Student Credit for Learning Experiences other than Formal Instruction 1.101

Related Procedure: 1.103 - Student Grades

Elgin Community College (ECC) students may have attained specific skills comparable to those being achieved through formal instruction provided by the College. Credit may be awarded for demonstrated skills obtained outside of the traditional classroom, according to the following procedures.

The availability of credit for learning experiences other than formal instruction is included in the course description. Each department determines by what means credit may be granted through learning experiences other than formal instruction. Methods may include but are not limited to the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores, CLEP Testing, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) or Proficiency Credit. Credit awarded will not exceed one-half of the number of hours required for an associate degree or certificate. A student seeking credit for learning experiences other than formal instruction must already be enrolled or have applied for admission to the College.

Students intending to transfer to another institution should consult with that institution regarding transfer credit policies.

Advanced Placement Exams

The College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams may be used to fulfill ECC course requirements in a variety of areas. They are nationally standardized, subject-specific exams which can allow for students to earn college credit. For AP credit to be posted on an ECC transcript, official scores must be sent from the College Board to ECC’s Records and Registration Department. Contact the Records and Registration Department to verify receipt of scores and posting of credit. Beginning with the 2016-17 Academic Year, ECC will award credit in compliance with 105 ILCS 302/30. See Advanced Placement (AP) Credit Charts for a listing of ECC course credit awarded for AP exam scores.

CLEP Testing

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a group of nationally standardized tests offered by appointment at the ECC Spartan Drive Campus Testing Center. These computerized tests are usually best suited for those with considerable academic and life experiences. Students may take as many CLEP tests as they wish. Credit awarded will not exceed one-half of the number of hours required for an associate degree or certificate. Most CLEP tests can be completed in 90 minutes. For information on registering and paying for a CLEP exam, go to ECC's CLEP Testing webpage. For general information regarding CLEP exams, go to the College Board's CLEP webpage.  

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme subject tests may be used to fulfill ECC course requirements in a variety of areas. They are subject-specific tests taken at the high school after completion of a Diploma Programme course. A listing of ECC courses and required scores are available on ECC's Advanced Testing webpage. For credit to be posted on an ECC transcript, official scores must be sent from the International Baccalaureate organization to ECC’s Records and Registration Department. Contact ECC's Records and Registration Department to verify receipt of scores and posting of credit. Beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, ECC will award credit in compliance with 105 ILCS 302/30. See ECC’s Advanced Testing webpage for details.

State Seal of Biliteracy

A State Seal of Biliteracy designated on a high school transcript may be used to earn proficiency credit in a language other than English. The State Seal of Biliteracy recognizes the completion of two years of high school language coursework. A listing of ECC courses for which proficiency is granted based on the Seal of Biliteracy is available at ECC's Biliteracy Course Listings webpage. For this credit to be posted on an ECC transcript, an official high school transcript containing the Seal of Biliteracy must be sent from the high school to ECC’s Admissions Department. Contact Records and Registration Department to verify receipt of the transcript and posting of credit. Beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, ECC will award credit in compliance with 105 ILCS 302/30. For more information, visit Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy

Proficiency Credit

ECC’s Proficiency Credit is a demonstration of knowledge and skills obtained in a method other than formal instruction provided by the college. Proficiency Credit shall be evaluated through one or more of the following methods: oral exam, written exam, portfolio review, demonstrated skill assessments obtained through work experience, industry certifications, or other experiences. Contact the Instructional Coordinator or an academic advisor to initiate the process for obtaining credit.  

Courses at Non-College Institutions

Credit earned for academic courses at non-college institutions (i.e., courses taken through business, industrial, labor organizations) may be accepted if it is recommended by the American Council on Education Programs of Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction (ACE/PONSI) in The National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs. All criteria are subject to the approval of the ECC department offering similar courses. For more information, refer to American Council on Education (ACE) webpage.

Military Experiences

Credit earned for military training, education, and through Defense Activity for Non-traditional Education Support (DANTES) may be accepted for transfer credit if official documentation is provided and courses are recommended by the American Council on Education in The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services. For more information, refer to DANTES webpage.