Considering a return to university?
One query that may baffle you are your old transcript classes. Education standards evolve, and so do course requirements – whether you rejoin the same institution or switch to a new one.
Many students and advisors wonder about harnessing these old credits. The good news is, these old credits can be valuable assets in fulfilling your degree requirements.
My Journey: Rekindling Past Credits
I resumed college after a decade-long hiatus, taking small steps. Starting with one night class each semester at the local university extension office. Gradually, I augmented my grade point average and general education completion rate by taking a handful of courses a year.
After fulfilling the extension’s general education requirements and enhancing my GPA, the next logical step was applying to the university. During this time, we also relocated.
Leverage Experience: Acquire Credit Through Examinations
Unexpectedly, another university was conveniently located near our new home.
Here, I realised how College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Advanced Placement (AP) exams could be used to earn college credit without attending classes. These tests reflect subject mastery and some institutions grant credits for prior learning or experiences including professional certification or military service.
Facing the Challenge: Understanding Old Credits
My new advisor didn’t seem very optimistic reviewing my decades-old transcript. The verdict—my general education courses would be counted as elective credits only.
A still looming 27-hour general education requirement left me reeling. My quest for a better alternative began.
Battling the Odds: A Personal Endeavour
After thoroughly studying my new college manual, I came to comprehend that courses could be contended under certain circumstances. I whittled down my requirement by 92%, saving an entire year’s worth of classes, and thus enrolled in my major classes. Anyone can achieve similar results by taking a bit of extra effort to cover additional ground.
Transferring Credits Successfully: Handy Guidelines
Here are some useful insights to hedge the odds in your favor for transferring credits:
- Question the Admissions Office: University agreements about acceptable transfer credits oscillate yearly as course numbers fluctuate. Current norms may not align with your old course numbers. In case of discrepancies, they can be lawfully contested, provided you have supporting evidence.
- Do your Due diligence: Know your university’s course catalog intimately. Understand general education requirements, elective options, and primary course requirements. Profoundly read course descriptions that meet these requirements. Which ones eerily resemble classes you have taken before? Detailed note-taking is paramount here.
- Know your Course Catalog: Course numbers and descriptions are prone to changes. Thus, your completed classes may not coincide with the current catalog and may have even been replicated for variant classes. Your old course catalog is the key to figuring out how to align your old classes with current requirements.
- Seek Help from your Old University Library: Forgotten catalogs may still be retrievable from your former university library. Guidance counselors, career centers, admissions or graduation offices may prove to be helpful resources. The aim is to retrieve relevant course catalog pages containing your old course descriptions.
- Identify Decision-Makers: Discover who can vouch for your course substitutions in your new university.
By being diligent, polite, and assertive, you can pave your way through to acquiring the maximum number of transfer credits. In the end, no one values your time, efforts, and educational journey as much as you do.