Transfer and Prior Learning Assessment Credit Policy
PURPOSE: This policy defines terms, processes and requirements for evaluation and acceptance of transfer credit from other accredited colleges and universities and for awarding credit for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) in the determination of such work’s applicability to a UMMC degree.
POLICY: UMMC must ensure that the quality of acceptable college and university transcribed credit is based on commonly accepted practice, supported by policies and procedures, and verified by US Department of Education recognized accrediting bodies. Faculty who are academically qualified in the specific subject matter evaluate academic credit earned at another institution or through other entities that provide equivalent specific prior learning to determine acceptability. The faculty shall consider and require that any such credits meet the content, quality, comparability and relevance to UMMC educational programs and missions, and are aligned with the appropriate academic level.
At least 25 percent of the credit hours required for an undergraduate degree and at least one third of the credit hours required for a graduate or a professional degree must be earned at UMMC through coursework offered by UMMC.
A. Academic Oversight
The deans of schools and their designees from the academic unit(s), supported by the Office of Enrollment Management (OEM), will 1. identify courses required for admissions or eligible for transfer credit based on standards and guidelines of accrediting bodies and the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) and 2. oversee the internal evaluation of transfer credit and prior learning assessment.
B. Evaluation and Acceptance Of Transfer Credits For Courses Taken At Another Institution
The deans of schools and their designees from the academic unit(s), supported by the OEM conduct independent transfer evaluations and accepts transfer credit only from acceptable institutions that are accredited. Courses accepted for transfer must be denoted as intended for transfer to be awarded by UMMC. Degree credits earned elsewhere in a licensed/certificated program fall under the same rules as those that apply to transfer courses in general. Individual programs at UMMC may require documentation of specialized accreditation from the originating institution or programs when considering acceptance of transfer credit. Courses may be transferred only when the grades earned are sufficiently high for the transfer courses to meet UMMC degree requirements, ensuring that the GPA for all acceptable transfer courses is a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA* and has been maintained on all course work attempted. The validity of transcripts from other institutions must be confirmed by the Office of Enrollment Management before accepting or awarding credit.
Undergraduate prerequisite course work (including general education core coursework)
OEM considers the specific UMMC program of study with the student’s general education credits as well as the specific areas of study of other transfer credit being requested when determining quality, consistency, comparability and appropriateness of the proffered academic credits.
Pursuant to individual school policy, every attempt on repeated courses may be counted. Applicants must list all colleges attended on the application for admission and have completed a minimum of 60-62 semester hours of academic credit depending upon the program, at an acceptable college or university which includes all prerequisite course work required by the selected program and the following 30 credit hour IHL-required core:
• English Composition – Six hours
• College Algebra, Quantitative Reasoning, or Higher Level Mathematics – Three hours
• Natural Science – Six hours
• Humanities and Fine Arts – Nine hours
• Social or Behavioral Science – Six hours
According to the articulation agreement between the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi Community College Board, credit is accepted from Mississippi Community or Junior Colleges for students to transfer into degree programs at UMMC. The articulation agreement also permits for the individual evaluation and subsequent acceptance of courses other than the ones specifically listed.
Upon admission, all accepted prerequisite courses are maintained, without changes in grades, as part of the student’s permanent academic record, but are not posted on the UMMC transcript.
Coursework related to field of study beyond required prerequisite courses
Undergraduate coursework beyond the 60-62 hours of required prerequisites and graduate or professional/doctoral level coursework is evaluated for acceptance by program faculty in accordance with school policies. Credit for coursework that has been accepted by faculty also must be evaluated by the Office of Enrollment to verify the authenticity of the transcript and accreditation status of the awarding institution.
C. Awarding Credit Not Originating From Coursework:
Awarding Credit by Standardized Assessments/Examinations: UMMC does not award credit based on standardized examinations such as advanced placement (AP) tests, proficiency examinations, or the standardized College Level Examination Program (CLEP). If a student is awarded credit by examination from another institution and is seeking to transfer credits to meet the 60 hours of required prerequisites, UMMC will accept the transfer credits. This credit is not conferred on a student’s UMMC transcript. The total number of hours accepted by UMMC that was awarded at another institution is noted on the transcript.
