Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

3.4.4 Acceptance of Academic Credit

The institution publishes policies that include criteria for evaluating, awarding, and accepting credit for transfer, experiential learning, credit by examination, Advanced Placement, and professional certificates that are consistent with its mission and ensure that course work and learning outcomes are at the collegiate level and comparable to the institution’s own degree programs.  The institution assumes responsibility for the academic quality of any course work or credit recorded on the institution’s transcript.(See Commission policy “Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: Policy and Procedures.”) (Acceptance of academic credit)

Judgment check box Compliance

Narrative

Through its official website, its Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, and its Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, Reinhardt University defines and publishes policies for evaluating and awarding of credit from transfer, experiential learning, credit by examination, Advanced Placement, and professional training.  These policies are consistent with Reinhardt’s mission, to educate “the whole person by developing the intellectual, social, personal, vocational, spiritual and physical dimensions of its students.” [1] The policies recognize intellectual and vocational learning while ensuring that learning outcomes are at the collegiate level and are comparable to Reinhardt’s general education and degree programs.

Transfer credits for undergraduate degrees

Transferred credits may include transfer course credits and alternate forms of credit (non-course credit) like experiential learning, credit by examination, Advanced Placement, and professional training. Reinhardt University publishes the essential information about transfer credit on its official website [2] and explains the policies in more depth in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, [3] which is also published on its website.

At Reinhardt University, a total of 40 semester credit hours may be transferred in toward an associate degree, and these may include transfer course credits from regionally accredited institutions and up to 15 semester credits of alternative forms of credit.  A total of 80 semester credit hours may be transferred in toward a Reinhardt University baccalaureate degree, and these may include transfer course credits from regionally accredited institutions and up to 30 semester credits of alternative forms of credit.

Table 3.4.4-1 Transfer and Alternative Credits for Reinhardt Undergraduate Degree Programs

Academic  Degree Total semester credit hours required
for the degree
Maximum transferred-in credits accepted Maximum alternate
forms of credit allowed as part of transferred-in credit
Associate’s degrees  -

Associate of Science (A.S.) and Associate of Arts (A.A.)

60-65 40 15
Bachelor’s degrees –

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), and professional bachelor’s degrees

120-130 80 30

As explained in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, [3] applicants who have previously attended colleges or universities must have official transcripts of all credit attempted sent directly from the awarding institution to Reinhardt University, in addition to completing the other required Reinhardt admissions steps. Omission of a previous college on an application may result in admission being denied or being rescinded. Failure to report previous attendance at an institution of higher education is sufficient cause for cancellation of a student’s admission or registration and of any semester credits earned at Reinhardt University.

Reinhardt also has policies for its own students who desire to take course work at another institution on a transient basis. These are published on the website [4]  and in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017 [5] The student must be in good academic standing, that is, not on academic warning or probation and must obtain prior written permission from the School Dean and the Registrar at Reinhardt University. Failure to obtain this permission may result in the denial of credit. The student may obtain a Transient Student Application [6] from the Reinhardt website or from the Office of the Registrar. As the website and the application explain, the student must attach a copy of the official course description(s) for courses to be taken at the other institution.

Evaluating and awarding transfer credit

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for receiving, evaluating, and awarding undergraduate transfer credit.

Applicants with a transferable two year degree—Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.)—from a regionally accredited institution may consider the general education requirement fulfilled.  Reinhardt University has an articulation agreement with the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) through the Georgia Independent College Association (GICA) [7] to accept an A.S. degree but not an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) degree as a block.  For the A.A.S. degree, Reinhardt has articulation agreements with specific two-year technical colleges for individual courses: Chattahoochee Technical College (CTC) [8], Georgia Northwestern Technical College, [9] Gwinnett Technical College (GTC), [10] and Ogeechee Technical College. [11]

Otherwise, transfer credit is awarded on a course-by-course basis. [12] When possible, transferred academic credits are equated to courses offered at Reinhardt University.  If a direct equivalent is not offered by Reinhardt University, the academic credits are evaluated by the respective academic School Dean to determine use toward meeting degree requirements for a major. If a course cannot be equated to a specific Reinhardt course or degree program, it may be considered for lower-level general elective credit and appear as “GEN” (general elective credit) on the student’s transcript, as illustrated by a sample student transcript. [13] Additional stipulations are published in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017. [3] For example, a student must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher at the institution of origin, and no grades of “D” are accepted unless the student has completed a bachelor or associate degree at Reinhardt University or another regionally accredited institution. Also no credit is accepted for developmental or remedial course work, or any course work evaluated as being below collegiate level.

