Transfer or Experiential Credit

Adults bring a wide array of talents and expertise to the college experience. Some of it stems from a traditional collegiate program and some of it comes from non-traditional sources, such as professional training, technical and certificate programs, as well as their own work experience.

The School of Professional and Graduate Studies considers and evaluates all of these sources, allowing the adult student to transfer more credits into their St. Joseph’s degree program.

Transfer Credit

  • Adult learners can transfer up to 96 credits from four-year traditional colleges and universities

— or —
  • Adult learners can transfer up to 82 credits from a combination of two-year college programs, non-traditional training programs, experiential credit and credit by examination.

Either way, many students begin their degree program at St. Joseph’s College with more than half the credits they need to graduate.

Experiential Credit

  • St. Joseph’s believes that an adult’s working experience is a valuable commodity, just like how we regard internships and student teaching experiences. Adults often have worked in jobs that exercise skills without the course work ahead of time. But that doesn't diminish the learning experience nor the valuable skills and knowledge they gained.

  • The School of Professional and Graduate Studies offers a Prior Experiential Learning Assessment (PELA) program to sift through the adult’s entire prior learning and provide an opportunity to earn transfer credit.

  • Not only is traditional course work evaluated for transfer, adult students may take a portfolio course, where they document their skills and knowledge in a rigorous written format for each area of expertise. The portfolios are then moved along to outside evaluators, who are experts in the field. As long as the student can document clearly and validate successfully, the experiential credit turns into usable transfer credit and significantly speeds up the student’s progress.

  • A final way to earn additional transfer credit is to take CLEP or D.S.S.T. (formerly DANTES) tests, which allows the adult student to speed up the bachelor’s degree process and reduce some of the cost.

There are strict guidelines for all of these options and not everyone is able to benefit from them. Students may already have too much transfer credit or they might not have enough working experience.

Nursing, however, does not allow experiential transfer credit. But for the majority who do fit into the PELA program, the rewards are great, measured in both time and money. For more information, consult the catalog.

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