Credit from Postsecondary Institutions Procedures and Policies
Transfer Credits from Accredited Colleges or Universities
Credit is generally acceptable for transfer if it is earned from a college or university that is accredited by the Commission on Colleges or the Commission on Higher Education of one of the nine regional accrediting agencies in the United States and is comparable to coursework required in the student’s NOVA curriculum. Once an institution is regionally accredited, NOVA will recognize credits earned at the institution during its candidacy for accreditation or in the two years prior to the institution’s full accreditation by such commissions, whichever is the shorter period of time. Credit also may be transferred from institutions if the Transfer of Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions, published by American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, states that credit from the institution “is generally accepted for courses that are appropriate to the reporting institution’s baccalaureate programs.”
Postsecondary Credits from Non-Accredited Colleges or Universities
Credits earned at post-secondary institutions without regional accreditation do not transfer to NOVA even if the institution is accredited through a different commission such as a national accrediting organization or specialized and professional accreditors. However, in some cases where a postsecondary institution offers specialized educational opportunities (culinary institutes, etc.) and the institution is empowered by a state to award associate degrees or above, NOVA faculty may pre-approve the recommendation to award equivalent transfer credit for courses within a specific discipline. Courses, which have been specifically evaluated and will be accepted for transfer, are listed in this manual; only credit earned after the date specified in the review will be accepted.
Transfer Equivalency Statement
Courses will be transferred at full credit value. Totally dissimilar and unrelated courses will not be grouped together to fulfill NOVA sequential course requirements. To be considered equivalent to a specific NOVA course, transferred courses must be the same number of credits (or more) than their NOVA counterpart. NOVA maintains a transfer course equivalency database that NOVA faculty may access.
Transcript Evaluation Process
NOVA accepts credits from other regionally accredited U.S. colleges and universities for which a student has earned a grade of “C” or better. To have such credit evaluated, students must submit an official transcript from their previous institution. An official transcript is one that has the seal of the institution or testing organization and the signature of an official of that institution or organization. An official transcript must be received in a sealed envelope from the originating institution that has no overt sign of having been opened or otherwise disturbed. Official transcripts may be mailed directly from the transferring institution to the College Records Office. The evaluation of transcripts is intended as a service to students who are pursuing academic programs at NOVA. It is not intended as a means for credentialing students or providing documentation for job promotions, etc. Students are no longer required to submit a Transfer Credit Evaluation form unless they are a Virgina Community College System (VCCS) student. VCCS students will need to submit this form in order to be identified by the College Records Office for transfer credit evaluation. Students should send their transcripts during their first semester at the College so that the transcript will be evaluated in a timely manner. NOVA does not award credit based on another institution’s evaluations; all sources of credit will be evaluated based on NOVA’s policies and guidelines. Visit the following webpage for more information about transcript evaluation, https://www.nvcc.edu/cro.
Regional Accreditation Policy
Credit is generally acceptable for transfer if it is earned from a college or university that is accredited by the Commission on Colleges or the Commission on Higher Education from one of the nine regional accrediting agencies in the United States and is comparable to coursework required in the student’s NOVA curriculum. NOVA recognizes credits earned from the following accrediting bodies:
Credit also may be transferred from institutions if the Transfer of Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions states that credit from the institutions “is generally accepted for courses, which are appropriate to the reporting institution’s baccalaureate programs.” Credit is not accepted from institutions that do not meet these criteria.
Course Specific Credit
All acceptable courses will be transferred as closely to the NOVA course equivalent as possible. Direct course credit cannot be given for a course not offered at NOVA. In this case only elective credit may be given. The academic dean and/or pathway council responsible for the chosen curriculum will determine if the courses in question may be substituted for a course required within the curriculum.