Students in Reinhardt University’s professional studies, degree completion programs may be awarded up to 36 lower-level elective credits, which may include collegiate courses from technical and professional degree programs at regionally accredited institutions.  In 2015-2016, a Reinhardt faculty committee, the General Education Task Force, reviewed and revised the General Education curriculum and rationale for professional studies programs, including the transfer credit policy. This review involved consulting the external policy statements, “The Quality and Integrity of Undergraduate Degrees” (2011) from SACSCOC, [14] and the “Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit” (2001) from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. [15]  The revision reduces the maximum allotment of transferred free electives to 30. In addition, the new rationale provides guidelines for transfer course credits: they must be “previously earned academic credits for courses that rise above the level of basic skills or training experiences, and that may be applied toward a degree at a regionally accredited institution.” [16]

This revision allows for some flexibility in considering course credit for prior learning, yet it maintains that transferable course credit must be at the collegiate level. The proposal was approved by the Faculty Senate in November 2016, and it will appear in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018.

Alternative forms of credit

Alternative forms of credit include experiential learning, credit by examination, Advanced Placement, verified military training, and verified professional/technical training.  Reinhardt publishes the policies for alternate ways of earning credit on the institution’s website [17] and in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017. [18]

A limited number of alternate forms of credit are accepted:  up to 15 semester credit hours for the associate’s degree and up to 30 semester credit hours for the bachelor’s degree.  In addition, there is a limit of 15 semester credit hours for any one type of proficiency examination credit.

Experiential learning

Reinhardt publishes a process for evaluating experiential credit, following the recommendations of the American Council of Education (ACE) and the Council for the Advancement of Experiential Learning (CAEL). [19] Credit is awarded on a course-by-course basis. Experience alone is inadequate. The experiential learning must relate to the learning objectives of the Reinhardt course for which the student is seeking credit. The Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017 outlines the application procedure for experiential credit, which involves the student preparing a substantial portfolio with documentation demonstrating the achievement of appropriate learning outcomes. During the past five years, no one has applied for experiential learning credit.

Credit by examination

Authorized examinations include Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Proficiency Examination Program (PEP), and the subject tests of the American College Testing Service (ACT).  Reinhardt publishes information about these tests on its website [20] and in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017. [18]  A student may earn a maximum of 15 semester credits through any one of the proficiency examination programs. Examination credit appears on the student’s transcript with the name of the examining agency. [21]

Credit for verified professional/ technical and military training

Policies for this type of credit are published in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017. [22] A student may petition for the award of lower-level, elective credit for verified professional/technical training if proper and sufficient documentation is provided demonstrating learning equivalent to that which could be obtained in a lower-division Reinhardt University course. Such credit is based on learning with consideration given to contact hours, content, and mastery of pertinent materials A petition for the awarding of credit must be submitted, to be reviewed and approved by the appropriate program coordinator, school dean, provost, and the University registrar. [23] If awarded, the credit appears as “Professional & Technical Training Credit” on the Reinhardt transcript. [24]

Applicants may also be awarded elective credit for certified military training. The Registrar’s Office evaluates transcripts from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) and identifies awarded credit on the student’s Reinhardt transcript; [25] and from the Joint Services Transcript (JST), following the recommendations of the American Council of Education (ACE) and identifies awarded credit as such on the Reinhardt transcript. [26]

Transfer credits for post-baccalaureate programs

Reinhardt defines and publishes policies for transfer course credits in the Reinhardt Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, which, in turn, is published on the institution’s website: [27]  The general policies governing the acceptance of transfer course credits are as follows:

  • any transferred graduate credit must have been completed at a regionally accredited Commission on Colleges (COC) institution
  • course grades may not be transferred for courses over five years
  • courses with grades below a “B” are not accepted
  • transferred grades are not used in the calculation of semester and overall grade point averages earned at Reinhardt University.

