Jul 22, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022 
Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Evaluation of Credit and Testing

Transcripts/Credit Documents

Columbia College students who have attended other institutions prior to enrollment are considered transfer students. Generally, full credit is given for work completed with a C grade or higher received from a regionally accredited college or university, provided the courses are comparable to courses listed in the Columbia College catalog.

  1. The applicant must inform the College of all institutions of higher learning attended and whether or not academic credit was earned at these institutions. Falsification of application information, including failure to identify all post-secondary institutions attended, may result in denial of admission or dismissal if discovered after enrollment.
  2. An official transcript from each college and university attended must be sent to the Office of the Registrar before transfer credit can be awarded. An official transcript is marked as such and sent directly from the institution attended to the Office of the Registrar. Transcripts marked “unofficial” or “student copy” will not be considered official even if delivered in a sealed envelope from the institution. Faxed transcripts are not considered official. 
  3. The Admissions Office, advisors and the nationwide campuses may review or advise applicants from unofficial transcripts/credit documents as they deem appropriate and necessary. However, any credit added to the student’s official academic record will be upon receipt and evaluation of an official transcript received by the Office of the Registrar. Credit will not be evaluated for one institution from another institution’s transcript.
  4. JST, CGI, and CCAF transcripts will be evaluated for military experience as well as CLEP, Excelsior and DANTES examinations.
  5. Applicants who are unable to obtain transcripts because the previous institution has closed, had a fire or other records catastrophe may include a letter from the institution or the Department of Education for the state where the school is located, indicating that the transcript is not available. If the letter is provided along with the application and other transfer documents, then there will be no delay in the evaluation process. If a previous institution is not currently and has never been accredited by one of the accrediting bodies recognized by Columbia College, an appeal may be made directly to the Office of the Registrar via the Admissions Office or the extended campus. The Office of the Registrar will confirm accreditation status and approve or deny request to evaluate without the transcript.
  6. Applicants are required to submit all military documentation and civilian training certificates for evaluation. Exceptions to this requirement may be made in cases of rare extenuating circumstances, and at the written request of the student. By requesting an evaluation without these documents, applicants accept responsibility for any consequences incurred as a result.
  7. Once a document has been submitted to Columbia College it becomes the property of the institution. Neither the original nor a copy will be given to the applicant.

Institutional Credit Requirement (Residency)

Institutional credit refers to credits earned through Columbia College. For Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, 15 semester hours of coursework must be completed with Columbia College. For the baccalaureate degree, 30 semester hours of coursework must be completed with the college.

Award of Credit Restrictions

Transfer Credit Hours: A minimum of 30 semester hours in residency must be completed for a baccalaureate degree and a minimum of 15 semester hours in residency must be completed for an associate degree. No semester hours with grades below C will be accepted in transfer.

Non-Traditional Credit: All baccalaureate degrees awarded by Columbia College require a minimum of 60 semester hours of traditional credit (coursework taken with Columbia College and other approved, accredited institutions); remaining coursework may be earned from traditional or non-traditional (military experience, CLEP exams, etc.) sources.

Transfer Credit Limitations: The amount of transfer credit awarded is limitless providing the following requirements are fulfilled:

  • Traditional transfer credits from colleges and universities must be accredited by one of the United States regional accrediting bodies: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges; WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC); Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE); New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE); Northwest Commission of Higher Education (NWCUU); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); or by a nationally accredited institution with ACICS (Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools) accreditation, or on course-by-course from ABHES (Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools) and ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and College) accredited-schools.
  • Non-traditional transfer credit must be evaluated and recommended by American Council on Education (ACE).
  • Credit will not be granted for duplicate content.  If two courses are deemed equivalent to one Columbia College course, credit will be granted for only one.
  • Departmental elective credit may be granted more than one time only if the course content is not the same.
  • The number of transfer credits which apply to a student’s degree is determined by the degree selected at Columbia College.  


Act Residual

The ACT Residual is offered periodically throughout the year. Registration is required. Scores are not reported outside Columbia College. The cost is $30.00.

Advanced Placement

Columbia College offers equivalency credit in semester hours to Day Campus students for Advanced Placement tests (AP). A score of 3 or above is acceptable. AP credit in English meets the College’s requirement for ENGL 133W   .


