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Advanced Standing and Credit for Prior Learning

Policy on Advanced Standing and Credit for Prior Learning

Request Credit for Prior Learning

Standardized Examination Credits

Students may be awarded credit through achieving the college’s minimum scoring requirements on the following standardized examinations: Advanced Placement Examination Program (AP); College-Level Examination Program (CLEP); Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES); and higher-level International Baccalaureate courses (IB). Minimum score requirements and their ESCC equivalent are below.

More information can be found on the Standardized Examination Credits page.

Credits Earned through Faculty Prepared Examinations

In instances where there is no CLEP examination available, students may request a faculty-prepared examination from a faculty member qualified in the subject area sought.  At the discretion of the faculty member and with approval from the CAO, a local examination may be prepared, scheduled and administered. The student shall be advised in advance of the examination, the score required for credit to be earned. Results of the examination will be forwarded to the Registrar, who will record credit to the student’s permanent record. Students may not challenge courses through faculty-prepared examinations for courses in which they have been previously enrolled.

Transferring Credit from Other Colleges

Official transcripts are required for evaluation, with the exception of any coursework taken at a Virginia Community College System (VCCS) college. An official transcript is one that has the seal of the institution and the signature of an official at that institution. An official transcript must be received from the sending institution electronically and/or with no overt sign of having been opened or otherwise disturbed. Official transcripts that are mailed should be directed from the transferring institution to the Registrar at the address above, or electronically to

In collaboration with faculty and/or the Chief Academic Officer, as needed, the Registrar will perform an initial evaluation of all official transcripts. Final determination of any disputed credit awarded resides with the Chief Academic Officer.

Credit is transferable from colleges and universities that are accredited by the Commission on Colleges or the Commission on Higher Education of the regional accrediting associations. Credit also may be awarded for courses taken at institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Post-secondary Education (OPE)  Department of Education if the credit is deemed to be college-level by faculty in the discipline and the Chief Academic Officer. Students requesting transfer credit from non-regionally accredited institutions must submit course syllabi and course descriptions for review by the Chief Academic Officer and faculty in the discipline. Upon approval of the Chief Academic Officer, transfer credit will be awarded consistent with ESCC policies addressing the acceptance of transfer credit from regionally accredited institutions.

Transfer credit may be awarded for course work completed at international colleges and universities that are accredited or approved by the appropriate Ministry of Education or other governmental agency.  Transcript(s) must be evaluated by a professional organization or agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluators or is approved by the Virginia Department of Education.  The fee for this evaluation and the time required for completion is the responsibility of the student.

  1. Course Specific Credit: All courses that are applicable in the student’s curriculum will be transferred as closely to the VCCS course equivalents as possible. If this is not possible, elective credit may be awarded if appropriate for the student’s curriculum. Transfer credits awarded may affect financial aid eligibility.
  2. Required Grades: Only courses with grades of “C” or higher will be accepted for transfer credit. Courses with grades of “P” (for a pass/fail course) or the designation “Cr” (for credit) will be accepted for transfer if the transcript indicates the equivalent of a “C” grade or higher as required to assign a “P” or “Cr” grade.
  3. Sequence Quarter Courses: Sequential quarter courses (two or three quarters) in which one or more grades of “D” were earned may be transferred as a sequence at full credit if the grades for the sequence average at least a grade of “C”. Failing grades will not be accepted for averaging. Grade averaging will be weighted by the credit hour value of the courses.
  4. Natural Science Courses with Separate Labs: For courses with separate lecture and laboratory grades, a “C” average or higher must be earned in order for credit to be awarded. Failing grades are not accepted for averaging. If a student receives a grade of “F” in either the lecture or the laboratory, the course will not be accepted. Grade averaging will be weighted by the credit hour value of the courses.
  5. SDV 100-College Success Skills: Credit for College Success Skills (SDV 100) will be granted to transfer students who have completed associate or bachelor’s degrees. Students awarded 24 or more transfer semester credits may appeal to the Chief Academic Officer for SDV 100 credit.
  6. Physical Education: Up to two (2) credits of physical education/health credits may be awarded for basic military training.
  7. English on International Transcripts: International students presenting an evaluated transcript from a non-U.S. college or university that recommends credit for English composition may be awarded credit for ENG 111 if the student qualifies for ENG 111 on the institution’s placement tests.

Credits Earned through Non-collegiate Training and Experiences

The college awards credit for applicable armed service school experiences, non-collegiate institutions, and earned professional certifications/licensures. Where applicable, credit shall be awarded in accordance with The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT), the ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services as reflected on the official Joint Services Transcript (JST), or the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), or another college-approved organization.

When the Registrar receives evaluation requests of this nature, a copy of the request with documentation shall be directed to qualified faculty for review. The faculty shall compare the students’ documented experiences and outcomes against the course learning outcomes when making credit recommendations. Recommendations by college-approved organizations (e.g., CREDIT, NCCRS, ACE Guide) shall also be used by faculty when performing evaluations.

Qualified faculty shall document the evaluation of student credentials via the Student Request for Evaluation form and submit it to the Chief Academic Officer upon completion. If the credit is recommended for approval by qualified faculty, the faculty may also recommend applicability of the decision for future requests. Qualified faculty may also recommend disapproval of the request. The CAO will make a final determination regarding the awarding of credit and the applicability of future requests by students. If the CAO approves of the awarding of credit, the CAO will direct the Registrar to post the academic credit to the student’s permanent record. If approved and applicability of the decision for future requests is appropriate, as determined jointly between qualified faculty and the CAO, the Registrar shall record this for use in future requests by students.

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