Credit Pathways, Noncredit to Credit Articulation

Under Development

This page is under development. Definitions come from Definitions & Use of Key Terms & Concepts in Incremental Credentialing from Credential As You Go.

  • Education Strategy Group: High-quality learning experiences in industry-focused noncredit programs, whether tied to a credential or not, should count for credit. Some programs award credit for learning when students transition into credit programs through the use of bridge tools, such as credit matrices, articulation agreements or equivalency agreements. Credit-based programs go through the process to become accredited while maintaining labor-market orientation, putting students on a direct pathway to an associate’s degree. Strong coordination across noncredit and credit departments is key in scaling and sustaining successful alignment. Colleges should consider organizing relevant noncredit and credit programs into the same department or establishing joint leadership.
  • Evergreen Valley College: Noncredit Education courses are designed for students who wish to advance their educational and career goals. Noncredit Bridge to Career Pathways serve as a Gateway into credit certificate and degree programs that lead to entry-level employment.
  • Jobs for the Future (JFF): Articulation enables students to easily transfer their noncredit learning into credit. This transfer can occur within the same college or, in many cases, to a different educational institution as long as an articulation agreement between the institutions has been established. While some noncredit courses may transfer for full credit, others may transfer only for fractional credit, depending on the course content and alignment to the degree program. The criteria and requirements for credit articulation can vary greatly across programs, institutions, and states.
  • Peregrine Global Services: There are a variety of bridge tools institutions can use to strengthen how noncredit courses translate to academic credits. Some schools will create formalized articulation agreements or internal equivalency agreements to illustrate how a noncredit course, industry certification, and credited course articulate. Another method is to cross-list courses within a learning management system and standardize learning outcomes, performance expectations, and faculty qualifications between credit and noncredit courses. Finally, Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) has become a common method for providing credit to students who can demonstrate competency based on work or noncredit course experience and education. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credits help bridge the gap between higher education and the real world.


Stakeholder Group(s)
Community Colleges
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