Connected Campus

3.4.4 Acceptance of Academic Credit

 

The institution publishes policies that include criteria for evaluating, awarding, and accepting credit for transfer, experiential learning, credit by examination, advanced placement, and professional certificates that is consistent with its mission and ensures that course work and learning outcomes are at the collegiate level and comparable to the institution’s own degree programs.  The institution assumes responsibility for the academic quality of any course work or credit recorded on the institution’s transcript. 

 

_X_  Compliance           ___  Partial Compliance          ___  Non-Compliance

 

Narrative 

 

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS) has a defined and published policy for evaluating, awarding, and accepting credit for transfer, experiential learning, credit by examination, advanced placement, and professional certificates that is consistent with its mission.

 

Transfer Credit

 

According to the 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, “Transfer credit may be granted for previous education in institutions providing similar courses with equivalent standards and requirements. Transfer credits may be accepted from institutions listed in the Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education [published by the American Council of Education (ACE) in consultation with the Council for Higher Education (CHEA)]” which are consistent with good academic practices and so long as the transfer hours are pertinent to the mission [1] of the school.

 

The seminary policies on transfer of credit for degree completion ensure that the majority of credit hours are acquired at MABTS. Each degree program has a limit on the number of hours that can be transferred from another institution. The sixty-hour (60) associate program has a limit of thirty (30) hours, the one hundred twenty-hour (120) bachelor program can transfer in up to ninety (90) hours, and master level ninety-hour (90) program are allowed to transfer as many as sixty (60) hours. The last thirty hours of any degree program must be completed at MABTS [2].

 

Baccalaureate and Masters Transfer of Credit. The Catalog further states that, “No transfer credit is given for baccalaureate courses toward the requirements for the masters degree programs” [3]. Furthermore, “No transfer credit is granted for courses taken by correspondence, extension programs, or distance learning programs unless such courses are included on the official transcript of an accredited institution. Transfer credit is granted only for courses in which the grade is “C” or higher. No remedial courses will be accepted. The student is allowed to transfer only the amount of electives that are required for their specific program. The Transfer of Credit Form [4] will not be officially reviewed until the student has been approved to attend Mid-America” [5]. Students are notified by registration day concerning credit(s) that transfer.

 

Doctoral Transfer of Credit. Typically, doctoral students do not transfer in credit. At least fifty percent of the work counted toward a doctoral degree must be completed through courses [6].

 

The Registrar processes all transfer credit forms [4] and makes available instructions [7] via the MABTS website and paper copies placed in the Registrar’s office. The Registrar’s office evaluates, seeks guidance from the Academic Vice President and the Dean of the Masters and Undergraduate programs when necessary and processes the transfer credit within a two-week period of submission. Transfer credits are then documented in student files, and students are then notified that these credits have become a part of their permanent transcript [8].

 

Experiential Learning and Professional Certificates

 

MABTS does not give academic credit for experiential learning or professional certificates. No academic credit is granted for previous non-academic experiential learning activities or for related field experience toward the completion of requirements for any degree program at the seminary [9].

 

Supervised Field Education. Academic credit may be granted for supervised field education projects such as mission trips, archaeological studies, or hospital chaplaincy programs, provided that the student is enrolled at the seminary, the field project includes a substantial component of academic requirements, and the field project is supervised and evaluated by an authorized person designated by the seminary. Request for specific field education projects for credit must be processed through the Dean of the Master and Undergraduate programs [10]. Students should see the Registrar’s office for the Administrative Action Form [11].

 

Credit by Examination

 

According to the Catalog, “Students who have completed a parallel college course with a grade of B or better may apply for advanced standing on the basis of their college record. A proficiency examination may be required to demonstrate competency if deemed necessary by the chairman of the department. Students who have not completed a parallel academic course in college may nevertheless apply for advanced standing on the basis of equivalent personal study, but they must demonstrate competency by a proficiency examination” [12].

 

Advanced Placement

 

Advanced standing refers to departmental authorization to substitute advanced courses in the place of certain survey courses normally required in an academic program. Applications for advanced standing [13] based on previous academic training are approved through the departmental chairman. If advanced standing is approved, the student does not receive academic credit for the basic course from which he or she is exempted; however, the student does receive authorization to substitute for credit other advanced courses in the department [14].

