Policies and Procedures

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​Western Technical College recognizes that students may acquire knowledge and competencies through activities and experiences outside of Western's educational offerings.  Western endeavors when possible to provide appropriate academic credit for these activities and experiences.

Western has in place written requirements and procedures for seeking credit for prior learning.  These are articulated in the Student Handbook and College website along with information regarding associated costs for obtaining credit for prior learning.  In each case, the impact of credit for prior learning upon student transcripts and grade point calculations is defined.

Western Technical College adheres to the Wisconsin Technical College System Board Policy 323 which requires that each technical college provide maximum credit for work completed through:

  • Post-secondary credits awarded by another WTCS college or a non-WTCS regionally accredited institution;
  • High school credits awarded in advanced standing, transcripted credit, Youth Options or Youth Apprenticeship courses;
  • Registered apprentice-related courses;
  • Credit by examination, both local and national, including course challenge exams, Advance Placement (AP) exams, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or national exams in specific occupational areas; and,
  • Experiential learning acquired in the work place or through military service.

Students dissatisfied with the result of a credit for prior learning request may appeal the decision as outlined in the Credit for Prior Learning Appeals Process in the Student Handbook. 

Communication Plan:  This policy will be published on the College website, in the Student Handbook, shared with Student Services staff as well as faculty, most particularly the academic advisors.

Reviewed by Policy & Legislative Team 11.09.09

Credit for Prior Learning Procedures


Credit for Prior Education 

Many students enter Western with course work completed at another educational institution, including many high schools. Transfer credit from another college, technical school, or university may be awarded for course work in which the student earned a C or higher.  Successful completion of a WTCS program of apprentice-related technical instruction may also provide students with credit for prior education.

In order to receive credit for course taken at another higher education institution, the student must request that the prior educational institution send an official transcript directly to Western, where the student must request that it be evaluated. This is done by completing the "request for transfer credit evaluation" form. This form is located in the Welcome Center or at https://www.westerntc.edu/sites/default/files/admissions/documents/TransferCreditEvaluation.pdf The college will determine what credits will be counted toward the student's program requirements and contact the student with a report indicating the transferred credits.

Consult http://www.westerntc.edu/highschool/agreements.aspx to identify high school classes that have been articulated with Western and for which students can receive credit.

Credit by Examination

Challenge Exams

Students may test out of a course by taking a formal challenge examination for credit. If a student is enrolled in the course, the challenge exam must be taken within five days of when the class starts. Students do not need to be enrolled in a course in order to take the challenge exam and may take the exam any time it is offered by the division. The challenge exam may be a written, oral, performance-based or practical test, interview, or any combination of the above. A fee of $50 per class for one or two credits and $100 per class for three or more credits is charged for each examination.

If a student successfully passes the examination, the grade of CR* (credit) will be shown on the student's transcript, but it will not be used to calculate the GPA. If a student passes the exam, it is the student's responsibility to officially drop the course. The student may be eligible for a program/material fee refund/deduction based on the college refund policy.

If a student does not pass the exam, he or she may repeat the exam in a year. Consult http://www.westerntc.edu/transfer/challengeexam.aspx to learn what courses may be challenged. Contact the division offices for more information or to schedule a challenge exam.

National Exams

Advanced Placement Exams

The General Studies Division at Western will accept satisfactory Advanced Placement Exam scores and award advanced standing credit for several courses. Students should consult http://www.westerntc.edu/transfer/advancedplacement.aspx to learn what AP Exams and acceptable scores may be submitted for advanced standing.

College-Level Examination Program® or CLEP

CLEP is an examination offered via a private corporation called the College Board. CLEP provides the opportunity for students with real life experience and/or training in specific disciplines to demonstrate their competency and mastery of the content via a standardized examination. Students should consult http://www.westerntc.edu/transfer/clep.aspx to determine which CLEP exams are accepted at Western.

Experiential Learning (Work Experience)

Students may receive advanced placement for skills they have acquired through life and work experiences, including the military. The college will evaluate work experience upon request to determine how it might apply to the requirements of the student's program. Because each division has different guidelines for presenting work for evaluation, students should contact the Registrar's Office, in the Welcome Center, to be directed to the appropriate division office or visit http://www.westerntc.edu/transfer/workexperience.aspx for details.

This advanced placement may not reduce the number of credits needed to graduate. A fee of $50 per class for one or two credits and $100 per class for three or more credits is charged for each evaluation.

Credit for Prior Learning Appeals Process

The following steps are designed to provide a means for students to seek review of credit for prior learning decisions:

  1. The student must submit a typewritten statement to the Transfer Evaluator no later than 14 business days following the communication of the decision.  The request must detail the basis for the allegation that the decision regarding credit for prior learning was arbitrary and capricious and must present the relevant evidence.
  2. The division dean or designee will review the student's statement and may request to meet with the student to gain further information.
  3. The dean will make a final decision after full consideration of the information.  Within one week of receiving the student's appeal, the dean will communicate the final decision regarding the request for credit for prior learning to the student and the Transfer Evaluator.
  4. The decision of the division dean is final.  A student who files a written request for review shall be expected to abide by the final disposition of the review and may not seek further review of the matter under any procedure within the College.

November 9, 2009

Reference Policy: D0106 Academic Standards