The Univesity of North Georgia is in compliance with this comprehensive standard.
The University of North Georgia (UNG) is dedicated to the provision of a quality education and comprehensive academic programs to enable student success. To this end, UNG promotes the evaluation, acceptance, and awarding of academic credit to students for transfer coursework, examinations, military experience, and prior learning experience. The policies regulating the awarding of all types of transfer credit are available to the campus community via multiple media: the UNG Graduate Catalog; the UNG Undergraduate Catalog, (pp 17, 32 and 39); the 2013-2014 Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Student Handbook; and the UNG Testing Center.
The specific applicability of transferred academic credit at UNG is regulated through the endorsed standards and guidelines of regional accrediting bodies, the American Council on Education (ACE), the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), and the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents transfer policy. Using these standards as guidance, the Undergraduate Admissions Office, Graduate Studies, the Registrar's Office, department chairs of academic disciplines, and the Office of Academic Affairs undergo internal evaluation of transfer work to determine if both the course work and applicable student learning outcomes were successfully completed at the collegiate level and if the transfer work is equivalent to the rigor and scope of comparable UNG course work.
As part of the consolidation planning process in 2012, work groups composed of faculty and staff were formed to propose academic policies for UNG. Each work group was co-chaired by a representative from Gainesville State College (GSC) and a representative from North Georgia College & State University (NGCSU). The Academic Affairs Steering Committee, co-chaired by the Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs at GSC and NGCSU, provided oversight to the 34 academic work groups. The development of recommended policies related to the awarding of transfer and other types of credit was the purview of two work groups (Academic Advisement/Transfer and Academic Policies: Students). All academic recommendations were reviewed by the Academic Affairs Steering Committee to determine if the academic proposals were ready for submission to the approriate academic approval committees.
Course Transfer Articulation Policy among USG Institutions (BOR Student Affairs Handbook 2.4.9 Transfer Rules)
Institutions within the University System of Georgia (USG) have carefully designed their core curriculum general education requirements to reflect local institutional culture and to assure that students meet agreed upon general educational outcomes. Each institution has attempted to define a coherent set of courses that reflects the institutional philosophy of general education. The implementation guidelines strike a balance between maintaining the coherence of institutional curriculum requirements and the needs and desires of students to take advantage of course offerings at more than one institution. While students are not required to complete the entire core curriculum at one institution and are able to transfer completed courses in the core to another USG institution, they are required to declare a “home” institution whose requirements they are expected to follow. The central purposes of the transfer articulation policy are to ease transferability of core courses among USG institutions and to safeguard the rigor of the collegiate level of the coursework.
UNG awards transfer credit for courses that are designed to be part of a baccalaureate degree program and are completed with satisfactory grades (A, B, C, D, S, and P) in regionally accredited institutions. Such courses must generally correspond to the length, time, and content of those offered in the curricula at UNG. Courses taken for institutional credit only, to makeup Required High School Curriculum (RHSC) deficiencies, or vocational pursuits are not considered for credit towards a degree or certificate program. These courses are posted as part of the students' comprehensive academic history as non-transferable (UNG Undergraduate Catalog, pp 17, 32, and 39).
Transfer of credit from one institution to another involves at least three considerations as determined by AACRAO, ACE, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit):
- the educational quality of the learning experience which the student transfers;
- the comparability of the nature, content, and level of the learning experience offered by the receiving institution; and
- the appropriateness and applicability of the learning experience to the programs offered by the receiving institution, in light of the students educational goals.
UNG adheres to the USG BOR Policy Manual 22.214.171.124 Undergraduate Admission Requirements for Transfer Students and Academic Affairs Handbook 3.2.6 Special Admissions policies to award transfer credit to transfer students. These transfer policies are published in the UNG Graduate and Undergraduate Catalogs. These student types must meet all relevant admissions requirements and are defined as follows:
1. Transfer: Those students who have attended other degree granting, regionally accredited institutions and have earned a minimum of 30 semester transferable hours (or 45 quarter transferable hours), have maintained a 2.0 overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale, and are in good academic standing. The Director of Undergraduate Admissions may require high school transcripts as part of the student's evaluation for eligibility for admission. The application may be rejected if the quality of the educational programs at any previous institution are found to be unsatisfactory.
2. College Credit Now:Georgia program that allows high school juniors and seniors enrolled in accredited Georgia public or private high schools or qualifying home schools to earn college credit while completing their junior and/or senior year of high school.
- Dual Enrollment– Students who were enrolled in high school and college courses simultaneously and earned course credit that applied at both institutions. Might have been eligible for ACCEL program funding.
