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Policy 151.10

Academic Credit for Prior Learning and Military Experience

Policy CategoryPolicy
Version Effective DateReview CyclePolicy Contact
III. Academic AffairsSVP
Jan. 17, 2023Every 2
  1. Purpose
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  2. Scope
    In accordance with state law and regulations and University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents Policy III-1.41, Policy on Credit for Competency-Based Education and Prior Learning, approved on September 19, 2014, University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) provides students with opportunities to earn credits toward the completion of a course, certificate, or degree for demonstrated competencies, prior learning, and military experience.
  3. Procedures
    The processes and procedures associated with these opportunities can be found in Fast Paths to Credit on UMGC’s website.
  4. External Assessment Methods
    1. UMGC accepts the following assessment methods from sources external to UMGC for the awarding of academic credit:
      1. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
      2. DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) Program
      3. Advanced Placement (AP) Program of the College Board
      4. International Baccalaureate (IB) Examinations
      5. Cambridge International Examinations
      6. Excelsior College Examinations (formerly ACT/PEP and Regents)
      7. 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
    2. UMGC has established qualifying scores and credit equivalencies for these external assessment methods.
  5. Prior and Experiential Learning Assessment at UMGC
    1. UMGC provides three programs designed to translate prior or current experiential learning into college credit: Course Challenge, Portfolio Assessment, and Workplace Learning.
      1. 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. 
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
    2. UMGC also provides opportunities for students to earn credit for specific industry certifications and professional courses and certain types of vocational and technical training.
  6. Credit for Non-Collegiate Learning
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  7. Awarding of Credit for Military Experience
    1. 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.
    2. The following groups of students may be eligible to receive academic credit for military experience:
      1. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces
      2. Members of the Reserve Components of the U.S. Armed Forces
      3. Members of the National Guard of any state
      4. Veterans of any of the services listed above
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
  8. Awarding of Credit Hours
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  9. Prior Learning Transfer Credit
    1. 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.
    2. This policy does not apply to the process of evaluating transfer credits that are not associated with prior learning. Transfer credits are reviewed and evaluated in accordance with UMGC Policy 210.18, Transfer Credit Evaluation and Appeal Process.
  10. Appeals Process for Credit Determinations
    1. Students who wish to appeal a credit evaluation must notify UMGC, in writing, within 20 working days (four weeks) of receiving notification of the credit determination.
    2. Students must submit their appeal to the Registrar’s office in their respective UMGC division.
    3. The student's appeal must include the name and number of this policy and a statement indicating why the credit(s) should be accepted.
    4. The appropriate UMGC office will respond in writing within 10 working days (two weeks) of receiving the appeal.