The number of hours allowed for transfer credit depends on individual program policy.  Because of the cohort model, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) [28] and the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Elementary Education do not accept any transfer credit. [29]

The director of the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing will consider up to a maximum of nine (9) credit hours of graduate transfer credit. [30] The director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) will consider up to a maximum of six (6) credit hours of transfer graduate credit. [31]  In addition to the general policiesboth the MFA and MPA include the following stipulations:

  • transferred courses must correspond to those courses offered in Reinhardt’s curriculum.  Students will need to provide official transcripts of course work, course descriptions and course syllabi as evidence.
  • transfer credit will not be given for course work that was not applicable toward a graduate degree at the institution where the credit was earned.

Alternative forms of credit are not accepted for graduate credit. No requests for post-baccalaureate transfer course credits have been submitted or recorded to date because both the MFA and MPA are relatively new degrees. However, if graduate transfer credit is awarded, it will be recorded on the student’s transcript with the name of the original institution along with the amount and type of credit awarded.

Transfer credits for Study Abroad and International Students—undergraduate and graduate

Both study abroad experiences and the inclusion of international students at Reinhardt reflect the institution’s mission to advance the intellectual and social development of students. Reinhardt students have two options for study abroad experiences.  They may participate in a summer school group course with Reinhardt faculty, set in a foreign country.  In this case, the credit is internal to the institution.  A student may also work with the Director of International Studies and the student’s academic advisor to find a summer-, semester-, or year-long study abroad program that fits the student’s geographical, academic, and financial needs and interests. In this case, the credit is treated as transient student credit.  The student should select a program through a regionally accredited institution and have the credit approved by Reinhardt prior to the experience.  Like other forms of transfer credit, the courses appear on the student’s transcript with the name of the source and type of credit awarded. [32]

International transfer students must submit official transcripts from all colleges attended.  Transcripts from outside the United States must be evaluated by an official credit evaluation service, like World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silney and Associates, with a course -by-course evaluation. [33] For graduate admission, one transcript must confirm the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and the equivalent final grade point average. [34]

Conclusion

In its undergraduate and graduate catalogs as well as its websites, Reinhardt University identifies and publishes policies that include criteria for evaluating and

awarding credit from transfer, experiential learning, credit by examination, Advanced Placement, and professional certificates.  These policies are consistent with Reinhardt’s mission to help students advance their intellectual and vocational development.  These policies and practices ensure that course work and learning outcomes are at the collegiate level and comparable to the institution's own general education and degree programs. The institution identifies the source, type, and amount of outside academic work on a student’s Reinhardt transcript.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] Reinhardt University Mission Statement, Reinhardt University Undergraduate
Academic Catalog 2016-2017
, p. 8

[2] Transfer credits, Reinhardt University website

[3] Transfer credits, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-
2017
, pp. 18-19

[4] Transient Student policy, Reinhardt University website

[5] Transient Student credit, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p. 46

[6] Transient credit application

[7] GICA articulation agreement

[8] CTC articulation agreement

[9] Georgia NW Technical College articulation agreement

[10] GTC articulation agreement

[11] Ogeechee Technical College articulation agreement

[12] Sample student transfer credit evaluations

[13] Sample transcript with “GEN” credit

[14] “The Quality and Integrity of Undergraduate Degrees” (2011) from SACSCOC

[15] “Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit” (2001) from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the American Council on Education, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation

[16] Professional Studies Programs Revision 2016

[17] Alternative Credit policies, Reinhardt University website

[18] Alternative Credit policies, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 44-46

[19] “Procedure for Experiential Credit,” Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 45-46

[20] Credit by Examination, Reinhardt University website

[21] Transcript with credit by examination

[22] Professional and technical credit policies, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 184-85

[23] Technical and Professional Training Credit Petition

[24] Transcript with Technical and Professional credit

[25] Transcript with CCAF credit

[26] Transcript with JST credit

[27] Graduate Transfer Credit policy, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic
Catalog 2016-2017
, p. 30

[28] MBA Transfer Credit policy, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p. 33

[29] MAT Transfer Credit policy, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p.38

[30] MFA Transfer Credit policy, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p. 52

[31] MPA Transfer Credit policy, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p. 57

[32] Transcript with study abroad credit

[33] “International Students,” Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog
2016-2017
, pp. 17-18

[34] “International Students,” Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p.  15