- Joint Enrollment – Students who were enrolled in high school and college courses simultaneously but earned course credit that applied to college only.
- Move on When Ready (MOWR) – Students who left high school to attend college full-time and earned course credit that applied at both institutions.
Both transfer and College Credit Now students are required to submit official academic transcripts from each higher education institution previously attended, regardless of the institution’s accreditation status and whether or not the course is eligible for transfer credit. Official transcripts are first imaged and recorded in the Banner system by the Undergraduate Admissions Office. The Registrar’s Office then retrieves the imaged transcripts, verifies the regional accreditation of the transfer institution, and determines eligible transfer credit according to the following criteria:
- the regional accreditation status of the transfer institution is confirmed through the appropriate Commission on Higher Education regional accreditation association as recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to conduct accreditation and pre-accreditation activities for institutions of higher education (NEASC, SACS, NWCCU, MSCHE, WASC, and HLC),
- the level, length, time, and content of the course as reflected in the catalog course description and/or the course syllabi (provided by the transfer institution) is comparable to the UNG course, and
- whether or not an equivalent course is offered in the curricula at UNG.
Specifically, the Transcript Evaluator performs transfer course articulation in the Banner Student System, which utilizes an internal transfer course catalog for each eligible secondary school or higher education institution. This internal transfer course catalog is built via review of the transferring institution’s catalog, course descriptions, syllabi, and transferring credit standards established by the academic departments. Current and prospective transfer students may view transfer course equivalencies from other University System of Georgia institutions via the GAcollege411 Gatracs Transfer Course Database (GAtracs Transfer Student Planner Database) and the UNG web site (GSC Transfer Course Equivalencies; NGCSU Transfer Course Equivalencies). Eligible ACCEL course equivalencies are available via the USG GAcollege411 web site. Courses that do not have a UNG equivalent are transferred in by course title and are noted on the UNG transcript with an X suffix on the course number.
All “D” grades in Core Curriculum courses taken within the University System of Georgia are accepted for transfer credit, with the exception of English 1101 and 1102, which both require a “C” or higher. If, however, UNG requires a minimum grade “C” or higher in any course, including courses that meet prerequisite requirements, the transfer students with a “D” in that course must retake it to meet UNG requirements (UNG Undergraduate Catalog, pp 17, 32, and 39). When course credit from a regionally accredited institution is denied transferability, students may appeal the decision in writing to the Registrar’s Office. Upon receipt and review, the Registrar submits the appeal to the appropriate academic discipline Dean, Department Chair and/or expert faculty member who then makes the determination whether or not an equivalent course is offered at UNG and if the course may be used to fulfill a degree requirement. In the event that a USG core curriculum course appeal is denied, students may choose to follow the Transfer Credit Appeals Process to resolve the issue (FAQ's Transfer Credit Appeal; Procedure updated in the UNG Online Undergraduate Catalog).
Transfer of Courses from the Technical College System of Georgia
UNG adheres to the Complete College Georgia Articulation Agreement (January 2012) that sets transfer course policy between USG and SACSCOC-accredited Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) institutions. The agreement, more commonly known as the mini-core, includes 27 approved courses that will transfer to UNG. (BOR TCSG Transfer Course Chart) Additionally, this policy permits the individual evaluation and subsequent acceptance of courses other than the mini-core courses. (BOR Academic Affairs Handbook; 2.17 Acceptance of Core Coursework and Placement Test Scores from TCSG Colleges). Policy updated in the UNG Online Undergraduate Catalog.
Dual Degree Transfer Programs
UNG students may participate in dual degree programs in engineering, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Participating students complete their core courses at UNG and transfer to either Clemson University or Georgia Institute of Technology to complete the degree requirements for both institutions. When the student graduates, he/she will earn a baccalaureate degree from both UNG and the partnering institution. This policy updated in the UNG Online Undergraduate Catalog.
Defense Language Institute (DLI) Transfer Program
As the military institution of Georgia, UNG partners with the Defense Language Institute to offer a transfer program for students who seek training to become military linguists. UNG students complete required courses at UNG that are transferable as part of the associate's degree program at DLI. Once the students complete the DLI program requirements, the students subsequently complete the requirements for a baccalaureate degree at UNG. Credit earned at DLI is applicable transfer credit in the students' UNG baccalaureate degree programs. This policy updated in the UNG Online Undergraduate Catalog.
Transfer of Courses for International Students
International transfer students’ official transcripts must be evaluated through a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) endorsed organization such as:
- Josef Silny & Associates
- World Education Services
- Global Credential Evaluators, Inc.
