Note - Not an authoritative version
State University of New York
Memorandum to Presidents
Date: July 23, 1976 Vol. 76 No. 11
From: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs
Subject: Award of Academic Credit by Evaluation
In December 1973 a Credit by Evaluation Committee was appointed to review the practices of awarding credit by examination and to recommend policy alternatives which could be adopted University-wide. The Committee's March 28, 1974, Report was reviewed favorably by the Council and Conference of Presidents in 1974, and by the University Faculty Senate, the Faculty Council of the Community Colleges, and the Student Assembly in 1975. It was not until recently, however, that we were able to secure appropriate approvals on the funding arrangements. The Committee's Report is the basis for this memorandum and the following policy.
The policy regulates the award of credit by examination and other types of evaluation within the State University of New York. Please include some reference to the availability of the option and the fee structure in the next scheduled printing of your catalogue and other appropriate materials intended for the information of students and faculty.
Award of Academic Credit by Evaluation
Published Examinations. For purposes of providing minimum University-wide guarantees to all University students, students may apply at least 30 credit hours earned through published subject examinations, including those offered as transfer credit, toward fulfillment of degree requirements at any University campus where they are enrolled. A given campus may allow additional credit hours through these examinations up to the limit specified by the residence provision described later in this document. Campuses will not be expected to count credit hours toward fulfillment of degree requirements in areas that would normally not receive credit during an evaluation of transfer credits.
The preceding guarantee of credit for published examinations applies to the following test series, provided the specified minimum performance levels are met.
a. College-Level Examination Program (Subject Examinations). Mean score obtained by persons from the standardization group who had earned a grade of C in a formal course.
b. College Proficiency Examinations. Performance at a grade level of C.
c. Advanced Placement Program. A score of 3 or higher within the scale of 5 points used for this program.
Individual campuses may set lower cutoff scores for which local credit may be awarded through published examinations; however, other University campuses are not required to award transfer credit for scores lower than those listed in the preceding specifications when published examinations are reported. A campus may award credit for the General Examinations of the College-Level Examination Program, but no transfer guarantees will be made to students for these examinations.
Transfer Policies. All University campuses must apply the same transfer policies to credit earned by evaluation that are used to evaluate transferability of credit earned through standard instructional methods, subject to the standards for published examinations given previously.
a. No campus shall be required to give credit in subject matter that could not normally be transferred from other institutions.
b. Credit shall not be excluded from transfer because it was obtained through the evaluation method rather than formal course enrollment.
Residence Requirement. Credit hours earned through a demonstration of proficiency, either through published examinations or through examinations constructed and graded by a campus, may not be counted toward satisfaction of any existing residence requirements. Within this residence restriction, individual campuses may allow as many credits earned through the evaluation mechanism to be applied toward degree requirements as are deemed appropriate by that campus.
Content Restrictions. Where credit through evaluation is awarded originally in content areas not offered by the campus, the evaluation test or mechanism must be reviewed and approved by an appropriate departmental committee or, in the absence of an appropriate department, by the appropriate campus committee, e.g., an educational policies committee.
Evaluation Mechanisms. For credit earned through evaluation, exclusive of published examinations, the methods of evaluation shall be determined by the faculty assigned responsibility for awarding credit, or by outside consultants whose competencies have been reviewed by procedures parallel to those employed by the campus for adjunct faculty.
Institutional Affiliations. Although the evaluation of a student's achievement may occur at any time, the student must have a record of progress toward an educational objective at the institution awarding credit prior to placement of credit on a transcript.
Campus Coordination and Information Services. A person or office on each campus shall be designate to coordinate credit-by-evaluation activities. This individual or office shall:
a. ensure that students, faculty, and staff are informed fully of the University-wide campus practices concerning this option;
b. expedite scheduling of evaluation activities;
c. provide staff functions for campus groups concerned with credit by evaluation policies and procedures;
d. serve as an information channel between the campus and other units and agencies; and
e. ensure that accurate records are maintained on use of the option.
Fiscal and Reporting Procedures. Reporting and budgetary procedures are intended to encourage development of credit by evaluation at the campuses. They also provide a standard format for data collection and ensure equal treatment of students within the system.
a. Credit by evaluation procedures are appropriate when students are not registered formally for the specific course in question.
b. Programs for credit by evaluation will be funded on a self-supporting basis under which the direct costs (including fringe benefits) of the program will be offset by revenue from fees for testing. The program ,will be funded under the policies governing use of Income Fund Reimbursables, specifically, Category 3, User Fees or Fines (see Memorandum to Presidents Vol. 75 No. 1 dated January 20, 1975).
c. Separate fees for credit by evaluation activities will be developed by each campus and forwarded to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business for approval. Such fees will be determined by the campus based on direct costs (including fringe benefits) necessary to provide credit by evaluation services. These direct costs would include supervision of the evaluation program, test preparation or purchase, administration of the tests, including correction, evaluation, and recording, and notification of participants.
d. Testing fees may vary based on type of evaluation and its related costs, but may not vary between participants taking the same test during any semester. Fee levels should be re-examined each semester.
e. Waiver of testing fees may be authorized by the campus President, based on financial circumstances of the participant. Overall fee levels should be established in such a way as to accommodate any loss in revenue as a result of waivers, operating within the principle that overall the evaluation program must be self-supporting.
f. No credit on enrollment reports or workload analyses for credit-by-evaluation activities will be received by any campus or administrative subdivision. The CASA manual will contain detailed reporting instructions.
g. The results of published examinations will be treated in the same administrative manner as transfer credit, i.e., no additional fees, other than those imposed by the examination publisher, will be charged to the student and no campus FTE credit will be reported.
h. These policies shall not preclude academic departments and faculty from providing additional examination or evaluation services to students already enrolled in courses in which such services appear appropriate. This latter process is regarded as a course challenge, as opposed to credit by evaluation, and will continue to be reported by the campus as formal course enrollment.
Student Information Services. The central administration will request information from campuses concerning credit-by-evaluation activities at regular intervals and will distribute a summary within the University.
Each campus catalogue, as well as admissions publications from the central administration, will provide students with information concerning the fee structure employed and financial aid practices of the University for the credit-by-examination option. Information concerning examinations (1) not accepted for degree credit, (2) not appropriate for specialized requirements, or (3) not appropriate as prerequisites for advanced courses within a given program must be provided to all prospective and enrolled students.
cc: Chancellor Boyer
This memorandum addressed to:
Presidents, State-operated Colleges
Deans, Statutory Colleges
Presidents, Community Colleges
Copies for information sent to: