Nontraditional College Credit

Gadsden State provides a mechanism for students to earn college credit for experience and knowledge attained outside the traditional classroom. 

Articulated Credit

Articulation is designed to create a smooth transition for students from secondary education to postsecondary education by awarding college credit for career/technical courses taken in high school. Articulation agreements provide a basis for introducing students to a “pathway” through high school and college coursework into future employment. Advantages to students are that course content duplication is avoided, time to complete a degree is reduced, and the cost of postsecondary education is reduced. State articulation agreements are in place in many technical fields, and criteria for awarding articulated credit can be found on the Alabama Community College website: Students seeking articulation credit must submit to the Records Office a completed Career/Technical Education Course Articulation Credit Request Form.  See program advisor or Dean of Workforce Development for more information.

Awarding Credit through Experiential Learning

  1. Credit for experiential learning can be awarded only after the assessment of experiential learning experiences and only for documented learning that demonstrates achievement of all terminal objectives for a specific course or courses.
  2. Course credit earned through experiential learning shall be noted on the student’s transcript as having been awarded through experiential learning.
  3. Credit for academic transfer courses awarded through experiential learning may be awarded by examination or nationally recognized guidelines only (DANTES, Challenge Exams, ACE PONSI/CREDIT, and ACE/Military). Credit for experiential learning (portfolio review) may not be awarded for academic transfer courses.
  4. No more than 25% of the total credit required for any program may be awarded as a result of experiential learning, CLEP, etc. Credit awarded through experiential learning does not count toward the minimum of 25% of semester credit hours that must be completed at the college granting the degree as referenced in Alabama Community College System Policy 715.01.
  5. Before receiving credit through experiential learning for a course, an individual must meet the enrollment requirements of the course.
  6. Credit may not be awarded twice for the same learning.


College Credit by Examination or Experience

The Alabama Community College System recognizes that individuals can develop mastery of course competencies through employment, training, and other experiences, which is termed “prior learning.” College credit can be awarded for prior learning toward courses whose terminal objectives have already been mastered to an acceptable degree of proficiency. The individual must document skill mastery, and experiential learning/college credit can only be awarded through an examination.

If a student achieves the required score, the student may receive credit through either the Advanced Placement Program Examination (AP) or the College Level Examination Program General Examinations (CLEP) under the following conditions.

The Advanced Placement Program (AP) is a cooperative effort between secondary and post-secondary education.  Students taking advanced placement courses in high school may take the Advanced Placement Examination after completion of those high school courses.  College credit may be awarded to students based upon the results of the examination.

GSCC awards credit for CLEP subject examinations based on a minimum score requirement for each exam as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE). CLEP credit is not granted for college-level courses previously failed, for courses in which credit for higher level course work has been earned, or for credit already earned in the subject examination’s course equivalent. No more than 25% of the total credit required for any program may be awarded through nontraditional means toward a degree at Gadsden State. Acceptance of non-traditional academic work by GSCC does not guarantee other institutions will accept such work. This determination will be made by the respective transfer institution.

The CLEP offers a wide range of exams that can save time and money.  A satisfactory score on an exam allows a student to receive college credit for what he or she already knows. To review detailed information about CLEP exams and how to register, please visit CLEP exams and scores currently accepted by Gadsden State are as follows:

CLEP Test GSCC Credit ACE Score Minimum
Financial Accounting BUS 241 Principles of Accounting I 50
Information Systems and Computer Applications CIS 146 Microcomputer Applications 50
Introductory Business Law BUS 263 Legal and Social Environment of Business 50
American Literature ENG 251 American Literature I 50
College Composition ENG 101 English Composition I 50
  ENG 102 English Composition II 50
English Literature ENG 261 English Literature I 50
Humanities HUM 101 Introduction To Humanities I 50
Spanish Language, Level 1 SPA 101 Introductory Spanish I 50
  SPA 102 Introductory Spanish II 50
Spanish Language, Level 2 SPA 201 Intermediate Spanish I 63
  SPA 202 Intermediate Spanish II 63
German, Level 1 GRN 101 Introductory German I 50
  GRN 102 Introductory German II 50
American Government POL 211 American National Government 50

History of the United States I: Early Colonization to 1877

HIS 201 United States History I 50
History of the United States II: 1865 to Present HIS 202 United States History II 50
Human Growth and Development PSY 210 Human Growth and Development 50
Introductory Psychology PSY 200 General Psychology 50
Introductory Sociology SOC 200 Introduction to Sociology 50
Principles of Macroeconomics ECO 231 Principles of Macroeconomics 50
Principles of Microeconomics ECO 232 Principles of Microeconomics 50
Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648 HIS 101 Western Civilization I 50
Western Civilization II: 1648 to Present HIS 102 Western Civilization II 50
Biology BIO 103  Principles of Biology I 50
Calculus MTH 125  Calculus I 50
Chemistry CHM 111 College Chemistry I 50
  CHM 112 College Chemistry II 50
College Algebra MTH 100  Intermediate College Algebra 50
College Mathematics MTH 116 Math Applications 50
Pre-Calculus MTH 112 Pre-Calculus 50