Ways to Earn College Transfer Credit

There are a number of ways you may have earned college transfer credit. If any of the following apply to you, you may be eligible for credit for prior learning.

  • Earned college credits from another institution
  • Graduated from high school within the last year
  • Took courses through NICC Business and Community Solutions (BCS)
  • Participated in learning opportunities such as workshops, industry training or seminars where you received a certificate or credential
  • Took any of the following, but not limited to, examinations:
    • Advanced Placement (AP)
    • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    • DANTES or DSST
    • Excelsior, UExcel or NYUFLP
  • Member or veteran of the Armed Service
  • Past experiences or skills applicable to your intended program of study
  • You may apply for credit for prior learning (CPL) at any time after you apply to Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) and one semester prior to the completion of your program of study.
  • CPL is available for courses required for your program of study including general education and elective courses.
  • A minimum of 80 percent of the course outcomes must be met in order to be awarded credit for any given course.
  • CPL may be awarded for courses with prerequisites at the discretion of the instructor and academic dean.
  • Credit allowances for unearned prerequisite courses will be satisfied with elective credits.
  • CPL will not be awarded to a student who has an outstanding balance with the College or has had a conduct code violation.
  • A maximum of 42 credits of transferable degree requirements for associate of arts or associate of science programs can be satisfied by receiving academic credit from CPL.
  • For non-transferable degree programs (associate of applied science, associate of general studies and diploma) the maximum credits that may be satisfied will vary.
  • At least nine credits must be earned at NICC for a diploma and 18 credits for an associate of arts, associate of science, associate of applied science or an associate of general studies degree.
  • Credits earned through CPL (with the exception of NICC non-credit to credit transfer) will not be considered for this requirement in the award of diplomas or degrees.
  • Credit will be awarded for college credits from another institution that are equivalent to courses required for your NICC program of study.
  • CPL will not be awarded for courses successfully completed at NICC or another post-secondary institution.
  • Financial aid will not pay for charges related to CPL.
  • Students interested in transferring to another college should verify CPL transfer policies with that institution.
  • Application for Credit for Prior Learning does NOT guarantee an award of credit.

Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) accepts credits from accredited colleges and universities in which a minimum grade of C- has been earned. Students are required to mail an official transcript to the Admissions Office at:

Northeast Iowa Community College
Attention: Admissions
P.O. Box 400
Calmar, Iowa 52132

  • Courses which correspond to an equivalent NICC course are transferred at face value and may be used to fulfill program requirements.
  • Courses over five years old may be transferred in upon approval of the academic dean.
  • Higher level coursework may be transferred in and substituted for program requirements upon recommendation of the registrar and approval of the academic dean.
  • Students are required to provide the registrar with a copy of the transferring course guide if a question exists regarding the course equivalency.
  • Grades for courses transferred to NICC are not computed in your grade point average (GPA). If you change your program of study a new evaluation of your coursework will be completed.
  • There is no fee to award credit for transferred coursework.

Articulation agreements enable students enrolled in high school courses to receive articulated credit for Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) career and technical program, non-transfer level courses.

  • Students  must attend NICC within 12 months of high school graduation to be eligible for articulated credit.
  • Students must have earned 12 NICC credits after high school before articulated credit is entered on your transcript.
  • Complete and send the Request for Articulated Credit Form with an official transcript attached to:

    Northeast Iowa Community College
    Attention: Registrar
    P.O. Box 400
    Calmar, Iowa 52132

  • Grades for articulated courses transferred to NICC are not computed in your GPA.
  • There is no fee to award credit for articulated coursework.

Credit may be awarded for learning experiences, such as courses, workshops, certifications and events offered by a post-secondary institution, business entity or industry training entity. The academic dean and program instructor will review these experiences and determine applicability to program requirements. Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) follows the American Council on Education (ACE) guidelines to evaluate business and labor training for college credit.

  • Students need to schedule an appointment with the academic dean over their program of study  to review documentation of this learning.
  • Grades for these learning courses are not computed in your GPA.
  • There is no fee for credit awarded.

Pre-approved Northeast Iowa Community College non-credit coursework is eligible for academic credit and can be applied toward a certificate, diploma or degree. Guidelines for obtaining credit for non-credit coursework include:

  • Students must successfully complete the non-credit course in order for credit to be transcripted.
  • Students must meet the minimum program of study grade requirements for progression.
  • Students must contact their advisor to verify non-credit coursework has been documented in their academic record.
  • Grades for non-credit courses are not computed into your GPA.
  • Credit received for non-credit course completion may be used to satisfy the credit residency requirement.
  • Acceptance of non-credit coursework does not guarantee admission to the College or an academic program of study. You must submit an application and meet all requirements for admission in order to register for credit courses.
  • There is no fee to award credit for non-credit coursework.

