In keeping with its mission to serve adult learners, the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) seeks to provide its students with expansive opportunities to earn credit hours towards the completion of a course, certificate, or degree program through knowledge acquired from external study or experiences that occurred outside of an educational institution that is equivalent to the learning outcomes of UMGC courses.
UMGC recognizes that prior learning can occur in a variety of ways and in many different environments. This type of learning may be formal, such as a training course offered by an employer, or informal, such as managing a project for a volunteer activity. The key component of prior learning for the purposes of this Policy is that a formal assessment of the learning by an approved third party or by UMGC indicates that it is equivalent to the type of learning gained through formal collegiate instruction.
The processes and procedures associated with these opportunities can be found in Fast Paths to Credit on UMGC’s website.
External Assessment Methods
UMGC accepts the following assessment methods from sources external to UMGC for the awarding of academic credit:
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) Program
Advanced Placement (AP) Program of the College Board
International Baccalaureate (IB) Examinations
Cambridge International Examinations
Excelsior College Examinations (formerly ACT/PEP and Regents)
Credit recommendations issued by the American Council on Education (ACE) or the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) from their evaluation of assessments, courses, experiences, or trainings
Prior and Experiential Learning Assessment at UMGC
UMGC provides three programs designed to translate prior or current experiential learning into college credit: Course Challenge, Portfolio Assessment, and Workplace Learning.
Course Challenge. A UMGC Course Challenge assessment provides students who meet particular eligibility requirements with the opportunity to gain academic credit for competencies through a comprehensive assessment process rather than through formal classroom study.
Portfolio Assessment. Portfolio Assessment provides a way for students to document college-level learning outcomes aligned with UMGC courses through their previous experience. Students are guided through the portfolio process in a UMGC course, and portfolios are evaluated by UMGC faculty who determine the amount of credit to be awarded.
Workplace Learning. Through Workplace Learning, students can turn their professional experience on the job into college credit as they work toward their degree or certificate. Participating students set up a learning agreement with their employer and a UMGC faculty mentor and submit academic assignments related to their workplace experience.
Through partnerships and articulation agreements with external entities, UMGC reviews organizational assessments, courses, certifications, trainings, and apprenticeships for college credit that have not been previously evaluated by other sources.
Syllabi, course content, learning outcomes, and other relevant training materials are reviewed by UMGC faculty to determine course equivalencies and credit placement as applicable to a student's program of study.
Awarding of Credit for Military Experience
UMGC is committed to maximizing the number of credits that students are eligible to earn toward their degree or certificate for military training, coursework, or education.
The following groups of students may be eligible to receive academic credit for military experience:
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces
Members of the Reserve Components of the U.S. Armed Forces
Members of the National Guard of any state
Veterans of any of the services listed above
UMGC reviews a student’s submitted military transcripts and utilizes the assessment methods listed in Sections II through IV of this policy to evaluate whether credit may be awarded for military training, coursework, or education.
UMGC partners with selected Professional Military Education (PME) institutions to grant credit toward a degree or certificate based on recommendations set by the American Council on Education Military Guide.
Awarding of Credit Hours
UMGC will award credit for demonstration of competencies through the assessment methods described in Sections II through V of this policy, provided there is no duplication of other academic credit and the scores and assessments presented meet UMGC-approved standards in effect at the time of application.
The source of each credit shall be noted on the student's transcript upon official review of the approved score or assessment. Course equivalencies will be applied to the student's program of study, including general education courses, major courses, minor courses, or electives, as appropriate. UMGC seeks to maximize the awarding of credit for prior learning in the assignment of credit.
Prior Learning Transfer Credit
UMGC accepts transfer credit for prior learning transcripted by other Maryland public two-year and four-year institutions and other accredited colleges and universities approved by UMGC.