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Nontraditional Credit Evaluation
Policy and Procedures

Nontraditional academic credit may be granted for education obtained through a variety of nontraditional methods, including continuing education, non-accredited private and technical college course work, military training and credit by examination. Students planning to transfer to four-year institutions are advised to confer with the institutions to which they plan to transfer regarding acceptance of nontraditional credit.

The evaluation of nontraditional education is based upon the guidelines of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Credit may also be awarded based on recommendations contained in the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs, published by the American Council on Education. A copy of this guide is located in the Admissions and Records Office.

Nontraditional credit will be evaluated and approved by the division chair /directors of the subject area for which the credit is being requested, using the following guidelines:

  • Texas Success Initiative requirements, including course pre/co-requisites, must be met prior to the award of nontraditional credit.
  • The fees for the award of nontraditional credit are charged according to the type of credit being requested. A maximum of 21 hours of nontraditional credit may be awarded.
  • Nontraditional credit may be awarded to an LSC-O matriculated student after the census date of the first semester of enrollment.
  • Credit is noted as nontraditional on the transcript and will receive a grade of "S" (satisfactory), with the exception of LSC-O departmental credit by exam, which is shown with a letter grade of "A" or "B".
  • Applicants seeking nontraditional credit for courses that do not meet SACS criteria may apply for credit through the credit-by-exam option.
  • Nontraditional credit will not be counted toward resident credit with the exception of LSC-O continuing education overlay classes.

Nontraditional credit may be awarded for the following types of education:

Continuing Education Overlay Courses

  • An overlay course is a semester-credit-hour course offered for continuing education units rather than academic credit by the LSC-O Continuing Education Department. Circumstances may occur that would benefit the student's having CE units converted to academic credit.
  • Students enrolling in overlay classes with a known intent to request conversion to academic credit should take the classes for academic credit.
  • Students wanting academic credit for CE units should complete the nontraditional evaluation form in the Admissions and Records Office.
  • Academic credit awarded will count as resident credit.
  • A grade of "S" (satisfactory) will be assigned.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
and Advanced Placement (AP) Program

  • Credit for CLEP subject and AP exams is considered nontraditional credit.
  • Credit will be evaluated from an official score report sent directly to the Admissions and Records Office from the testing service.
  • Credit will be based upon LSC-O recommended passing scores. A letter grade of "S" (satisfactory) will be awarded.
  • If credit is approved, the student must pay $25 per semester credit hour before credit is posted to a transcript.

American Council on Education National Guide to Educational
Credit for Training Programs (ACE Guide)

LSC-O recognizes learning acquired through corporate universities, military training, professional and volunteer organizations and other extra institutional learning providers.

  • Students desiring credit must present documentation in support of the acquired skill and training experience.
  • The evaluation and award of credit will be based upon the recommendation of the ACE Guide.
  • If credit is approved, the student must pay $25 per semester credit hour for each course before credit is posted to a transcript.

Departmental Credit by Examination

Departmental credit by examination is available only to fully admitted and currently registered students who have not attempted the courses previously at LSC-O by either enrollment or examination. The student must:

  • Apply for credit by exam at the Admissions and Records Office.
  • A grade of "A" or "B" must be made on the exam for the credit to be posted to the transcript. The exam grade will serve as the letter grade for the course.
  • Courses completed by departmental examination are noted as credit by exam on the transcript and do not calculate into the grade point average.

Life Work Experience

Experiential learning (life experience) will be considered for credit if documented by taking CLEP subject, other nationally recognized exams or departmental examinations.

Fees for Transcripting Nontraditional Credit  

  • The fees for the award of nontraditional credit are charged according to the type of credit being requested:
  • No fee is charged for transcripting military credit and military life experience credit for veterans with honorable or general conditions discharge upon presentation of military documentation.
  • A $25 per semester credit hour fee will be charged for converting CE units, approved CLEP and AP tests; approved learning through corporate universities, professional and volunteer organizational training and other extra-institutional learning to academic credit and posting to a transcript.
  • The grade of "A" or "B" from the credit by examination will be transcripted at a fee of $25 per semester credit hour for each course transcripted. This fee is in addition to the cost of the exam.

Procedures for Requesting Credit for Nontraditional Education

  • The student initiates the request in the Admissions and Records Office by completing the appropriate form and presenting documentation if required.
  • The Admissions and Records Office sends the form to the appropriate division chair/director for evaluation. Departmental approval is not normally required of ACE guide recommendations.
  • The departmental chair sends the form to the division chair for final approval.
  • The form is returned to the Admissions and Records Office, and a copy of the completed evaluation is mailed to the student along with an invoice if credit is based on CLEP/AP and ACE guidelines.
  • After payment is received, the nontraditional credit is posted to the student's academic record. A transcript showing posted credit is mailed to the student.