Catalog 2016-2017


Transfer of Credit

Transfer credits from regionally and nationally accredited postsecondary institutions, as recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), are generally accepted for courses that are recommended by their issuing institutions for transfer into undergraduate and graduate programs.

Students should be aware that transfer of credit is always the responsibility of the receiving institution, and whether or not credits transfer is solely up to the receiving institution. Any student interested in transferring credit hours should check with the receiving institution directly to determine to what extent, if any, credit hours can be transferred.

Only coursework documented on official transcripts will be evaluated. An Official Transcript is an academic document that contains certain specific demographic, academic, and temporal data elements that enable expert recipients to properly understand an individual’s academic performance. All transcripts received and evaluated by the University are considered property of the University and will not be released. Additionally, University policy does not allow reproduction of these documents for student use.

Non-classroom credit earned through personal, professional, and military experience; institutional examinations and assessments; and national tests for credits are also considered for transfer into undergraduate degree requirements when documented according to University guidelines.

Reverse Transfer Agreements

West, in partnership with specific community colleges, may enter into formal agreements to complete reverse transfers. Under such an agreement, West will provide the partner institution with directory information for students who meet certain credit requirements and may be eligible for an associate's degree from the transfer institution. The transfer institution may contact the student to discuss requirements and may award the associate degree to the student per its discretion. Students will have to provide documented permission prior to any information being transferred between institutions. 

Admission Evaluation of Credit

As a courtesy, a preliminary estimate of credits may be made at the time of application to the University to assist students in selecting initial courses. This estimate is provided only as a tool and is not considered to be a final or official determination of transfer credits.

Official admission transfer credit evaluations are completed by the West Registrar's Office upon receipt of official documentation of credits. Students are notified of accepted transfer credits.

The University engages in transfer credit articulation agreements with various institutions. These agreements are designed to support the academic mission of University programs and supersede standard transfer credit practices. When applicable, the admission evaluation will be based on guidelines outlined in these agreements unless otherwise requested.

Course Equivalencies

Equivalent courses are University approved courses that act as an acceptable alternative to a required course, as determined by the University and may apply to a program in place of a required course.

Courses must have substantially similar content, course objectives, and/or learning outcomes. The equivalencies are subject to change based on program update or University need.

Equivalent courses must be an equal level or higher, and have the same number of credit hours or higher.

Combination equivalencies are used when the content of two or more courses taken together are deemed to have substantially similar content, course objectives, and/or learning outcomes to the content of one course. Unless stated, when a combination of multiple courses is used to satisfy an equivalency with a course, the excess credits from the combination may apply towards the core or elective requirements for the program.

If all courses needed to satisfy a combination equivalency are not completed, the equivalency will not be satisfied. Students should complete the required course as outlined in the university catalog. When two equivalent courses are completed, only the most recent course completed will be counted for credit and grade point average calculations.

The University may also provide course options which are not direct equivalencies to the required course, but which the University has determined to be acceptable alternatives to a required course for a specific program.

Ongoing Credit Evaluation

Students may request evaluation of transfer credit earned at other institutions after admission to West throughout their attendance at the University. Students are responsible for providing official documentation of credits for evaluation by the Registrar's Office. Application of credit to degree requirements is not retroactive nor will the University accept duplicative coursework.

Transfer credit will not be applied to courses already completed at West.

NOTE: Credit evaluations are performed for students on active status. Students who have not attended a West course within the past twelve (12) months must follow University re-entry procedures prior to any consideration of transfer credit.

Eligible Credits

Transfer credits are accepted if they have been officially documented from an approved institution, are applicable to West course requirements in the student’s chosen program, and have been completed with an acceptable grade.

Undergraduate courses require a minimum grade of C- (70%) for transfer consideration. A grade of B- (80%) is required for transfer of graduate courses. Grades earned at other institutions are considered for admission decisions but are not factored into the West cumulative GPA.

Credit is not awarded for a course which duplicates coursework previously completed, either at the same or a different institution. If a transcript shows that a course has been repeated, credit is awarded based on the highest grade achieved. Credit is not awarded for coursework completed at West.

Transfer Limitations

A maximum of 42 credits (lower and upper division) may be transferred into an associate's degree program. Courses are evaluated as upper or lower division credits based on the content of the completed course.

A maximum of 90 credits (lower and upper division) may be transferred into a bachelor degree program. Courses are evaluated as upper or lower division credits based on the content of the completed course.  

 

Semester hours are transferred with the credit value assigned by the issuing institution. Quarter hours are transferred as two-thirds of a semester credit. A transfer course must bear a minimum weight of 2.5 semester credits to fulfill a specific West course requirement. Unless applied to a specific West course, all other quarter credits will be transferred in at the original credit value. 

 

A maximum of twenty-one (21) credits may be transferred into graduate programs.

 

Information Technology coursework must have been completed within the last five (5) years to be considered for transfer credit. Students who have been continually employed in the technology field may petition for special consideration.

Transfer credit will not be applied to the following West courses:

  • CUL 100 Culture and Globalization
  • CUL 623 Global Communication for Professionals
  • Program Capstone

The Nationwide Block Transfer may allow students with an Associate degree from any regionally accredited institution within the United States to automatically fulfill sixty (60) credits to any West bachelor’s degree program. Associate degrees must have a minimum of 60 required credits to qualify. Students with more than 60 credits on a transcript will have additional credits reviewed for transferability beyond the block transfer.

Students may be required to take pre-requisite coursework not fulfilled within the associate degree. Select states may have regulations where Nationwide Block transfer cannot be applied. Please see State-Specific Requirements for more information.

Students who transfer only three (3) math credits, equivalent to MAT-110, are eligible to complete their remaining three (3) math credits (to fulfill the six [6] required credits) with a general education elective course.

Students who transfer only three (3) English credits, equivalent to ENG-102, are eligible to complete their remaining three (3) English credits (to fulfill the six [6] required credits) with a general education elective course.

National Tests for Credit

Transfer credit and/or advanced placement may also be awarded for successful completion of the following national tests for credit:

  • Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
  • Berlitz (language exams)
  • AP – Advanced Placement Examinations
  • CLEP – College Level Examination Program
  • Excelsior College Examinations
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)

Students can fulfill upper division courses with lower division national tests that are equivalent to the CBK, Core, and Major requirements, as long as the students meet the residency requirements and state restrictions.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Students with personal and professional learning obtained outside the traditional classroom that is equivalent to college-level learning may earn credits through Prior Learning Assessment. Examples of such learning include the following:

  • Corporate training
  • Continuing education
  • Licenses
  • Diplomas or certificates from nationally accredited institutions
  • Transcripts from unaccredited schools
  • Professional exams
  • PLA experiential essays will be used to fulfill lower division Social Science and lower division elective credits
  • American Council on Education (ACE) Transcript
  • National College Credit Recommendation Service (CCRS) Transcript

Non-classroom credits will be accepted only when documented with course titles, assigned number of credits and earned grade. 

PLA credits awarded are included in the total transfer credit amount for each program. For details, please see the Transfer Limitations Policy.

Prior Learning Assessment credits do not apply toward residency requirements at West.

Pass Grade Course

Non-graded credits such as "P," "CR," or "S" cannot be calculated into the GPA and awarded credits through admission process, unless quality points were awarded. Prior Learning Assessment can award possible General Elective or Elective credits for "P," "CR," or "S" course without quality points if the course can be evaluated based on college-level content.