There are a limited number of courses NICC instructors may offer cumulative exams or assessments for students to pass out of program courses. Students achieving a C- or above on the exam will receive credit for the course.

  • Examinations must be completed and passed prior to or during the first week of the semester in which the credit is requested to be transcripted.
  • Credit by examination is recorded as a “T” on your transcript and not computed in your GPA.
  • Students are required to pay 50 percent per credit hour for tuition and the current per credit hour student fee for credit granted by course examination.

For more information on taking an exam or assessment to pass out of program courses, contact the program dean or instructor.

Credit may be granted to veterans for educational experiences completed in the Armed Forces of the United States. Credit may be awarded for successful completion of technical or specialized training received while on active duty to the extent that is applicable to program content.

The College considers the recommendations for credit in the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services of the Office of Education Credit of the American Council on Education (ACE).

Students are required to provide the Admissions Office with an official military transcript. An official transcript for the Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy can be requested through the Joint Services Transcripts (JST). You can also request official transcripts from the Air Force.

Transcripts should be mailed to:

Northeast Iowa Community College
Attention: Admissions Office
P.O. Box 400
Calmar, IA 52132

  • Courses which correspond to an equivalent NICC course are transferred at face value and may be used to fulfill program requirements.
  • Courses over five years old may be transferred upon approval of the academic dean.
  • Grades for courses transferred to NICC are not computed in your grade point average (GPA).
  • There is no fee to award credit for transferred coursework.

Students who are able to demonstrate skills and achievements through their life experiences (employment, volunteerism, demonstration, etc.) prior to enrollment in a given course may be eligible for credit for life experience. The portfolio must evidence knowledge that can be supported through the demonstration of competence, written or oral examination and documentation from a current or past employer. The review and evaluation of student achievement will be conducted by an NICC instructor familiar with the discipline in which the student is seeking credit.

General Guidelines

  • Credit for life experience is at the discretion of each department and limited to the courses within that department.
  • The portfolio must demonstrate a minimum of 80 percent of the course objectives and units of instruction have been met.
  • A student must submit a separate portfolio for each course they are seeking credit.
  • A limit of 18 credits can be obtained through portfolio completion.
  • Portfolio credits are recorded with an “L” and not computed in the grade point average (GPA).
  • General education courses and any course in which a CLEP exam is offered are not eligible for credit for life experience.
  • Portfolio credits are not accepted from another postsecondary institution.
  • There is a non-refundable fee of $50 to cover portfolio review and the first three credits awarded. Students receiving four to six credits of CLE will have an additional fee of $25. Students receiving seven or more credits of CLE will have an additional fee of $50.

Procedure

  • Schedule an appointment with the academic dean over the course in which you are seeking CLE. During this meeting the dean will provide information regarding the course of interest. This information will include but is not limited to, the course guide, course catalog information and contact information for the instructor who is assigned to the portfolio review. The dean will also review the CLE Acknowledgement and Agreement form to assist the student in determining if CLE through portfolio development is an option they would like to pursue.
  • The student who chooses to develop a portfolio for CLE, must submit the completed CLE Acknowledgement and Agreement form to the academic dean. The signed form indicates the student has been informed of the CLE guidelines, fees and responsibilities.
  • The student develops the portfolio utilizing the portfolio template.
  • The completed portfolio is submitted to the dean along with the $50 non-refundable deposit. The portfolio must contain all information the student wants considered in their request for CLE and evidence a minimum of 80 percent of the course outcomes and objectives are met.
  • The academic dean forwards the completed portfolio to the assigned instructor for review. The instructor may contact the student to clarify information submitted during this step.
  • Upon completion of the review, the dean and/or instructor reviewer will provide feedback to the student regarding the status of the CLE request.
  • If the portfolio is approved, the student will receive written verification/email from the registrar of the approval and advise the student to make the appropriate tuition and fee payment.
  • If the request for CLE is not granted, the student is encouraged to meet with the instructor reviewer to clarify information that would strengthen the portfolio. The student is allowed one additional portfolio submission for review. The deadline for resubmission will be agreed upon by the student and reviewer.
  • Upon review of the resubmission, the dean will provide written notice/email to the student of the reviewer’s final decision. Students not in agreement with the decision are advised to follow the Credit for Life Experience (CLE) Appeal Policy.