Options for Earning College Credit

Students may receive academic credit for prior learning enabling them to begin college work at advanced levels and shorten the time required to obtain degrees, diplomas or certificates. Credit for prior learning may be established by any of the following methods: transfer credits, courses taken at area career and technology centers, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), credit for examination, and credit for experiential learning.

Credit can be granted only for those courses which are listed in the Pennsylvania Highlands catalog. The courses must meet the requirements of the program in which the student is enrolled. Credits obtained for prior learning are not used in the computation of the grade point average. These credits are not applied to VA benefits, Selective Service deferment, Social Security benefits, or scholastic honors. A maximum of half of the credits needed for degree completion may be awarded to a student for all credits earned for prior learning.

Accelerated College Education for High School Students (ACE)

The Accelerated College Education (ACE) program, formerly known as Dual Enrollment, is a partnership between high schools and the College. ACE allows high school students to earn Pennsylvania Highlands' credits while in high school. The courses are taught by qualifying high school faculty who assure that students' performance in the high school course is equivalent to a course taught at the College. College credits can be applied toward a degree at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College or transferred to another college. More information is available online at http://www.pennhighlands.edu/ace/.

Advanced Placement Examinations

Credit may be awarded to students who attain a score of three or higher on the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examination. A list of all acceptable AP tests is available at the Pennsylvania Highlands Student Success Center. Test scores must be sent directly to the Registrar's Office from the College Board. Contact the Student Success Center or the Admissions Office for further information.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Credit may be awarded to students who achieve satisfactory scores on the CLEP general examinations and selected CLEP subject examinations. A list of all acceptable CLEP test scores is available at the Pennsylvania Highlands Student Success Center. Test scores must be sent directly to the Registrar's Office from the College Entrance Examination Board. Contact the Student Success Center or the Admissions Office for further information.

Credit for Life Experience

Guidelines for awarding credit for life experience are essentially those suggested by the American Council on Education. Students with substantial business, career and technical, or other life experience may present a proposal describing the broad outline of the learning experience and how that experience may be equivalent to the learning outcomes of one or more College courses. A comprehensive, detailed portfolio is then prepared and submitted for faculty review. The faculty will review and evaluate the portfolio and recommend whether credit is to be awarded. The student is charged a fee for the portfolio review process. Students wishing to learn more about this process are advised to inform the College during the admissions, advising, and registration process. The evaluation request process is started online through the College Credit FastTrack website at http://www.ccfasttrack.org/. 

Credit for Military Training

College level courses taken while in the U.S. Armed Forces and submitted on college transcripts or on transcripts from the military may be transferable. Military courses may be submitted and reviewed on an individual basis. Credit is normally awarded based upon the recommendation of the American Council on Education.

Transfer to Pennsylvania Highlands

Students who have earned credits at other colleges or universities may request to have those credits applied to their program of study at Pennsylvania Highlands. Those wishing to do so must submit official transcripts from the other institution(s) in which they were enrolled along with the Pennsylvania Highlands Application for Admission.

Upon receipt of the Application for Admission and any other materials required for admission, the College Registrar will review the student's official transcript(s) and determine which credits, if any, are to be applied to the student's intended program of study. Transfer evaluation results will be communicated to the student through the application of credit on the official college transcript.

Pursuant to AACRAO (American Association of Collegiate Registrar and Admissions Officers) guidelines, Pennsylvania Highlands will award transfer credit for courses in which a 2.0 ("C") or higher grade is earned and which are deemed equivalent to required or elective courses in the student's program of study. 

To earn an Associate degree from Pennsylvania Highlands, students shall complete a minimum of 50% of the required credit hours at the College. 

Transfer grades are not referenced on the Pennsylvania Highlands transcript nor are they factored into the student's cumulative grade point average.

Transfer credit will be awarded for courses in which the student has earned a 2.0 ("C") or higher grade. Credit will not be awarded for courses in which the student earned a grade of "D", "F", "W", "Inc", "Au", "P/F", or "In Progress." Coursework older than ten years is generally not eligible nor are Continuing Education Units (CEU's). 

Pennsylvania Highlands does not accept college preparatory/remedial courses for transfer. Those courses, commonly numbered 000 - 099, include pre-college English, math, reading, and study skills courses. Typically, Pennsylvania Highlands does not accept First Year Experience (freshmen seminar) courses for transfer. 

If Advanced Placement and/or CLEP credits are listed on another college's transcript for credit, Pennsylvania Highlands will require an official copy of the score report to evaluate. 

For additional information on credit transfer and non-traditional options for earning College credit at Pennsylvania Highlands, please contact the College's Registrar's Office. 

Credit Transfer Appeals

Students unsatisfied with the outcome of their transfer credit petition have the right to appeal that decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee.

The steps for appeals are as follows:

  • The student must write a letter of appeal accompanied by a syllabus of the course(s) in question along with any other documents that may support the appeal.

  • The Vice President will review the request.

  • The student will receive a response to the appeal within 10 business days of the receipt of the appeal.

Transfer Partnerships

Some Associate of Applied Science degree programs are offered in cooperation with area vocational-technical schools or comprehensive high schools. In each of these programs, students complete specialized or major courses at the participating school and general education and advanced technical courses at Pennsylvania Highlands. Students must apply separately to both the participating school and Pennsylvania Highlands. A maximum of 30 credits may be transferred to Pennsylvania Highlands under this program.