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College Equivalent Credit

College equivalent credit is given to students for selected work and life experiences that can be equated to college course work. In a few areas, standardized awards of credit have been determined for specific credentials earned by students. In order to get college equivalent credit (CEC), students must write portfolios.

Requesting credit through a portfolio evaluation requires students to pay a portfolio fee of $300. As of July 2005, a $10 per credit posting fee will be charged in addition to the $300 fee. Remember that portfolio credit cannot be used to meet the residency requirement, but may be used to meet some general education and upper division requirements. Portfolio credit may not duplicate credit already on the student’s transcript, and portfolio credit may not be transferred to another degree program.

Frequently Asked Questions about Portfolios and Standardized Awards

Q. Exactly what is a portfolio?

A. A portfolio is a written document justifying and documenting the request for college-equivalent credit. Portfolios have four components: 1) Cover Page, including name, address, telephone, e-mail, etc. 2) Chronological Overview, or table of contents; 3) Part II, listing all training or non-college courses, and; 4) Part III, listing work experience, including volunteer work.

Q. Who reads the portfolios and determines whether credit is awarded?

A. Portfolios are sent to the academic departments on campus that offer the requested credits. Faculty in those departments read and determine the credit awards. If Shepherd does not offer the program of study or the specialty courses that are involved, the portfolio is sent to another West Virginia state college.

Q. Can I get help in putting my portfolio together?

A. There are instructions with the portfolio forms, and there are sample portfolios for you to view in the R.B.A office. Contact Donna Miller at for assistance.

Q. Is there a limit on the amount of college-equivalent credit that can be earned?

A. No. If someone is a full performance air traffic controller, for example, they can receive 30 lower division credits, and 30 upper division credits from the R.B.A Standard Guidelines; but, on the average, a student can get anywhere from 6 to 30 credits.

Q. How do the credits earned through a portfolio evaluation appear on my transcript?

A. They are designated as CEC credits. College-equivalent credit is not graded.

Q. Can you resubmit a portfolio if you don’t get all the credit you want?

A. It is usually possible to resubmit a portfolio for additional credit, especially if faculty evaluators indicate what is needed for full credit. There is no fee for a resubmission, but this must be done in the following semester. If submitted at a later date, another $300 will be charged.

Q. Are there sample portfolios available for review?

A. Yes, sample portfolios may be seen in the R.B.A Office, 157/158 Scarborough Library.  They cannot, however, be taken out of the office.

Q. What happens to portfolios after they are assessed?

A. The portfolio copies are kept by the R.B.A Office for one year and then returned to the student or destroyed. The original portfolio and supporting documents can be returned to the student after evaluation. Students must arrange to pick up their portfolios; the R.B.A Office does not mail them.

Q. Should you submit a portfolio as soon as you enter the R.B.A Program?

A. A portfolio can be submitted after you have been admitted and completed a semester of classes. The portfolio needs to be submitted at least a semester before your anticipated graduation. An administrator can meet with you to discuss the portfolio process and format.

Q. How do I find out about standardized awards?

A. A partial list of standardized awards is given at the back of this handbook. Standardized awards change over time, so it is always wise to check at the R.B.A Office to see if the awards require specific documentation. ACE (American Council on Education) credit awards are recognized in the R.B.A program. A copy of the ACE Guide is available in the R.B.A Office.