Section A: Enrollment, Aid and College Life
The Credential Evaluations Department provides assistance for students seeking an evaluation of their progress towards completion. Evaluators will review and evaluate official transcripts sent to Clark College, process applications for program completion, and respond to Credit for Prior Learning inquiries. For more detailed information about what Credential Evaluations is responsible for, please visit our website or call 360-992-2805.
Credential Evaluation Policies
Academic Standards Petition
Students who believe an error has been made, or who would like to request an exception to the established degree requirements should contact the Credential Evaluations Office to inquire about an Academic Standards Petition.
Students may complete their degree(s) or certificate(s) under the requirements set forth in any catalog issued during their attendance at Clark College. However, no catalog will be valid for more than seven (7) years. Any student not in attendance at Clark College for two (2) or more calendar years is required to complete the program requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their re-entry to the college. (WAC 132N-160-080).
Diplomas will be mailed 6-8 weeks following the completion of a student's degree or certificate requirements. Diplomas that are lost or misplaced may not be available for reprint. Contact the Credential Evaluations Office for more information.
Graduation Application Deadlines
Students must submit a graduation application to the Credential Evaluations Department
in order to be awarded a degree or certificate upon the fulfillment of the completion
requirements. Students are encouraged to submit the graduation application one term
before they plan to complete all of their requirements. If students do not complete
their degree or certificate requirements in the term of application, they must reapply.
The priority processing deadline for graduation applications is the tenth (10th) day of the term in which the student plans to finish degree or certificate requirements. Graduation applications submitted by the priority deadline will be processed first and assured the awarding of the degree or certificate for the requested term.
Graduation applications received after the priority deadline and through the eighth (8th) week of the term will be accepted; however, applications received during this non-priority period will be processed after all priority graduation applications have been reviewed and processed. Applications received during this period are not guaranteed to be processed in time to award the degree or certificate in that term, provided all degree or certificate requirements have been fulfilled.
Graduation applications received after the eighth (8th) week of the term will not be processed for that term and will be moved to the subsequent term for review. The awarding of the degree or certificate will be posted to the student's transcript in the subsequent term.
Credit for Prior Learning
Have you dreamed of completing a degree you started long ago? Is it overwhelming to consider beginning or returning to school after being out of the educational system for several years? The process may not be as difficult as you may think! You may be able to earn college credit for knowledge and skills you have gained from prior education and training, military experience, volunteer, and life and work experiences. Prior learning assessment is a process that enables individuals to demonstrate what they have learned–usually through life and work experiences–and have that learning assessed for college credit.
Granting college credit based on assessment of a student's prior learning in the workplace, military, or through other life experiences can have positive impacts on college affordability, institutional capacity, and student success. Legislation passed by the state of Washington requires Clark College to collaborate with the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges in supporting the state goals for credit for prior learning. Clark College is committed to fostering an educated and skilled workforce, which is essential for economic prosperity and meaningful work for the citizens in Clark's service area. Further, Clark College is dedicated to awarding credit for applicable learning experiences that can help more students complete their training and degree programs sooner by evaluating an individual's existing knowledge and competencies for college credit. Students may be assessed through various processes that will determine the degree to which you have met the learning outcomes of the content in question. This could be a test, written assessment, oral interview, project, performance, or another appropriate method by which the faculty member determines your understanding of the subject matter.
For more detailed information on Credit for Prior Learning please contact 360-992-2805.
Credit may be awarded for documented experiential learning outside the college upon the recommendation of appropriately qualified teaching faculty. Documentation may be in the form of, but not limited to, a licensure or certification document that demonstrates that learning outcomes have been accomplished.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Clark College awards credit for successful CLEP examinations. An up-to-date list of subjects and required scores can be found on our website page. To be considered for credit, a student must pass the examination with the equivalent of a "C" or better grade. The transcript will reflect the credit granted by listing the equivalent course number, title, and credits. Refer to the Other Applicable Credit Options section for further restrictions on the number of credits applicable toward specific programs. Not all institutions accept CLEP credits. Students intending to transfer to another institution should contact the transfer institution for information on their CLEP policy.
