Early credits grant no guarantees

Septembre Russell

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Obtaining college credit before actually attending college can be beneficial to students. Having an established credit base makes course loads lighter and may offer students flexibility within their four-year plans.

Students are increasingly taking advantage of the opportunity to get a start on their college education by graduating high school with  college credits.

“With the new curriculum, we were wondering how it would affect transfer courses,” Transcript Curriculum Specialist Karlene Robertson said. “More and more of high school students have some sort of credit; there are 8,000 to 10,000 transfer courses in the database.”

Earning elective credits for college-level work completed in high school may be discouraging. Students may question, “What is the benefit of previously earned credit without the possibility of its application toward the Linfield course-load?”

In many cases, acquiring these credits will allow them to register early and have precedence over underclassmen when it comes to choosing campus housing.

Director of Academic Advising Kate Elias said most students are aware that it is necessary to complete the Linfield Curriculum even if they enroll with several transfer credits. Some post-baccalaureate programs require prerequisite course work be completed at four-year colleges instead of accepting transfer credits.

After approval by the Registrar, transfer credit earned in high school or thereafter can be used to satisfy LC requirement. Transfer credit may be applied toward a major or minor with the consent of the chair of the relevant department, Registrar Eileen Bourassa said.

In determining whether credits can transfer from other accredited institutions, the course descriptions are compared, Robertson said. If it is uncertain which way a particular course should go, the description is sent to the department chair.

“Each department makes a decision on what credits are accepted,” Elias said.

When the subject from a separate institution is not taught at Linfield, the student’s credit will not transfer. However, if a student receives credit in a comparable subject that has no exact equivalent, the student will receive an elective credit.

“If we can use [credits] for [the] Linfield Curriculum, [then] we will,” Bourassa said.

Transferring credits negates a student’s ability to repeat the same course for credit. Advanced Placement courses follow the same structure; college credit and advanced placement credit cannot be given simultaneously for a single course. If the course is repeated, the student will receive the Linfield credit and grade and the transfer or advanced placement credit will be removed from the transcript, Bourassa said.

“One important thing for students to understand is they can’t get credit for the same content twice,” Bourassa said.

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