreover, experience has shown that the awarding of credit for prior learning will in many cases motivate students to enroll in formal postsecondary programs of study, a primary mission of the Board of Regents and NCCRS. Many college officials use College Credit Recommendation Service (CCRS) Online, to identify and actively recruit nontraditional students who have completed these evaluated learning experiences. NCCRS serves noncollegiate organizations throughout the country and overseas. These organizations include corporations, labor unions, professional and voluntary associations, religious institutions, municipal and state government agencies, utilities, hospitals, proprietary vocational schools, and other nondegree-granting organizations. The courses and programs that have been evaluated cover a wide variety of subject areas, including accounting, acting, art, banking, botany, business administration, computer science, counseling, criminal justice, culinary arts, early childhood education, electrical engineering, finance, health services administration, insurance, information technology, Judaic studies, management, mathematics, nuclear engineering technology, nursing, office information systems, psychology, and social science.

What is a college credit recommendation?

A college credit recommendation is an academic advisement about the comparability of a learning experience to college-level instruction, such as undergraduate or graduate course work, the amount of credit that may be awarded, and areas where credit could apply. The credit recommendations are intended to guide college officials as they consider awarding credit to persons who have successfully completed NCCRS evaluated learning experiences. College credit recommendations are not actual college credit because the New York State Board of Regents does not award college credit. Through the results of the NCCRS evaluations, however, the Board of Regents encourages colleges and universities to consider accepting the credit recommendations. 

Acceptance of College Credit Recommendations

Given the national reputation of the New York State Board of Regents, a national accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, NCCRS enjoys a wide acceptance by the academic community. More than 1,500 Cooperating Colleges and Universities across the U.S. have indicated a willingness to consider awarding credit based on NCCRS credit recommendations. This is not to say that the colleges and universities on this list or every department within these academic institutions will award credit for every credit recommendation. They award credit on a case-by-case basis; credit recommendations are assessed according to how they fit within a student's degree program. Academic institutions may accept, reject, or modify the credit recommendations according to their policies. When a college is willing to consider awarding credit, it may be constrained by the requirements within individual degree programs, particularly at the two-year college level, where many degree programs are prescribed, affording few course slots for transfer or elective credit. In these instances, credit recommendations may be reserved for later use at the four-year college level, when more course slots may be available that could be satisfied by the NCCRS evaluated learning experiences.

Promoting the College Credit Recommendations

When developing promotional materials or referencing NCCRS and your achievements, please note that the program name is National College Credit Recommendation Service and our acronym is NCCRS. Do not state or imply that your courses have received actual college credit or that your organization or NCCRS awards college credit. The credit recommendations become college credit when a specific college or university grants the credit. Please do not use the word accredited, as NCCRS is not an accrediting body. More appropriately, NCCRS establishes college credit recommendations or recommends noncollegiate courses for college credit. Therefore, please use the verb "recommends" or noun "recommendations" when mentioning the college credit recommendations. The promotional materials you develop should be submitted to NCCRS for review before publication.

Contacting Colleges

The best way to assist students in receiving college credit recommendations at colleges and universities is for your office to undertake the initial contact. Be prepared that the work of establishing relationships with colleges can intially be labor intensive. NCCRS strongly recommends implementing a method of tracking students' success in obtaining actual college credit based on NCCRS credit recommendations. To begin building relationships, some good first steps are to contact the Admissions Office or the Chairperson of the relevant degree program or related program, where there may be a good fit for the courses offered by your organization. The Academic Dean would be another official to contact. If the college of interest has already indicated to us that they are willing to consider awarding credit based on NCCRS’s credit recommendations, the Cooperating Colleges and Universities webpage, mentioned above provides contact information. Whenever possible, an articulation agreement, setting in writing how much credit the college may award your graduates, would be ideal. Less formal written communication can also serve as precedent for future graduates. If a college official requests more information about NCCRS and its policies and procedures before it will consider awarding credit, NCCRS will advocate on behalf of students to the institution. Students who have taken or are considering taking NCCRS evaluated coursework can request assistance from NCCRS in obtaining college credit by filling out the online Request for Assistance form.

