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School of Professional Studies | TELL Rationale & Criteria

How Credits are Awarded

Many adult students have felt that some of their non-college experiences are equivalent to what is taught in college and that they should receive credit for those experiences toward a college degree. Colleges generally do not award credit for raw experience itself, however.  Awarding credit or recognition is generally for the verifiable learning outcomes of non-college experiences: that is, if those experiences have applicability to
academic learning (liberal arts).

If you decide to enroll in Trinity’s TELL program, you will find that the college will not award credit simply for your years of experience. You will be required to demonstrate what important knowledge, skills or values (competencies) you have attained as a result of your experiences.

Generally speaking, your competencies (knowledge, skills and/or values) must meet certain criteria:

  • The knowledge should be publicly verifiable. You should be able to document and demonstrate to an expert in the field that you possess the knowledge.
  • The knowledge should be equivalent to college-level work in terms of quality. In general the prior knowledge and experience should be related to courses in the catalog or to the requirements for
    graduation.
  • The knowledge or experience should have an academic subject matter or knowledge base. Credit will not be given for manual skills nor for a narrowly prescribed routine or procedure.
  • The learning should have general applicability outside of the specific situation in which it was acquired. For example, credit will not be awarded for knowledge of specific personnel procedures and
    application which apply to only one company.  However, credit might be awarded for knowledge and experience in the principles of human resource management, of which personnel applications is one small component.

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Contact the School of Professional Studies at 202-884-9620 or by fax at 202-884-9632.
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