Procedure for Requesting CLEP Credits
Students should have an official copy of their CLEP scores sent to:
Attn: Credential Evaluations/GHL108
1933 Fort Vancouver Way
Vancouver, WA 98663
Once scores are received and reviewed, an email will be sent to the student at the Clark College student email address regarding the credits to be awarded. CLEP credits are posted to the transcript at the end of the term in which the scores were submitted as long as the student is enrolled in that term.
Although Clark College accepts CLEP, the college is not a testing site. The nearest CLEP testing facility is Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon. Please contact MHCC at 503-491-7591 for information on testing availability and cost.
Where to Get CLEP Scores
CLEP Transcript Service
PO Box 6600
Princeton, NJ 08541-6600
Students who believe that previous experience has provided them with the competencies essential for passing a course may request to challenge that course. A course challenge process may be used when:
- There is a specific Clark College course for which the student believes that the learning outcomes can be met, and
- The course can be challenged (some courses may not be challengeable).
Students wishing to challenge a course may not be currently enrolled in the course they wish to challenge, nor may students challenge courses if they have completed a course with a higher degree of difficulty. Courses that have been successfully challenged will be appear on the student's transcript with an "S" grade. There will be no transcript entry for an unsuccessful challenge. The successful challenge will appear on the student's transcript within the term earned and does not count toward the Clark College residency requirement. Students should check with the Credentials and Evaluation Office for the current application process and course challenge fee.
Students can receive academic credits for experience and knowledge gained through military participation. Credits will be conferred based on ACE credit recommendations, in consultation with academic departments. Academic credit for military experience will be limited to 25 percent of total credits required for degree/certificate completion. Students should consult the Veterans Affairs Department to discuss applying military credits to their degree plan. The Credential Evaluations Department will evaluate all incoming military credits upon receipt.
Clark College meets the requirements of RCW 28B.10.057 by awarding academic credit for military training. The academic credit awarded for prior military training is granted only for training that is applicable to the student’s degree or certificate requirements. The individual must be enrolled in Clark College and have successfully completed any military training course or program as part of the military service that is:
- Recommended for credit by a national higher education association that provides credit recommendations for military training programs;
- Included in the individual’s military transcript issued by any branch of the armed services;
- Documented military training or experience that is substantially equivalent to any course or program offered by the institution of higher education.
Clark College enrolled students who are veterans of any branch of the United States armed services who wish to receive transfer credit must provide an official Joint Services Transcript (JST) through the armed services in which he/she served, from the Community College of the Air Force or any other college/university attended. Upon receipt of the official transcript the following actions will occur:
- Within ten (10) business days of transcript receipt, the Credentials Evaluations Office will evaluate the transcript for reading, English, and mathematics placement and any academic (general education) credits earned, posting to the student record as applicable.
- Technical classes that require more review to determine a direct equivalency will be forwarded to appropriate program faculty along with the course description and the accompanying ACE (American Council on Education) course recommendation.
- Military credit recommendations that are direct equivalents to Clark course offerings may be articulated to that specific course. If direct course equivalents do not exist, elective credit (non-direct equivalent) will be awarded when possible. Both direct and non-direct equivalents must be applicable toward the veteran’s program of study.
- The Credentials Evaluations Office will post the credit to the student record and then notify the student of credits accepted with directions on how to access their Degree Audit so they may view credit applicability to their program of study.
- In the case of a change of program, the veteran must notify the Credential Evaluations Office so the transfer credit may be re-evaluated and applied to the student record as applicable.
- Per the Veteran’s Administration, all veteran student transfer credit must be evaluated within two (2) terms of program start. After the third term, if the student does not submit all transcripts, he/she may be decertified for the use of VA education benefits.
- Veteran students using education benefits are not permitted to opt out of transfer credit evaluation.