Sending Transcripts to Colleges

As the sponsor of courses with college credit recommendations, you will be asked by course participants to supply transcripts to colleges. The transcript is an official document that accounts for a student’s academic record or history at the organization/institution. A sample transcript has been devised to indicate all information that colleges generally require to process requests for credit and make a credit decision. The omission of any of these items could delay processing by colleges. Conversely, the inclusion of information not called for on this model also tends to delay processing; for example, courses that have not been evaluated by NCCRS. (If you do include titles that have not been evaluated, the titles should be clearly identified as such.) Therefore, it is recommended that you follow this model closely in adapting it for your own use. The addition of an organizational seal or stamp - if available - will further enhance the official appearance of your transcript. You may also wish to attach a copy of your exhibit(s) as they appear in College Credit Recommendation Service (CCRS) Online to the transcript. When developing a transcript form, it is important to include a legend that signifies the passing grade (see online model). If you are only using a "P" for Pass, you should consider, at minimum, 70% as the passing grade, which is the minimum grade that colleges will generally consider for transfer credit. Indicate in the legend that P = C = ≥ 70%. If you already assign a letter grade or wish to assign letter grades going forward, you may wish to use the gradations provided, for instance, A = 90% - 100%, or similar rating.

Excelsior College Transcript Service

Excelsior College offers a special transcript service in cooperation with NCCRS. Through the Excelsior College Transcript Service, your NCCRS courses or exams will be listed for college credit on an official transcript of Excelsior College. Since colleges and universities more readily award credit for courses listed on a regionally accredited college or university transcript, this service has proven very helpful in promoting the acceptance of the credit recommendations. The Transcript Service also relieves you of the record processing necessary to maintain and issue NCCRS course transcripts for your students. Once you submit your course records to Excelsior College, they maintain transcripts and send them to colleges at each student's request. Excelsior College charges a one-time set-up fee of $2,000 regardless of the number of course listings. See application materials for more information about the service and transcript request fees:

For more information about the Excelsior College Transcript Service, please contact Amanda Cosgriff, Senior Registration and Records Associate, Excelsior College Transcript Service, at 888-647-2388, ext 141. 

Instructors May Benefit from College Credit Recommendations

Instructors are eligible to benefit from any credit recommendation established for courses they teach, provided they are involved in some way in curriculum and examination development and revision and provided they have not taken the actual course and already benefited from the credit recommendation. When submitting transcripts to colleges on behalf of instructors, you may wish to indicate a grade of P-I for Pass-Instructor. A footnote on the transcript (or through a separate cover letter) should expressly note that this individual is the instructor for the course and that NCCRS vouches that instructors are eligible for the credit recommendations established for the course. It is always helpful when sending transcripts to include a copy of the CCRS Online webpage for your organization.

Annual Fee

The Annual Fee is based on the number of learning experiences posted to the NCCRS website and helps defray costs for those services NCCRS offers other than the evaluation of learning experiences. The Annual Fee is due in January of each year; notices are mailed in November. For new member organizations, a prorated portion of the Annual Fee is assessed at the same time as the fees that the organization is charged for its initial evaluation. The prorated calculation is made based on the number of full months remaining in the year following the date of the initial evaluation or the date when the credit recommendations go into effect. Annual Fees are subject to change.

Five-Year Revalidation Preparation

NCCRS reevaluates courses every five years to determine if current credit recommendations should be extended. If significant changes are made, that may prompt an earlier review. Preparation for the five-year review is similar to that for the initial evaluation session and involves the same documentation, except that the evaluation team may wish to look back over the intervening five years. Record keeping is essential to document how each course has been administered during this time. Please keep a representative sample of student completed and graded work for three students from a variety of sections of each course per year, representing a range of grades from acceptable to unacceptable performance. These samples should be kept for five years and set aside for the team's review at the five-year revalidation visit. After that next visit, you may purge your files and begin the process over again. NCCRS requires that class rosters and student records, showing the actual grade each student received for successful completion of a course, be retained indefinitely, and at least during the time that the organization is a member of NCCRS.

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