Awarding Credit by Prior Learning Assessment:
UMMC must ensure the academic quality of any credit or coursework recorded on UMMC transcript. PLA is an individualized process that offers students the opportunity to earn college credit for the knowledge, training, and skills previously learned through a broad range of experiences. It is designed to encourage degree completion by awarding credit for college level learning that a student has acquired prior to enrolling at UMMC. UMMC requires that a determination is made which ensures that credit awarded is comparable to a designated credit experience and is consistent with UMMC’s mission. Only those faculty who are academically qualified in the specific subject matter may be involved in the PLA decision making process. Consideration of earning credit under PLA involves the dean, or the dean’s designee of the school to which the applicant is assigned. In collaboration with OEM, the dean or dean’s designee oversees and determines which credits awarded under PLA meet the rigor, quality, consistency, comparability and appropriateness to the specific program of study, as well as the following general considerations:
• Awarding of PLA credit is program specific.
• PLA credit is issued in the form of hours attempted and hours earned; no grades or quality points will be awarded toward a student’s GPA.
• PLA credit cannot replace a failing grade nor duplicate previously earned course credit.
• Academic credit will be awarded only for students who have been admitted to the institution.
• When a national professional certification exists, UMMC will utilize that form of verification for PLA credit.
• PLA credits apply toward the degree or certification being sought in the same manner as traditional courses.
• PLA credit awarded at UMMC may not transfer to another institution. It is the student’s responsibility to check with their transfer institution for transferability.
• PLA credit may be awarded for professional licensure/national certifications or military coursework.
1. Professional Licensure/National Certifications
Through nationally recognized professional licensure certification, students may be able to demonstrate that college level learning has been acquired in a subject area. Faculty who are academically qualified in the specific area evaluate the knowledge, skills, and actions assessed as part of the Professional Licensure/National Certification which may be aligned with outcomes in a specific course and make a decision about the comparability of the certification to the learning outcomes of the course. The program faculty, along with the dean, or the dean’s designee of the school to which the applicant is assigned, in collaboration with OEM, oversees and determines that any credits awarded meet the level, content, quality, comparability and degree program relevance. Once the academic program makes a determination of the amount and level of professional credit to be awarded in satisfaction of specific course and program learning objectives, and coursework is completed in full, OEM will certify that the requested professional credit hours are properly transcripted.
Non-credit continuing education, corporate certification, or product-specific certification are not eligible for transfer credit consideration.
2. Credit for Military Coursework
Under the direction of the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), UMMC may award Military Transfer Credit for undergraduate students accepted to UMMC who have served in the U.S. military and who desire to have their military coursework for transfer credit. Students must submit an official Joint Services Transcript (JST) to the Office of Enrollment Management for auditing and approving appropriate number of transfer credits. Students wishing to receive this credit must meet the following criteria:
• Students submit an official Joint Services Transcript to the Office of Enrollment Management for evaluation.
• The Office of Enrollment Management researches to determine the recommended credit for coursework made by that organization.
• The Office of Enrollment Management sends a memo to the appropriate academic department with a request for evaluation and information collected regarding credit determination.
• The appropriate academic officer evaluates the information and advises the Office of Enrollment Management of what credit, if any, is to be accepted or awarded in that specific discipline. Credit should not be awarded for courses/experiences not offered by UMMC or otherwise inapplicable to the specific program of study.
• The Office of Enrollment Management records appropriate credit on official transcript and advises both the student and academic advisor of the credit that has been granted.
Students submitting military transcripts should have them sent as soon as possible to the Office of Enrollment Management as the evaluation of military coursework may take several weeks.
D. Acceptance of Transfer Credit for a Course in a Program of Study while Enrolled at UMMC
Once admitted to UMMC, a student must obtain written approval from the dean of the school where he or she is enrolled before taking courses at another institution with the intention of transferring credits toward a UMMC degree. A student will not receive credit for courses taken at another college or university while simultaneously attending UMMC unless prior approval is obtained from the student’s academic dean.
SCOPE: All undergraduate programs
PROCEDURES: None applicable
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Commission on Colleges. The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement. 2018. Section 9.4 “Institutional Credits for an Undergraduate Degree”.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Commission on Colleges. The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement. 2018. Section 10.8 “Evaluating and Awarding Academic Credit”. Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
University of Mississippi Medical Center Bulletin. Jackson (MS): University of Mississippi Medical Center, current UMMC Bulletin, General Information section.
Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning [Internet]. Policies and Bylaws. Adult Degree Completion Program (Section 521). Jackson (MS): Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning [updated August 17, 2017]. Available from: http://www.mississippi.edu/board/downloads/policiesandbylaws.pdf.
Articulation Agreement between the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi Community College Board, 2019. http://matttransfertool.com/About/artagr.aspx