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 as prescribed by the WTCS Board Policy #323, Credit for Prior Learning.
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 Transfer
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.
Consult https://www.westerntc.edu/earn-college-credit-high-school to identify high school classes that have been articulated with Western and for which students can receive credit.
Credit by Examination
Institutional Challenge Exams
Students may test out of certain 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 course 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 https://www.westerntc.edu/institutional-challenge-exams to learn what courses may be challenged. Contact the Credit for Prior Learning Specialist for more information or to schedule a challenge exam.
Advanced Placement Exams
Advanced Placement (AP) courses are administered through local high schools, and the exams are created by an outside testing agency, CollegeBoard. Students should consult https://www.westerntc.edu/standardized-exams to learn what AP Exams and acceptable scores may be submitted for advanced standing.
College-Level Examination Program® or CLEP
CLEP exams are standardized tests created and administered by an outside testing agency, CollegeBoard. The exams are administered by licensed testing sites throughout the nation with Western Technical College being a licensed site. Students should consult https://www.westerntc.edu/standardized-exams to determine which CLEP exams are accepted at Western.
DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
DSST exams are standardized tests created and administered by an outside testing agency, Prometric. The exams are administered by licensed testing sites throughout the nation with Western Technical College being a licensed site. Students should consult https://www.westerntc.edu/standardized-exams to determine which DSST exams are accepted at Western.
Credit by 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 course has different guidelines for presenting work for evaluation, students should contact the Credit for Prior Learning Specialist. A fee is charged for each examination.
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:
- The student must submit a typewritten statement to the Credit for Prior Learning Specialist 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.
- The division dean or designee will review the student's statement and may request to meet with the student to gain further information.
- 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 Credit for Prior Learning Specialist.
- 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.