Academics

Alternative Methods of Earning Credit

 
Minnesota West Community & Technical College may grant college credits to students for work, education, and life experiences that are deemed equivalent to program requirements.

The College may award credits through Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Competency Based Education (CBE), Course Test Out, Dantes (DSST), International Baccalaureate (IB), Military Training or School to Work Articulated Courses.

 

  1. Credits received through alternative methods count toward graduation requirements but are not counted in Grade Point Average or minimum semester credit completion calculations and are not counted for financial aid status.

  2. Responsibility for processing and retaining the content knowledge and skills required by course requirements for which alternative credit is granted rests with the student.

  3. Alternative Methods of Earning Credit procedures do not supersede the time frames for add/drop, withdrawal, or any refund of tuition.

  4. Credits earned by these alternative methods may or may not be accepted by other institutions.


Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) courses and examinations completed at high schools will be evaluated upon receipt of an official transcript from The College Board. Students with AP scores of three, four, and five may be awarded credit for specific college courses if tests cover substantially similar material. If test material does not match an existing course, students may be given elective credits. Students must notify Student Services to request credit for AP coursework. See also Policy 3.15 and Procedure 3.15.05.

  1. AP credits will be recorded on a transcript once the student has registered for classes at Minnesota West.

  2. Minnesota West equivalency charts for Advanced Placement credit are available at Transferology to assist students in their educational planning.



College Level Examination Program

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a vehicle for highly qualified students to obtain course credit without enrolling in a class. Students who desire to complete CLEP tests should contact Student Services for appropriate forms, information, and fees. Students must request and submit official score reports from the College Board. (Minnesota West Code: 6945). See also Policy 3.33 and Procedure 3.33.1.

  1. Students who have enrolled in comparable classes at Minnesota West or other institution are not eligible to complete CLEP exams in the same areas.

  2. The College Board will recommend the awarding of credit based on research, and the credits given will be considered equivalent to comparable classes at Minnesota West.

  3. CLEP credits will be recorded on a transcript once the student has registered for classes at Minnesota West.

  4. Minnesota West equivalency charts for Clep credit are available at Transferology to assist students in their educational planning.



Competency Based Education

Competency Based Education (CBE) enables entering students to receive college credits for knowledge, skills, and abilities that they have gained from life experience. An initial $200 fee covers costs of career planning, developing an academic plan, and a CBE application.

Students may be eligible to earn up to 44 credits for prior learning from work, volunteer services, conferences, workshop attendance, in-service training, and vocational interests. Contact the CBE coordinator for more information.



Course Test Out

Students who can demonstrate competence in specific disciplines may earn college credit by testing out of college courses with Minnesota West Community & Technical College. A student must initiate the test-out process by working with appropriate instructor and then completing a Test Out Award Recommendation Form. Students should check with an advisor or instructor to see if a Course Test-Out is available. Course Test-Out is not an option for all courses.

  1. A fee of $40 per lecture credit and $65 per lab credit payable to Minnesota West Community & Technical College is required prior to completing a Course Test-Out exam. This fee is nonrefundable even if examinees do not pass exams and do not receive credit for the course.

  2. Course Test-Outs must be completed at least ten days prior to the start of the semester or after the fifth day of the semester; however, the President or designee has the authority to allow a faculty member to grant a Couse Test-Out at any time if circumstances warrant.

  3. Testing out is not an option for students who desire to earn credit for courses previously attempted or withdrawn. Course Test-Outs cannot be used to improve grades for courses previously completed.

  4. Students who fail a Course Test-Out exam must complete the course to fulfill graduation requirements. Failing Course Test-Out grades will not be recorded on transcripts.

  5. Course Test-Out exams are instructor-generated to reflect the objectives of the course. Only grades of "C" or higher will be recorded as credit (CR).

  6. Credits earned by the Course Test-Out option are not computed in a student's GPA, nor will they count towards the enrollment figures of the college. Financial Aid is not available for Course Test-Out credits.

  7. Course Test-Out credits will be recorded on a transcript once the student has registered for classes at Minnesota West.



DSST (Dantes)

The DSST (Dantes) program is a vehicle for highly qualified students to obtain course credit without enrolling in a class. Students who desire to complete DSST tests should visit DSST at: www.getcollegecredit.com/  Students must request and submit official score reports from DSST.


Students who have enrolled in comparable classes at Minnesota West or other institutions are not eligible to complete DSST exams in the same areas.


The American Council on Education Credit Recommendation Service has evaluated and recommended the awarding of credit based on research, and the credits given will be considered equivalent to comparable classes at Minnesota West.


DSST credits will be recorded on a transcript once the student has registered at Minnesota West.


Minnesota West equivalencies to DSST tests can be found at Transferology.


International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is an internationally recognized program through which secondary students complete a comprehensive curriculum of rigorous study and demonstrate performance on IB examinations. The examination for the diploma covers six subjects, three or four of which must be at a higher level and others at the subsidiary level. Students may present a full IB diploma or a certificate recognizing specific higher level or subsidiary level test scores.

Minnesota West only awards credits for IB programs completed by students who subsequently attend Minnesota West. Students who complete a standard level course of 150 hours will earn three or four credits as appropriate. Students who complete a higher level course of 240 hours will receive six or eight credits as appropriate. See also Policy 3.16 and Procedure 3.16.1.

Minnesota West equivalency charts for International Baccalaureate credit are available at Transferology to assist students in their educational planning.


Military Training

Credit from the student’s military documents will be evaluated using the “ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Experiences in the Armed Forces.” Minnesota West Community & Technical College will only award credit for articulated courses for which the student has met the criteria and after the student has enrolled in and successfully completed 12 credits at Minnesota West.


Past, present, and future servicemen and servicewomen should use the Veterans Education Transfer System (VETS) to determine how their military training can count for credit.

Students must provide an official military transcript (available at JST), a DD214, or a certificate from the military.



Other Nationally Recognized Examination Programs

Minnesota West Community will consider awarding credit for nationally recognized examination programs such as Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP), Excelsior Examinations, New York Foreign Language Proficiency, and National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI). Credits earned through a nationally recognized examination are not resident credits and may not be used to satisfy resident credit requirements for graduation. Official score report or transcript for each of the above nationally recognized examination programs is required for transfer evaluation.


Nationally recognized examination credits will be recorded on a transcript once the student has registered for classes at Minnesota West.



School to Work Articulated Courses

Minnesota West Community & Technical College participates in the School-to-Work program and has entered into articulation agreements with several area high schools. Students who enroll in articulated high school courses and successfully meet specific criteria for each course may be eligible to receive college credits. Credits will be granted for competencies mastered within the preceding two years at grade levels of "B" or better on a grade scale of "A-F." Credits will be awarded for articulated high school courses in which the student has met the criteria only after the student has enrolled in and successfully completed 15 credits at the college.

Credits will only be awarded if Minnesota West Community & Technical College appears on the face of the Minnesota Tech Prep College Credit Certificate with an articulated course equivalency. When an institution other than Minnesota West is listed on the certificate, the registrar and faculty will determine acceptability