Catalog 2022-2023

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Credit for Prior Learning

Procedures for Obtaining Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for prior learning may be earned for eligible courses approved by the college for students who satisfactorily pass an authorized assessment. Authorized assessments may include the evaluation of approved external standardized examinations, military service/training, the evaluation of industry recognized credentials, student-created portfolios, and credit by examination.

Details may be found on the college website and administrative procedure 4235. Students may demonstrate proficiency in a course eligible for Credit for Prior Learning and receive college credit through the approved alternative methods for awarding credit listed below:

  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on an Advanced Placement (AP) examination
  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on a high-level International Baccalaureate (IB) examination
  • Evaluation of military service Joint Service Transcripts (JST)
  • Evaluation of industry recognized credential documentation
  • Evaluation of student-created portfolios
  • Satisfactory completion of an institutional examination, known as Credit by Examination

Determination of Eligibility for Credit for Prior Learning

  • The student must be in good standing at the college
  • The student must have previously earned credit or noncredit* from the District or be currently registered in the District
  • Current students must have an education plan on file
  • The course is listed in the current College Catalog
  • The student is not currently enrolled in the course to be challenged
  • Credit by Examination: The student is registered in the District and not currently enrolled in nor received credit for a more advanced course in the same subject

Credits acquired by the above methods shall not be counted in determining the 12 semester units of credit in residence required for an Associate degree. Except for the college residency requirement, there is no maximum cap for units earned through Credit for Prior Learning.

*Noncredit students who are submitting a transcript evaluation request must be registered for credit level coursework or have an approved education plan on file for a credit level major.

  • All students must file an application with the Admissions and Records Office.
  • The application will be forwarded to the appropriate instructional area and if approval is granted, the student will be notified of the time of the examination.
  • The instructional area in which the examination occurs will directly inform the Admissions and Records Office of the grade earned on the examination.

External Exams

The following tables provide information on the external exams including:

Students intending to transfer to a four-year institution should consult a counselor or the individual college/university regarding its AP, CLEP, and/or IB credit policy for major course work.

Military Service/Joint Service Transcripts

West Valley College Veteran students may earn additional college credits for military schooling and training. Credit is awarded for work satisfactorily completed at the lower division baccalaureate and associate degree levels only, usually as elective units. Students intending to transfer to a four-year institution should consult with the individual university regarding its military credit policy. To receive credit, students must submit an official transcript to the Admissions and Records Office and request for those transcripts to be evaluated.

These may include the following:

  • Joint Services Transcript (JST)
  • Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART)
  • Army and American Council on Education Registry Transcript Service (AARTS)
  • Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript
  • Coast Guard Institute (CGI)
  • DANTES/USAFI
  • Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Transcripts (DLIFLC)
  • Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) DLPT Examinee Results
  • DA Form 330 Language Proficiency Questionnaire
  • Verified copies of DD214 or DD295 military records

For example, a Veteran student who submits their DD214 and completion of Basic/Recruit Training will meet the Health and Fitness requirement for the Associate degree and will meet Area E requirements for both Associate Degree GE and CSU GE.

Non-traditional credit may be used to satisfy general education, elective, or major course requirements. West Valley College will not grant non-traditional credit for non-degree applicable (for more information, reference the precollegiate coursework table). Credits acquired by the above methods shall not be counted in determining the 12 semester units of credit in residence required for an Associate degree.

For any other advanced placement beyond the items listed above, the student is advised to consult a Veterans counselor. Students should visit the Veterans Resource Center website and click the link for the Veterans Benefit Packet.

Industry Recognized Credentials

Students interested in Credit for Prior Learning using industry recognized credential(s) shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate department chair or faculty designee. If the department chair or faculty designee determines the industry certification adequately measures mastery of the course objectives and content as set forth in the course outline of record, the designee shall notify Admissions and Records. The approval and attached industry recognized credential(s) will be kept on file and recorded on the student transcript.

Student-Created Portfolio Assessment

Students interested in Credit for Prior Learning using a student-created portfolio shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate department chair or faculty designee under the following circumstances:

  • A department approved portfolio assessment rubric for the course
  • The student meets with the department chair or faculty designee to receive further instructions for student-created portfolio assessment
  • The student submits all portfolio documents to the department chair or faculty designee for assessment of prior learning

If the department chair or faculty designee determines the student-created portfolio adequately measures mastery of the course content as set forth in the course outline of record, the appropriate faculty shall notify Admission and Records Office and the grade and credit will be recorded on the student transcript.

Credit by Examination

According to Section 55050 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, community college governing boards are authorized to grant credit by examination if all the following conditions are met:

  • The student is registered at West Valley College and is in good standing.
  • The student can demonstrate that he/she is especially qualified, through previous training or instruction, to successfully complete such examination.
  • The course for which credit is desired is listed in the college catalog.
  • The course has been designated as challengeable by exam by the department chair in consultation with appropriate members of the department faculty.
  • The examination is approved or prepared, administered, and graded by faculty and other proper authorities. Examinations can only be given when an instructor is available.

Limitations on credit earned through examination:

  • Students are cautioned that any credits obtained by any of the methods listed in this section, while accepted by West Valley College, may not be acceptable for credit by any other institution, public or private.
  • Credits acquired by examination shall not be counted in determining the 12 semester units of credit in residence required for an Associate degree.
  • A student may challenge a course for credit by examination only one time and the grade received on the examination will be recorded on the student’s permanent record. The student’s academic record shall be clearly annotated to reflect that credit was earned by examination.
  • Students may not petition for credit by examination for a course in which they have previously enrolled and received a grade at WVC or any other college or university.

Student and Faculty Procedures

  • All students must file an application with the Admissions and Records Office.
  • The application will be forwarded to the appropriate instructional area and if approval is granted, the student will be notified of the time of the examination.
  • The instructional area in which the examination occurs will directly inform the Admissions and Records Office of the grade earned on the examination.

Limitations
Students are cautioned that any credits obtained by any of the methods listed in this section, while accepted by West Valley College, may not be acceptable for credit by any other institution, public or private. Students are encouraged to check with that institution on the application of military credit.

Last Updated 10/13/22