Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Policy Type: 

I. Policy Title: Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

II. Who Does This Policy Affect

All HFC students.

III. Purpose

This policy has been designed to address the needs of our non-traditional students who may have acquired prior college-level learning and/or skills outside the traditional classroom without having earned college credit.

IV. Policy Statement

  1. General Policy:

a. A student can receive college credit for prior learning that is equivalent to college- level learning (at the 100-level and above) in specific HFC courses under the following conditions:
i. Total credit for prior college-level learning plus total transfer credit shall not exceed 40 credit hours.
ii. Only a department/school may identify which, if any, of their courses will be allowed to have credit for prior college-level learning granted.
iii. No department/school will be required to grant credit for any course under this proposal.
iv. If program admission, accreditation or licensure issues preclude credit for prior college level learning, credit will not be awarded for that program.
v. As with transfer of credits from other colleges, credit for prior college-level learning will be granted with no grade and no impact on GPA.

  1. Candidate Requirements:

a. Student must be degree and/or certificate seeking.
b. A degree-seeking student must take course placement tests as part of the College admissions process.
c. Department/school can exempt pre-requisite(s) when deemed appropriate.

  1. Acceptable Prior Learning Credit:

a. Prior learning will be evaluated through departmental exams or a portfolio evaluation.

b. Departmental Exams - Exams must demonstrate that the student has met the applicable courses' measurable objectives as identified on the approved course master.
c. Portfolio Evaluation Students will prepare a portfolio that documents their mastery of the subject matter as identified on the course master. Supporting documentation may include, verification of accomplishment (prizes or awards), testimonies of competence (letters, job performance reviews), learning products (essays, work samples, art products, performances, etc.), certifications (business, industry, or professional organizations), recognized by profession or rank, licensure or other direct evidence (publications, test scores, membership requirements, syllabi/learning objectives, job descriptions).
d. Any appropriate documentation, skill, certifications and/or knowledge acquired by the student and submitted for consideration will be evaluated by the appropriate department faculty. Methods of verifying prior learning that require faculty involvement are to be applied consistently at the department or school level.
e. Each decision made by the faculty to grant credit for prior college-level learning must be approved by the associate dean, who will forward the approval to the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records for posting.

  1. Evaluation of Prior College-Level Learning:

a. Any department/school that grants credit for prior college-level learning will identify eligible courses in writing and develop a written procedure for evaluating student learning for the course.
b. The procedure must be approved by the school, the appropriate academic leadership council, and the Curriculum Committee to ensure it adequately addresses the course objectives as identified on the course master.
c. The College will provide a mechanism for assisting students in developing a portfolio that meets the requirements of the department for a particular course.
d. Courses for which credit for prior college-level learning will be granted will be identified in the College Catalog.
e. Course masters will be updated to indicate that credit for prior college level learning can be granted for that course and how the learning will be evaluated.
f. The College will assess a per credit hour fee for credit by examination and prior learning assessment.

  1. Applicant Serving or Served as Member of Military, National Guard, or Military Reserves:

a. Pursuant to Section 123b of the Community College Act, if it is known that an applicant for admission is currently serving, or has ever served, as a member of the military, the national guard, or the military reserves, the Board of Trustees shall ensure that the College, in completing the admission application process, will:
i. Inform the applicant that he or she may receive academic credit for college- level training and education he or she received while serving in the military.
ii. Inform the applicant that he or she may submit a transcript of his or her college-level military training and education to the College.
iii. Evaluate any submitted transcript, as described in subdivision (ii), pursuant to section four of this policy and notify the applicant of what transfer credits are available to the applicant from the College for his or her college-level military training and education.

V. Definitions


VI. Responsible Party for Policy Interpretation/Review

Vice President of Academic Affairs

VII. Related Documents

VIII. Policy History

a. Adopted by Board: March 20, 2007
b. Previous Policy Section: Program; Previous Policy No. 5700


November 21, 2022 - Approved by Board.
October 2022 – Placed in new policy format and underwent minor language changes and added language for assessing college credit for military service.

This policy supersedes and replaces any and all policies related to this subject

Adopted Date: 
Monday, November 21, 2022
Revised Date: 
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Board Approved