Military credit will not be granted for:
- Non-credit courses and workshops;
- Remedial or college preparatory courses;
- Sectarian religious studies
Clark College offers an online degree audit service to current Clark College students.
By using Degree Audit, you are able to obtain an unofficial evaluation of credits
you have earned at Clark College and credits you have transferred from other accredited
institutions by submitting official transcripts during the admissions process. Degree
Audit will evaluate your progress towards a Clark College degree and/or certificate.
Participation in Commencement Ceremonies
The June Commencement ceremony is for those students who have completed or plan to complete their degree or certificate during the current academic year. Participation is not required. Candidates must file their graduation application and cap and gown order by the appropriate deadline to be eligible. Ceremony participation does not guarantee degree completion. Students completing their degree in the 2016 summer term may participate in Commencement of the previous academic year.
Caps & Gowns
Only students who submit a Cap and Gown Order Form and Graduation Application will be allowed to participate in the Commencement ceremony. The Cap and Gown Order Form is available in the Advising Department and is given to students once they have submitted the graduation (program completion) application. The Cap and Gown Order Form deadline for submission will be published on the website. There is a fee for caps and gowns; please refer to the order form for current pricing. If you have received honors, honors regalia will be available in the bookstore at the time you pick up your cap and gown packet. Students who have submitted the Cap and Gown Order Form will receive detailed information in May regarding the process for ceremony participation and cap and gown disbursement.
Transfer Institution Accreditation Requirements
Clark College accepts credits from regionally accredited institutions of higher education. Recognized accrediting bodies are as follows:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc./Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE)
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA-HLC)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges (SACS-CC)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (WASC-ACCJC)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC-ACSCU)
Domestic Institution Transfer Policy
Students who have attended other regionally accredited institutions of higher education
may choose to transfer credit to Clark College to meet course prerequisites and degree
requirements. All coursework, including courses earned as part of prior degrees, will
be evaluated on a course-by-course basis for transferability to Clark College. The
Credential Evaluations Office will review the content of each course transferred and
determine the appropriate course equivalency.
Official copies of transcripts are required for evaluation. Transcripts are considered official if issued directly from the prior institution or delivered in the original sealed envelope. Course descriptions and/or syllabi may be required to complete evaluations in some instances. It is the student's responsibility to request course and catalog information from an outside institution and provide them to Clark College. Once transcripts from other institutions are received, they become part of a student's permanent educational record and cannot be released by Clark College.
Although there is no limit on the number of credits that can transfer into the college, students must meet the Academic Residency requirements for their program. Any Health Occupation competitive entry program student MUST provide all transfer institution transcripts.
International Institution Transfer Policy
Students with credits from international institutions of education may submit their academic records for credit consideration. The amount of credit awarded will vary, based on the individual record of the student. Clark College does not recognize English coursework completed in countries outside of the United States, with the exception of Australia, Canada (except Quebec province), Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Clark College requires translation and evaluation of the student's academic record from an agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. A current list of members is available online at www.naces.org. The costs of agency services are the responsibility of the student.
The Washington State Community and Technical College Inter-College Reciprocity Policy (Distribution Reciprocity) provides guidelines for transfer credit treatment among the Washington state community colleges. If a student transfers an individual course that meets a Communication Skills, Quantitative Skills, or Distribution Requirement at the sending college for a specific transfer degree, that course is considered to have met that requirement at the receiving college for a similar transfer degree, even if this course does not have an exact equivalent. The receiving institution will accept a specific course’s distribution area for a transfer degree if that student:
- Has met the sending institution’s residency credit and meets the receiving institution's policy on continuous enrollment (enrollment pattern needed to complete under the catalog at entrance).
- Has met the entire Communication Skills, Quantitative Skills, or Distribution Requirement of a transfer degree, according to the sending institution’s degree criteria.
- Has maintained a cumulative college-level grade-point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better at the sending institution.
Students who believe they may qualify for the Distribution Reciprocity agreement should contact the Credential Evaluations Office.