Columbia College offers equivalency credit in semester hours for College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests. Credit for CLEP subject and general exams is awarded if the score is at or above the minimum score recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE). This score is set at the mean score achieved by students who earned a C in the respective course.

Official test score reports are submitted to the Office of the Registrar for validation of academic credit. If tests were completed more than 20 years prior to submission for evaluation, score reports will not be available. Students may contact their advisor for more information about submitting CLEP test results from other institutions for evaluation by Columbia College if the results from CLEP are not available.

Students may choose to re-take the tests after a six month waiting period. Waiver of the waiting period cannot be submitted to the Test Administrator until 90 days have elapsed since the last exam completion.

Students who take the CLEP exam for College Composition will transfer in as three semester hours for ENGL 133W   and three semester hours for ELEC 144. The College Composition Modular CLEP exam will transfer in as three semester hours for ENGL 107  .

All credit completed by examination and accepted in transfer is recorded in semester hours. Registration is available online for CLEP exams by visiting www.ccis.edu/testing and selecting the CLEP link.

Excelsior Exams

Columbia College awards credit for Excelsior Exams (formerly ACT Pep/Regents Exams); official transcripts must be submitted for evaluation and credit is awarded if the score is at or above the minimum acceptable score. Additional information can be obtained on the Office of the Registrar website.

Correspondence Credit

Correspondence credit is accepted if recorded on an official transcript from another regionally accredited college or university.

General Education Waiver Policy

An approved Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an approved accrediting body completed prior to enrollment with Columbia College will be accepted in transfer as fulfilling the Columbia College bachelor’s degree general education requirements. Columbia College associate degrees are not eligible for general education waivers. The approved accrediting bodies regarding all degrees listed above include, but are not limited to, the following: MSA, NCA-HLC, NEASC-CIHE, SACS-CC, WASC-JR and WASC-SR. BA and BS degrees granted by institutions accredited by ACICS are also acceptable for this policy.

The Office of the Registrar at Columbia College determines if the degree is “approved” and “transferable.” Prior to an official evaluation, there is no guarantee of a general education waiver.

General Education Alternate Associate Transfer Policy

Any associate degree completed at an institution that holds accreditation approved by Columbia College follows the alternate associate transfer policy. The alternate policy acknowledges associate degrees from regionally accredited institutions that meet these criteria:

  • The degree was completed prior to enrollment with Columbia College
  • Take ENGL 133W   First-Year Writing Seminar with a grade of “C” or better
  • Take an additional 30 semester hours with at least three hours from each of the following groups of course codes:
    • Group 1: ANTH, GEOG, PSYC, SOCI
    • Group 3: BIOL, CHEM, ENVS, GEOL, PHYS
    • Group 4: [MATH Equivalent to Beginning Algebra or higher]

If students have not earned an associate or bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment with Columbia College, general education requirements must be completed even if the previous school’s general education requirements were met. Requirements are evaluated on a course-by-course basis.

A three semester credit hour course consists of 40 contact hours of instruction (five hours per week for 8 weeks). Every credit hour earned consists of a reasonable period of time outside of instruction which the institution requires a student to devote to preparation for learning experiences, such as preparation for instruction, study of course material, or completion of educational projects.

To obtain credit, students submit official transcripts from each college or university attended at the time of application for admission. An official transcript is one sent directly from the institution attended to Columbia College, and which bears an official seal of the institution and signature of the Registrar. Students are required to identify all post-secondary institutions attended. Failure to do so may result in denial of admission.

Columbia College accepts credit transferred at the level granted by the transferring institution. Courses transferred from two-year institutions are not accepted for upper-level credit, even if a direct equivalency to an upper level course is made. Upper level coursework from a transferring institution does not lose its upper level value even if a direct equivalency is made to a Columbia College lower level course.

Graduate-level coursework may not be transferred to Columbia College for undergraduate credit. However, up to nine hours of graduate-level course work may be granted to Columbia College graduate students. Please see the Graduate Catalog for more information.

Courses at other institutions that may be completed for undergraduate or graduate credit will be reviewed on an individual basis. If the student was an undergraduate at the time of completion, the course may be accepted in transfer as undergraduate credit. If the student completed a baccalaureate degree prior to the course, it will not be accepted as undergraduate credit, and the above stated process for graduate credit will apply. For additional information, see the Office of the Registrar website.

Military Credit


Semester hour credit is awarded for passing DSST exam scores as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE). Official exam records must be sent to the Office of the Registrar for evaluation.

