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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Evaluative Criteria

In the exercise of their professional judgment, review team members consider the following factors in determining  credit recommendations:

  • Learner outcomes to be achieved, the subject matter, level of difficulty, and applicability to a range of postsecondary programs. These factors are of primary importance.
  • Distinctive contributions of a noncollegiate learning environment. These include the wealth of practical experience instructors bring to the classroom, the opportunities for immediate application and reinforcement of classroom learning in students' jobs, and the motivational impact created when student performance is a criterion in job promotion or retention.
  • Duration and concentration of effort in relationship to the generally accepted practices for determining credit in post-secondary institutions. For learning experiences that are administered in a traditional lecture-discussion format, review teams use a baseline standard of one semester hour of credit for each 15 classroom contact hours, and one semester credit hour for each 30-45 hours (depending on the discipline) of laboratory work. However, credit recommendations made by reviewers are not derived by a simple arithmetic conversion. Learning outcomes, as demonstrated by student work on examinations and other assignments, are the foremost consideration in determining how much credit should be recommended. Credit recommendations might be revised downward if learning outcomes did not support the amount of credit suggested by the number of hours of instruction. Credit recommendations might also be revised downward from the amount suggested by the total instructional hours if a substantial amount of the material contained in the course were considered not comparable or applicable to similiar college-level instruction. Conversely, credit recommendations might be revised upward if one or more factors (e.g., advanced instructional delivery technologies, exceptionally low student-teacher ratio) suggest that course participants may be achieving more than would be typical in the specified instructional hours. Evaluators also consider the factors of pre- and post-course assignments, prior work-related experience, and the reinforcement of the instructional material gained in the subsequent work setting.