In order for international courses to be eligible for Core Curriculum transfer credit (courses numbered 1000-2999), professional evaluations must display the course title, the final grade, and credit hours awarded for each course. Additionally, confirmation of the student’s level of study (i.e. high school level or college level) at the time the course was completed must be included on the professional evaluation. At the international transfer student’s request, any course numbered 3000-level or higher may be reviewed for possible transfer credit by the appropriate Department Chair and/or Dean. The international transfer student may appeal to the Registrar’s Office in writing if a course included on the professional evaluation is denied transferability. The appeal is submitted by the Registrar’s Office to the appropriate Dean, Department Chair and/or expert faculty member in the academic discipline for further review of transferability. The appropriate academic department will then make the determination whether or not an equivalent course is offered in the UNG Catalog or if the course may be used to fulfill a degree requirement (FAQ's Transfer Credit Appeal).
Assessing Prior Learning for College Credit
UNG awards up to to 45 semester hours of credit for the bachelor's programs and up to 30 semester hours of credit for the associate's programs through CLEP, FLATS, DSST, and/or AP exams and up to 24 semester hours of credit through IB for either the bachelor's or associate's programs. A maximum of 45 or 30 semester hours respectively of any combination of CLEP, DSST, AP, PLA, and IB credit may be recorded on a student’s academic record (UNG Undergraduate Catalog; 2013-2014 PLA Student Handbook; Testing Center ).
Credit by Departmental Examination
- Credit may be awarded for certain Business Education, Business Administration, and Economics courses by passing specific sections of the Certified Professional Secretary Examination, the Professional Legal Secretary Examination, and the Certified Legal Assistant Examination.
- UNG students who present satisfactory evidence may receive credit in a specific subject area through satisfactory completion of an approved departmental examination developed and administered by the appropriate academic department. Satisfactory evidence may be, but is not limited to, work experience, non-credit courses, course work taken at non-accredited institutions, or military courses. Permission must be obtained from the department chair of the academic department offering the course. Departmental exam credit is not permitted for courses the student previously completed while enrolled at UNG as a degree-seeking or audit student (UNG Undergraduate Catalog; 2013-2014 PLA Student Handbook)
Credit by National Standardized Examination
- (CLEP) College Level Examination Program - Administered by the College Entrance Examination Board, students are eligible to take standardized examinations in a number of areas to earn credit for specific 1000- and 2000-level courses, provided a minimum passing score is attained. CLEP, widely trusted by thousands of U.S. colleges and universities, is rigorous and relevant to respective disciplines. The subject examinations available for exam credit at UNG along with the required minimum score and UNG course equivalents are available on the UNG Testing Center website. The available subject examinations and minimum scores were established through consultation with UNG faculty members familiar with the content of the tests and through comparison of like subject areas and accompanying minimum scores at the flagship University System of Georgia institutions. Official score reports are submitted to the Registrar’s Office for evaluation of eligible credit, which when awarded, is recorded on the students' academic record with the exemption grade “K” and the course title and number of course credits earned (UNG Undergraduate Catalog; 2013-2014 PLA Student Handbook; UNG Testing Center).
- (FLATS) Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service - Students may earn up to 14 hours of academic credit in select modern languages through the Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service (FLATS) offered by Brigham Young University (BYU). FLATS tests are proficiency-based, requiring at least a 60%-70% to pass depending on the difficulty of the language. Most tests have listening, reading and grammar assessments, and FLATS determines the course level(s) earned by the student based on the student’s score. The FLATS proficiency exam is accepted for language credit at BYU and at other flagship University System of Georgia institutions. Testing materials are sent to participating institutions, thereby allowing the tests to be proctored on campus. The list of language tests available at UNG is available on the UNG Testing Center website . UNG does not award course credit for those languages currently offered through the UNG Department of English and Modern Languages. Official score reports are submitted by FLATS to the Registrar’s Office for evaluation of eligible credit, which when awarded is recorded on the students' academic record with the exemption grade “K” and the course title and number of course credits earned. (UNG Undergraduate Catalog; 2013-2014 PLA Student Handbook; UNG Testing Center).
