Types of credit available through TimewiseTN

Generally, students demonstrate prior learning in one of three forms: credit by exam, credit recommendations for past training, and portfolio assessments.

Credit By Exam

Credit by exam is a form of test-based evaluation. A student takes a test in order to demonstrate what he or she knows. For example, you might take a Spanish test to show that you already know Spanish or an algebra test to show that you know algebra. There are several national testing services, which offer a wide variety of tests in many subjects ranging from the most basic to more advanced and specific. Furthermore, some institutions offer their own exams for specific courses. If you pass the test, you get credit for that course without having to pay for and attend that class.

See some testing options

*Check with your institution first to see if they accept credit for the various types of tests listed below.

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

A series of tests developed by the College Board initially for AP High School courses, including 34 exams in 19 subject areas. For more information visit https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/home.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Exams

There are 33 CLEP exams in 5 different subject areas offered by the College Board. Most CLEP tests cover lower level and introductory knowledge of certain subjects, many of which fall within general education requirements. The cost is typically $80-90 per exam. For more information visit https://clep.collegeboard.org/.

Course Challenge Exams

Local tests developed by a college to verify learning achievement for a particular course. Often in the form of a final exam, this is usually developed by individual departments or faculty members.

DSST Credit by Exam Program

Formerly known as the DANTES Program, tests knowledge of both lower-level and upper-level college material through for upper and lower division credit. Originally only available to military personnel, DSST exams have been made available to the general public for a fee of $80 per test. Because of its military origins, some exams have a focus more useful to military personnel. Exams cover both general topics, and more specific advanced topics. Military personnel should see http://www.dantes.doded.mil/ for more information. If you are not in the military or a veteran, please see http://www.getcollegecredit.com/.

Excelsior College Examinations (formerly, ACT-PEP/RCE)

Excelsior exams are a set of tests offered by Excelsior College on a wide variety of subjects. While often more specific than other standardized exams, Excelsior exams cover both upper and lower division subject areas for college credit. While most of the exams are paper-based, Excelsior does offer 8 lower division exams in a computer-based format (called UExcel). While the cost of each exam can vary, they typically are about $95-$375 per exam. For more information visit http://www.pearsonvue.com/excelsior/.

Thomas Edison State College Examination Program (TECEP)

TECEP exams are a collection of 37 exams in 7 subject areas for both upper and lower division credit. The topics of TECEP exams in many cases are specific and advanced, although there are some introductory subjects covered. For more information, see http://www2.tesc.edu/listalltecep.php.

Credit recommendations for past training

Credit recommendations for past training award college credit based on the evaluation of a particular type of training (often workplace or military). If you have successfully completed the training, then you will be recommended for college level credit. There are several national organizations which evaluate hundreds and thousands of different training programs and make credit recommendations for each. Some of the most frequently used are for members of the military (provided by the American Council on Education (ACE), but many businesses and other organizations have had their training evaluated as well. Furthermore, many institutions have also evaluated training at local businesses and organizations for college level credit in the same manner. Lastly, some institutions are willing to award credit based on professional licensures, certifications, and apprenticeships.

See some credit recommendation services

*Check with your institution first to see if they accept the various types of credit listed below.

ACE CREDIT (Workforce-based credit recommendation service)

This is a service offered through ACE to recognize learning that takes place in the work place in the form of training (corporate, nonprofit, government, etc.) to transfer toward a college degree at participating institutions. Over 600 businesses, agencies, and organizations have had their training evaluated by ACE resulting in thousands of evaluated courses. Students request that ACE compile the details of the training that they have taken into an ACE transcript. The credit is kept on file through ACE and transferred by transcript to institutions, which means that students may need to request the transcripts to apply this credit. Samples of training programs include those offered through McDonald's and Wal-Mart. For more information visit http://www2.acenet.edu/credit/?fuseaction=browse.main.

ACE Military Credit

This is a service offered through ACE to recognize learning that takes place in the military. For more information visit http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Military-Guide-Online.aspx

Assessment of Licensure/Certificate/Apprenticeship Programs

Some institutions and organizations have evaluated professional certifications and apprenticeships for college credit. Some professional qualifications can also become part of a portfolio assessment. Please check with your institution for more information or check out our information on portfolio assessment.

Locally Assessed Training

Much like ACE's workforce training evaluations, many colleges and universities make special arrangements with local businesses and organizations to evaluate their training for college level credit. Please check with your organization or your local institution for details.

National College Credit Recommendation Service

NCCRS is a national training evaluation service. 76 Businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations have their trainings evaluated for college level credit. Although most of the participating organizations are from the northeast United States, examples can be found from across the country. For more information, see http://www.nationalccrs.org/.

Portfolio assessment

Portfolio assessment is often used to evaluate past learning that cannot be captured by credit recommendations or exams. A portfolio is a compilation of documents or other evidence that demonstrates college-level learning. These are reviewed by faculty at the institution and credit is awarded based on their assessment of the portfolio. Each institution in Tennessee currently has its own policies and practices, and in some cases, these vary by departments and programs as well. Please check with your institution for details. This is also a good option for students who may find standardized test to be difficult.