Required Grades (Pending update due to COVID-19)
Generally, only courses earning a grade of “C” (not “C-“) or better will be accepted for transfer credit. Courses earning a grade of “P” (for a Pass/Fail course) or, with the designation “CR” (for credit), may be accepted for transfer if the transcript indicates that credit hours have been awarded and if the transcript states that the P grade is the equivalent of an A-C (not D) grade. Courses graded with a Pass may be placed on the transcript for later use; they will be applied to students’ programs as noted above. Students who are interested in transferring to four-year institutions are advised to review the institution’s policies and guidelines on the acceptance and awarding of Pass/Fail credits from NOVA. Please note that the manner in which credit is accepted and/or applied varies by institution.
Sequential courses (two semesters or three quarters) in which one or more grades of “D” were earned may be transferred as a sequence at full credit if the grades for the sequence average at least a grade of “C.” Failing grades will not be accepted for averaging. Grade averaging will be weighted by the credit hour value of the courses. Very dissimilar and unrelated courses will not be grouped together to fulfill NOVA sequential course requirements.
Natural Science Course with Separate Laboratory
For courses with separate lecture and laboratory grades, a “C” (not “C-“) average or better must be earned in order for credit to be awarded. Failing grades are not accepted for averaging. Thus, if a student has received a grade of “F” in either the lecture or the laboratory, the course will not be accepted. Grade averaging will be weighted by the credit hour value of the courses. However, the portion that was passed may be accepted for elective credit and combined with the missing portion from NOVA or another college.
Credit for Prior Learning Awards on Transcripts
NOVA will recognize and award transfer credit for credit awarded through institutionally administered exams, portfolios, etc. and posted as course equivalent credit on official transcripts from colleges and universities that are regionally accredited in the U.S. NOVA will reevaluate credit for external advanced placement such as ACE recommendations, AP, CLEP, or IB.
Evaluation of International Transcripts
NOVA accepts international transcript evaluations from World Education Services (WES at http://www.wes.org), the International Education Research Foundation (IERF at http://www.IERF.org), Educational Credential Evaluator (ECE at https://www.ece.org), or Foreign Credentials Services of America (FCSA at http://foreigncredentials.org). NOVA will also accept AACRAO transcript evaluations dated prior to August 2016 and on a case-by-case basis, NACES approved evaluations performed prior to August 2014. Students may only submit one evaluation during their academic career at NOVA. Students must submit their original transcripts to one of these organizations and pay for the course-by- course evaluation. NOVA cannot guarantee the quality or outcome of the evaluations. Once the College receives a copy of the evaluation, appropriate transfer credit will be awarded and posted to the student’s record unless NOVA needs additional information. In some cases, students may need to provide NOVA with more detailed course information before transfer credit can be awarded. Credit for ENG 111 or higher English credit will be awarded only if the student has taken NOVA’s English Placement Test and qualified for ENG 111.
Ten Year Limit on Career-Technical Credits
Transfer credit for career-technical courses that were taken more than ten years ago and are intended to be applied to graduation in the career-technical area are not routinely accepted. Exceptions must be approved by the academic dean responsible for the student’s curriculum.
General Elective Credit
Transfer credit may be allowed for certain courses which do not correspond directly to NOVA courses but are in disciplines NOVA offers. The academic dean and/or pathway council responsible for the student’s curriculum will determine if and how, within NOVA and VCCS policy, the elective(s) may be used in the curriculum.
Transcripts Showing Only English Courses
Effective 2014, NOVA does not accept a transcript from any college that shows only English unless the student places into ENG 111 via Accuplacer, VPT, or one of the other approved placement alternatives. When a case falls into a gray area, the College Transfer Credit Evaluation Coordinator consults with the Associate Vice Presidents of Academic Services and Student Services & Enrollment Management before deciding. English deans are involved as appropriate.
SDV Transfer Credit for Students with Previous Degrees
Students who have attended another regionally accredited United States institution of higher education should request that an official transcript be submitted for evaluation. Credit will be awarded on a course-by course basis. In addition, students who have graduated with an associate, baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited United States institution of higher education are considered to have fulfilled NOVA’s SDV requirement.