- (DSST) Dantes Subject Standardized Tests - Recommended by the American Council on Education, students are eligible to take standardized examinations in various areas to earn credit for specific courses, provided a minimum score is attained on the tests. The number of credits awarded for a passing score is recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE®). DSST exams closely correlate with course titles, and each exam is comparable to the final or end-of-course examinations in similar undergraduate courses. UNG Academic Department Chairs reviewed the available DSST examinations and determined those for which UNG had equivalent course offerings in the UNG Undergraduate Catalog. The resulting list of subject examinations available for exam credit at UNG along with the required minimum score and UNG course equivalents are available on the UNG Testing Center website. Official score reports are submitted to the Registrar’s Office for evaluation of eligible credit, which when awarded is recorded on the students' academic record with the exemption grade “K” and the course title and number of course credits earned (UNG Undergraduate Catalog; 2013-2014 PLA Student Handbook; UNG Testing Center; DSST ACE Credit Recommendations).
- Advanced placement (AP) - UNG awards credit for AP tests administered by the College Entrance Examination Board when students achieve the required minimum score or higher and if UNG offers an equivalent class. The subject examinations available for AP credit at UNG along with the required minimum score and UNG course equivalents are available on the UNG Testing Center website. This list was established through consultation with UNG faculty members familiar with the content of the tests and through comparison of like subject areas and accompanying minimum scores at the flagship University System of Georgia institutions. The Registrar’s Office evaluates official score reports for eligible credit and records the exemption grade, “K,” on the students' academic record along with the course title and number of course credits earned. (UNG Undergraduate Catalog; 2013-2014 PLA Student Handbook; UNG Testing Center).
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Per the University System of Georgia Board of Regents (Board of Regents Policy Manual 126.96.36.199 IB), UNG awards academic credit for appropriate courses in the USG core curriculum for corresponding subject areas in a completed International Baccalaureate (“IB”) Diploma Program in which the student obtained designated end of course assessment scores (IB web site). Both Standard Level (college preparatory) and Higher Level (college comparable) courses are considered for credit in a completed Diploma Program in specific subject areas, as the program does not allow students to take all Higher Level courses. Higher Level end- of-course assessment scores of four or more and Standard Level scores of five or better suggest that the IB Program work is comparable to a college course. Students who complete IB tests in high school may submit official score reports to the Registrar’s Office for evaluation for up to 24 hours of UNG academic credit. IB credit is awarded for certain classes in which an equivalent is offered and for which the required grade is achieved. The subject examinations available for exam credit at UNG along with the required minimum score and UNG course equivalents are available on the UNG Testing Center website. The Registrar’s Office records the exemption grade, “K,” on the students' academic record along with the course title and number of course credits earned (UNG Undergraduate Catalog; 2013-2014 PLA Student Handbook; UNG Testing Center).
Military Transfer Credit
- Physical Education Credit - In accordance with the Board of Regents Credit for Military Service policy, and the American Council on Education, UNG awards Physical Education course credit to service members according to the DD Form 214 discharge paperwork confirming the completion of basic training. The Registrar’s Office records the exemption grade, “K,” on the students' academic record along with the course title and number of course credits earned. In general, credit is awarded for PHED 1902 Personal Fitness. (BOR Academic Affairs Handbook 2.16 Credit for Military Service; ACE College Credit Guide).
- Board of Regents policy permits USG institutions to offer credit for military service. UNG awards applicable military credit upon the recommendation of Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC) and on American Council on Education (ACE) standards as recommended in the ACE Guide and according to equivalent course offerings in the UNG Catalog. The service member must provide UNG with a copy of an official military transcript (DD Form 214, AARTS transcript, or SMART transcript) to categorize and define the duties performed or skills learned by the student while he/she is serving in the military. The Center for Adult Learners and Military (CALM Center located on the Gainesville campus) and the Veterans Success Center (located on the Dahlonega campus) coordinate the review of service members' records with the Dean, Department Chair, and/or expert faculty member in the academic discipline to evaluate the transcript for possible transfer credit. The Registrar’s Office records the exemption grade, “CR,” on the students' academic record along with the course title and number of course credits earned (BOR Academic Affairs Handbook 2.16 Credit for Military Service; ACE College Credit Guide).
Courses listed in the ACE Guide are service school courses conducted on a formal basis, i.e., approved by a central authority within each service and listed by the service in its catalog. These courses are conducted for a specified period of time with a prescribed course of instruction, in a structured learning situation, and with qualified instructors. Courses are evaluated by teams of at least three subject matter specialists (college and university professors, deans, and other academicians). Through discussion and the application of evaluation procedures and guidelines, team members reach a consensus on the amount and category of credit to be recommended. Evaluators have two major tasks for each course: the formulation of a credit recommendation and the preparation of the courses description. The credit recommendation consists of the category of credit, the number of semester hours recommended, and the appropriate subject area. Evaluators phrase the course description (which appears in the ACE Guide exhibits under the headings Learning Outcomes or Objectives and Instruction) in terms meaningful to civilian educators. The course description supplements the credit recommendations by summarizing the nature of a given course (ACE Credit Course Review Process).
