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College Policy 3.02

Earning Academic Credits

Part 1. Credit Opportunities

Subpart A. Statement of Philosophy

While credits are the units of measure utilized in this policy, their use is not intended to limit or reduce opportunities to certify skills and competency attainment through alternative student outcome assessment approaches. The goal of education is the attainment of specific skills and knowledge. Creative approaches to the awarding of credit in response to demonstrated student skills attainment, above and beyond credit for prior learning and credit through examination programs, are both encouraged and desired.

Subpart B. Credit Earning Options

A student may apply credits earned by methods allowed in sections II - VIII to the award program requirements in MCTC Policy 3.03.

Part 2. Coursework for Credit

A student may earn credits toward an award and graduation by registering for and successfully completing an MCTC course offering taken for credit.

Part 3. Directed Study

Subpart A. Directed Study

A student may earn up to four semester credits for an approved directed study project. Directed study credits apply only to the elective credits of a program.

Subpart B. Project Approval

A student must submit a project proposal and receive approval from the instructor and departmental dean prior to beginning coursework to receive credit.

Subpart C Project Limitations

Project proposals must be unique from a course offered that semester at MCTC.

Part 4. Credit Transfer

Students may be permitted to apply credits transferred from another institution if the Registrar's Office determines that the credits meet College standards for transfer. Institutions must be accredited at the Higher Education level. Coursework from nationally accredited institutions will be considered for transfer on a case by case basis. MCTC will only accept transfer coursework from regionally accredited institutions for programs that lead to professional licensure in the Air Traffic, Law Enforcement and Nursing programs.

Subpart A. Semester or Quarter Credit Transfer Requirements

Transfer requirements are to be met either in semester credits or in the equivalent of quarter credits, or a combination of both.

Transfer requirements include:

A minimum of 20 semester credits (or the equivalent) of college-level courses must be taken at MCTC in order to graduate. For students transferring within the State of Minnesota Community Colleges and the University of Minnesota, and working toward an associate in arts degree, this is reduced from 20 to 12 semester credits, or their equivalent. A minimum of 13 semester credits, or their equivalent, must be earned at MCTC to receive the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. One-third of the credits required for a diploma or certificate must be earned at MCTC.

Grades of "D" or above are accepted for transfer to MCTC. Technical program courses must be "C" or above and have been completed within the past five years to permit transfer.

Subpart B. Accreditation Requirement

When evaluating coursework from nationally accredited institutions, the standard criteria listed below in subpart D will apply. In addition, an in-depth review of faculty credentials, institutional learning outcomes and overall educational quality of the learning experience will be carefully considered. The student may be required to provide additional documentation such as a syllabus. Students whose coursework has been determined to not meet MCTC transfer criteria may work with a counselor and check information under "Credit by Exam". MCTC will only accept transfer coursework from regionally accredited institutions for programs that lead to professional licensure in the Air Traffic, Law Enforcement and Nursing programs.

Subpart C. Vocational/technical Coursework

When transferring coursework from an accredited vocational/technical institution, a maximum of 16 semester credits of college-level vocational or technical courses shall be accepted as elective credits toward an associate in arts (A.A.) degree. Vocational/technical credits applied toward a career program (non-A.A.) award will be evaluated course by course. All general education courses taken at an accredited vocational/technical college will transfer at full credit value.

Subpart D. Transfer of Comparable Coursework

The coursework to be transferred must be comparable in nature, content and level to courses offered (or that could be offered) by the receiving institution.

In evaluating courses for transfer equivalency, the standard for review must be at least 75 percent comparability of course content. For courses that are part of a sequence, students need sufficient preparation to succeed in the next course in the sequence. At MCTC, the Registrar’s Office determines transfer course equivalences, in consultation with academic departments as necessary.

The coursework to be transferred must be acceptable under transfer policies usually appropriate and applicable for a degree program offered at MCTC.

Only the MCTC grade point average is computed on grades earned at MCC, MTC and MCTC. Transfer credits are not included.

Subpart E. College Property

Official transcripts become, upon receipt, college property and shall not be returned to the student. Exceptions to this policy exist only for international records.

Part 5. Credit for Prior Learning

Credit achieved through college-level alternative or non-traditional educational experiences are considered for transfer, according to published national standard guidelines established by the American Council on Education (ACE) or other similar national organizations.

Part 6. Credit by Exam

Upon approval of an instructor and departmental dean, a student may earn credit for a course by taking an exam. Unless specifically prohibited by the award requirements, credits earned by exam may be applied to meet award requirements. Credits earned by exam are ineligible for financial aid.

Part 7. Nationally Recognized Examinations

Subpart A. College Level Exam Program

Application of CLEP Credits

Within the limits allowed in subpart A, the Registrar's Office may accept for transfer some or all of a student's credits earned for completing College Level Exam Program (CLEP) general or subject exams.

Credit Limitation

The Registrar's Office may accept a maximum of three credits for each CLEP exam for which the student's score is in the 50th percentile or higher and is documented on the student's transcript.


Unless specifically prohibited by the award requirements, credits earned through CLEP may be applied to meet award requirements.

Financial Aid Eligibility

Credits earned by CLEP exam are not eligible for financial aid.

Subpart B. International Baccalaureate Program

Students who complete an International Baccalaureate high school diploma with a score of 30 or higher are awarded 8 semester credits for each of three higher-level examinations, plus two semester credits for each of the subsidiary examinations, for a total of 30 semester credits. When a test covers material that is substantially similar to an existing course, the equivalent credit or credits are awarded. When a test covers college-level material that is not substantially similar to an existing course, elective credits are awarded.

Subpart C. Advanced Placement

Students may earn credits through Advanced Placement (AP) exams with scores of three or above. Credit will not be given for AP exams that overlap completed coursework for which college credit has been earned. AP scores should be sent to the Registrar's Office.

Part 8. Other Nationally Recognized Examinations

Subpart A. Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP)

Subpart B. Excelsior Examinations, New York University Foreign Language Proficiency (NYUFLP)

Subpart C. National Occupational Competency (NOTCI)

Part 9. Military Coursework

Credit achieved through military training will be considered for transfer according to the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services by ACE.

Subpart A. Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES/DSST)

The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support program sponsors a wide range of examination programs to assist military personnel in meeting their educational goals. DANTES and DSST exam scores that meet ACE minimum score recommendations are considered for transfer.

Part 10. Portfolio Review

Minneapolis Community and Technical College does not offer portfolio review. For a list of institutions that offer credit based on portfolio review please contact the Registrar's Office.

Date effective: 7/1/1999
Date last amended: 4/28/2009