Military Service

Columbia College awards credit for military training and experience based on ACE credit recommendations. Columbia College requires submission of official military transcripts for awarding transfer credit. Acceptable military transcripts include CCAF and JST. Other documents may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Office of the Registrar with specific questions about this policy.

Credit for Prior Learning

Many students who participate in learning experiences outside the classroom wish to earn college credit for their work. Columbia College offers a number of ways students may earn such credit. CLEP tests and ACE credit are the preferred means because they require a theory-base for awarding credit and they have national norms/criteria or both. If neither of the above credit-awarding methods are an option, Columbia College awards credit for prior learning (CPL).

Before applying for CPL credits, students must have completed 12 hours of Columbia College credit. Students also must have completed ENGL 133W  or its equivalent with a grade of C or better. These credits, if taken at Columbia College, may be included in the 12-hour requirement.

CPL credit that is equivalent to Columbia College coursework is generally applicable to degree requirements. A maximum of 15 semester hours of CPL credit can be awarded. CPL is not awarded where college credit in a similar course has been earned. CPL credit does not count toward Columbia College residency.


CPL is evaluated using the following criteria:

  • It has general applicability outside the specific situation in which it was acquired
  • It articulates theories, principles and general techniques
  • It has both a theoretical and practical understanding of the subject area
  • It may be assessed by a faculty expert
  • It is of college-level quality as determined by the faculty expert
  • It meets specific course objectives or competencies and has a relationship to degree aspirations or educational goals
  • The knowledge or skill represented as learning is current with that expected in the classroom/ employment situation
  • The level of confidence equals or exceeds what would normally be considered a C level of performance in the classroom

Students seeking CPL must submit a portfolio of relevant information that describes the learning acquired in a specific course area. Portfolio contents are described below. Students must have adequate writing skills (ENGL 133W  are prerequisites). An evaluation assessment fee of $75 per semester hour is required for each course submitted for review. This fee is payable upon submission of the portfolio.

No additional fees are assessed if credit is awarded. Each portfolio is assessed by a full-time faculty member in the corresponding subject. If the faculty member determines that the knowledge of the subject is college-level and equal to a grade of C or better, credit will be awarded. If the knowledge is judged to be insufficient, the faculty member will deny credit. If the faculty member decides more information is needed to make a recommendation, the student will be asked to submit additional evidence.

Send the portfolio to Academic Affairs, Columbia College, 1001 Rogers Street, Columbia, MO 65216. Attach to the portfolio a check or money order for the assessment fee. Anticipate 60 to 90 days for the evaluation process to be completed. Students will be notified of the evaluation outcome and credit, if awarded, will be posted to the transcript at no additional charge.

International Baccalaureate

Columbia College accepts credit from successfully completed International Baccalaureate (IB) coursework. Course equivalencies and transfer credit awards vary by subject and International Baccalaureate course level (standard/higher).

Students who have completed the International Baccalaureate diploma, completed higher-level (HL) courses with a score of four or better, and standard level (SL) courses with a score of five or better are eligible to receive a minimum of 10 hours of transfer credit.

Students who have not completed the International Baccalaureate diploma, but who have completed higher-level courses with a score of five or better, will be granted equivalency credit on a course-by-course basis. Specific course equivalencies are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

Professional Designations

The field of financial services which includes financial planning, investments, real estate, and insurance lends itself well to the recognition of credit for professional license. Students who have earned the following professional designations will be awarded credit as follows:

Professional Designation Columbia College Equivalent
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) FINC 298  & FINC 354  
Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) FINC 298  & FINC 354  
Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) FINC 295  
Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) FINC 295  
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) SOCI 111 , ELEC 444, BIOL 444*
State Real Estate Salesperson’s or Broker’s License FINC 397  
NASD General Securities Representative (Series 7) FINC 354  
*Credit awarded for students not pursuing an AS in Nursing  

Individuals who currently hold a professional designation/license can receive credit for the above courses as indicated upon submission of a statement of designation/license renewal from the appropriate professional regulatory organization. Designations/licenses must be active at the time credit is sought.

LPNs must present a copy of their license in order to receive credit, pass the HESI Fundamentals of Nursing Proficiency Exam with a score of 75% or higher, and successfully complete a clinical skills assessment conducted by Nursing Department faculty.