 

Transfer of Credit Policy

 

The MABTS Transfer of Credit Standards [15] are reviewed annually and updated as needed by the office of the Academic Vice President in consultation with the Registrar. These standards ensure degree compatibility between outside institutions and MABTS’s degree programs and may be found on the seminary website [16]. They are as follows:

 

  • The course description provided from the original institution must line up with the MABTS course description.
  • Students must submit an official transcript and course descriptions for each course to be transferred BEFORE the Registrar’s Office will evaluate for transfer credit. The student is responsible for filling out the Transfer of Credit form and submitting it with the official transcripts and course descriptions.
  • Associate 60-hour programs can transfer in up to 30 hours.
  • Bachelor 120-hour programs can transfer in up to 90 hours.
  • Master 90-hour programs can transfer in up to 60 hours.
  • The last 30 hours must be completed at MABTS.
  • Four (4) weeks are required for the transferring of credit process. If students want to know which courses will transfer before registration, they must submit their documentation and transfer of credit request according to this time constraint.
     

If there is doubt about equivalency of transfer credit after the descriptions of both courses are examined [17], the Registrar inspects the syllabus of the course to be transferred to ensure uniformity [18].

 

Transfer of Credit Procedure

 

When the Transfer of Credit form is submitted to the office of the Registrar, accompanied by official transcript(s) from various schools, an initial determination is made by the Registrar concerning the possibility of a transfer of credit based upon the course description of the class in question and the course syllabus and learning outcomes if necessary. If there is a question about the coursework and learning outcomes being at the collegiate level, the Registrar submits the Transfer of Credit form and all accompanying paperwork to the Dean of the Masters and Undergraduate program for a ruling by the Masters and Undergraduate committee. All transfer of credit must be a grade of C or higher from an accredited school. If the transfer of credit is for a language class (Greek or Hebrew), instructional faculty for languages are also consulted.

 

To ensure the quality of the coursework accepted as transfer credit or advanced placement, MABTS relies on the accreditation status of the institution at which the transfer credits were earned. The seminary accepts transfer credits from institutions that are accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies.

 

MABTS does not have any articulation or other agreements with institutions from which students frequently transfer credits, and does not offer credit for experiential learning or certificates or other professional education outside a collegiate degree program.

 

Faculty Review of Transfer of Credit

 

The process of faculty review is clear, published, and accessible to students via the MABTS website on the Registrar’s page, under the link “Instructions for Transferring Credit” [19]. The five-step process is clearly stated and follows the steps below:

 

  Step 1: Request for official transcript to be sent from the previous institution to MABTS.
 

Step 2: Provide course descriptions from the previous institution. A copy of the course descriptions must be attached.
 

Step 3: Read the MABTS course descriptions listed in the current MABTS catalog. The description from the previous institution must match the MABTS description.
 

Step 4: Fill out the “Transfer Credit Form” [4] appropriately listing the information from the previous institution and the information for the MABTS course.

  • If a course does not match any descriptions at MABTS, but a student would like to transfer it in as an elective, they must write “Elective” for the MABTS description.
     
  • Transfer credit is only given for courses in which the student made a grade of “C” or higher.
     
  • If a transfer course is offered as 2 hours credit then MABTS will not accept it since our courses are offered as 3 hours credit.
     
  • No remedial courses will be accepted for transfer credit or advanced standing.
     
  • The student is allowed to transfer in the only the amount of electives that are granted for the specific program.

Step 5: Turn in the completed form with the course descriptions from the previous institution to the Registrar’s Office four (4) weeks before the first day of Registration. Students should allow four weeks for processing of the request.

 

This information is received by the Registrar and given to the Dean of the Masters and Undergraduate Programs to present to the Masters and Undergraduate Committee for a vote. This process ensures that transfer credit is comparable to MABTS degree program requirements. The decision of the Masters and Undergraduate Committee is conveyed to the student by the Registrar.

 

Documentation

 

1. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 8-9

2. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 72

3. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 67

4. Transfer Credit Form

5. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 67

6. 2014-15 MABTS PhD Handbook, p. 5

7. Transfer of Credit Instructions

8. Example of Student Transfer Credit

9. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 67

10. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 67

11. Administrative Action Request

12. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 68

13. Advanced Standing Form

14. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 67-68

15. Transfer of Credit Standards

16. MABTS Website Registrar Page

17. Equivalent by Course Description

18. Equivalent by Syllabi Sample

19. Instructions on Transferring Credit

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