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) by Portfolio
UNG students may identify areas of relevant learning from their past experiences, demonstrate their skills and/or knowledge through the submission of appropriate documentation which is assessed for possible applicable academic credit relative to specific course ofjectives at UNG. Students may earn appropriate degree credit for the verifiable college level learning acquired through life or work experience, but not for the experience itself. A maximum of 45 semester hours for the bachelor's degree and 30 semester hours for the associate's degree may be earned through any combination of credit by departmental examination, national standardized examinations, advanced placement, International Baccalaureate credit, and PLA by portfolio.
- Portfolio Assessment - UNG students use the PLA portfolio development process to document their prior learning when credit by examination for a relevant course is not available. This process requires students to prepare and submit a collection of documents that establish and support their claim that they have specific relevant skills, knowledge, values, attitudes, understandings, achievements, experiences, competencies, training, and certifications that align with specific course objectives. Upon the recommendation of the PLA coordinator, a student seeking credit for prior learning through portfolio assessment will enroll in the PLAC 2000 course. In this course, the student will learn how to prepare a portfolio for submission. The portfolio developed in the documentation course should not only describe the relevant experience but should also identify the particular learning outcomes (2013-2014 PLA Student Handbook).
- Students will then be advised to sign up for PLAC 2000 Prior Learning Assessment Course, the course by which UNG students will develop documentation for the courses for which they hope to earn PLA credit. PLAC 2000 is a two credit hour course offered face to face or online and is taught by a PLA Counselor. In this course, students will learn how to develop the appropriate documentation sets for the classes for which they wish to seek credit. By the end of the semester, they should have materials ready to submit to faculty assessors from the program in which they are seeking credit. Once students complete and submit the PLA portfolio, assessors will evaluate it to determine if the portfolio provides evidence which ties those skills to a specific course objective. Credit may be awarded when assessors determine that the prior learning is acceptable for credit. The Registrar’s Office records the grade of “K,” on the students' academic record along with the course title and number of course credits earned upon approval and submission of the PLA Credit Form. A separate portfolio must be prepared for each course for which a student is seeking credit. A student may request consideration for PLA Portfolio credit for any course in the UNG Catalog, but the eligibility for portfolio credit is not guaranteed. Traditional instructional methods are deemed more appropriate for certain courses, and portfolio credit is not optimal for all courses. A list of courses available for PLA portfolio credit is available in the 2013-2014 PLA Student Handbook. Courses that are available for completion through CLEP, departmental examination, IB, FLATS, AP and DSST methods of earning credit will not be eligible for credit through the portfolio process. In addition, courses for which the student has already registered are not eligible (2013-2014 PLA Student Handbook).
UNG grants credit for a professional program for students in the LPN-ASN Nursing program. These students are certified licensed practical nurses (LPNs) that are enrolled in UNG in order to complete their Associate's degree. Upon completion of a summer transition courses to validate skills and coverage of first-year ASN content, the Nursing Department may grant credit for the first two required ASN nursing courses (NURS 1100 Basic Concepts Essential to Nursing Practice and NURS 1110 Fundamental Concepts/Integrated Nursing Skills) based on the students' nursing experience and successful completion of NURS 1090. Nursing courses from other nursing programs may transfer into UNG after review of course materials and with approval from the Nursing Department. The RN-BSN program adheres to Georgia's RN-BSN articulation agreement and awards a set number of credit hours to those holding an associate's degree in nursing. The awarding of the credit hours is contingent upon the successful completion of NURS 3110 The Transformation to Professional Nursing.
Transfer of Courses for Graduate Students
Transfer policy for applicable coursework for graduate students is program-specific with a minimum of 24 hours in residency at UNG for master degrees (UNG Graduate Catalog, p 21). Transfer credit hours must originate from a regionally accredited institution and may not have been applied toward another degree. The transferred courses must each carry a minimum grade of "B" or higher. The credit hours must have been earned within six years prior to the projected or completion term of the degree the student is pursuing in order to be applicable transfer work. Credit offered for transfer must be approved by the student's advisor, the program coordinator/director, and the dean of the appropriate college. International transcripts must have a foreign course-by-course credential evaluation by an independent evaluation service that is a member of NACES, the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. and the evaluation must certify the equivalency of a regionally accredited institution for the credits to be considered for transfer. International students must request that the agency submit the evaluation directly to Graduate Studies. (UNG Graduate Catalog, p 15)