All students may earn credit through the following options:

  1. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Excelsior College Examination Program
  2. NCC Departmental Challenge Exams
  3. Advanced Placement Exams taken through the College Board
  4. Military and non-traditional training, as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) 
  5. Portfolio Assessment of Prior Learning
  6. Industry-recognized Credential

A student must be enrolled in NCC courses to have such credits applied to the NCC transcript. All external examinations, ACE approved courses, credit for portfolio assessment, and industry-recognized credentials will be equated to NCC courses by appropriate department faculty. Criteria will be reviewed on a periodic basis to insure currency with existing course requirements. Students wishing more information on any of the above, except CLEP and the NCC challenge examination, should contact the Admissions Office. CLEP is administered through the Library and challenge examinations through the Records Office.

Eligibility

All new applicants and currently enrolled students are eligible to apply for credit using any of the above-mentioned options. Any form of advanced placement credit earned is added to the student's transcript upon final verification of enrollment (after the refund period of a student's first semester).

Credit Limits

A minimum of 25% of credits required for any degree, certificate or specialized diploma must be earned through NCC course work. Remaining credits may be awarded through transfer or as outlined in this policy.

Record of Credits

Advanced placement credit earned will be entered on the student's transcript with specific reference to the test or method used for granting credits.

Equating Credits

All methods of advanced placement will be equated to NCC courses or general electives as approved by department faculty. The Admissions and Records Offices will maintain a list of approved equivalencies. Students who have successfully completed any of these advanced placement methods prior to or while attending NCC may request an evaluation of credits earned.

Grades

Only credits will be recorded on the transcript for any advanced placement credit awarded; no grade will be given*. Students who earn credit through this policy and later take the equivalent course at NCC will be given credit and grade earned only for the NCC course. *Exceptions may be approved by the academic dean or designee in the case of developmental math modular units.

Credit may be awarded through:

1) College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Excelsior College Examinations

Students may take the CLEP examinations at either NCC Library or a national testing center. Excelsior examinations may be taken at any Sylvan Learning Center after test registration has been completed through Excelsior College. Credit for CLEP tests and Excelsior exams will be awarded for scores recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) for the former and Excelsior College for the latter, unless a Northampton department performs its own research and determines a more appropriate cut-off score.

2) Departmental Challenge Exams

NCC departmental challenge exams are available for certain designated courses. Subject to faculty approval, students may challenge a course only one time and may not challenge a course in which they have been enrolled beyond the first three weeks of the semester, or the equivalent time in a shorter course. Courses must be challenged in sequence. If a course has a prerequisite, that prerequisite must be fulfilled through course work or credit by examination acceptable to the College before a challenge examination may be taken. Internships and courses numbered 0XX will not be available for challenge*. Credit for NCC challenge examinations will be awarded for scores determined by faculty to be at a passing level. For information about the availability of departmental challenge examinations, students should contact the Records Office.  *Exceptions may be approved by the academic dean or designee in the case of developmental math modular units.

3) Advanced Placement exams taken through the College Board

The College awards credit to students who successfully completed Advanced Placement (AP) courses and submit official exam scores that meet required score levels. Department faculty will determine courses to be accepted, credit to be awarded, and equivalency of each course to NCC courses. The Admissions Office will maintain a list of Advanced Placement courses, and their required scores, as approved by faculty.

4) Military and Non-Traditional Training

Credit will be awarded based on recommendations by the American Council on Education (ACE), unless a Northampton department performs its own research and determines a more appropriate recommendation.

5) Portfolio Assessment of Prior Learning

Criteria for each course will be developed (if appropriate) by the academic department to establish the proof of knowledge/learning gained by experiences outside the classroom. Credit will be awarded upon faculty evaluation of presented portfolio. The Admissions Office will have a list of portfolio criteria needed for assessment.

6) Industry-recognized Credentials

Department faculty will determine NCC course equivalency for certain industry-recognized credentials. The Admissions Office will maintain a list of the approved credentials.

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