Lebanon Valley College recognizes the ability of highly motivated students to master specific areas of study on their own initiative and provides programs to allow these students the opportunity to gain credit. Except for those seeking a second bachelor's degree, any matriculated student may earn a maximum of 30 credits toward a bachelor's degree or a maximum of 15 credits toward an associate's degree through nontraditional means (advanced placement, challenge exams, CLEP, and credit for life experience). All nontraditional means of examination are graded satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U). An unsatisfactory grade on any nontraditional examination will not be recorded on the permanent record.
Advanced Placement Policy
Advanced placement with credit in appropriate courses will be granted to entering students who make scores of 4 or 5 on College Board Advanced Placement examinations. The official Advanced Placement College Grade Report must be submitted the College Board at the request of the student for evaluation by the Registrar’s Office. The evaluation will be done in accordance with LVC’s advanced placement policy.
Advanced Placement without credit may be granted on the basis of the Achievement Tests of the College Board examinations or such other proficiency tests as may be determined appropriate by the registrar and by the chairperson of the department.
Challenge Exam Policy
Many LVC courses can be challenged for credit by examination. Full-time students should request challenge examinations through their academic advisors. Part-time students and those students enrolled through continuing education should make application for challenge exams through the continuing education office. All requests must be approved by the registrar and the chairperson of the department in which the course is listed by completing the Challenge Exam Form.
Challenge exams are considered comprehensive examinations in the subject area. The grading criteria for challenge exams will be determined by each department. The exact nature of the examination will be determined by the faculty member and chairperson of the department involved and may include any means of evaluation normally employed by the department. There is a fee for preparation and grading of each challenge exam, and it is charged without regard to the test results.
Challenge exams may not be taken by students who have received any grade in a course equivalent to or more advanced than the course for which the student is requesting credit by examination. Challenge exams may not be used for the purpose of acquiring credit for a course previously failed. Practicums, internships, seminars, research courses, independent study, writing-intensive courses, and courses with laboratory components are normally not subject to credit by examination. Individual departments may have additional criteria regarding challenge exams. Consult the chairperson of the department in which the course is listed for specific information.
CLEP (College Level Examination Program) Policy
Credit shall be granted to those students who score well on CLEP examinations that are approved by the College. To receive credit, a student must score above the 50th percentile on the objective section and above a C, as determined by the appropriate academic department for general and subject examinations. The English composition essay is required, with a minimum score of 64 and at the 80th percentile for this CLEP examination.
A maximum of six credits shall be awarded for each examination; of these credits, only three may be applied to the general education requirements in the appropriate area. Credit shall be granted only to students who have matriculated at Lebanon Valley College. Normally, requests for CLEP credit must be approved by the registrar before the student has completed 30 credits.
Credit for Life Experience Policy
Lebanon Valley College provides for the awarding of undergraduate academic credit for knowledge acquired through nonacademic experience in subjects in the College curriculum. The experience should have a direct relation to the material taught in a course in the College curriculum and should extend over a sufficient period to provide substantive knowledge in the relevant area. Matriculated students who believe they qualify for such credit may petition the appropriate department through their academic advisors. Students enrolled in the continuing education program must petition through the continuing education office. This petition must:
- detail the relevant experience in question
- provide appropriate supporting evidence
- note the equivalent College course by department and number
- state the number of credit hours sought.
The appropriate department will consult with the academic advisor or the continuing education office to determine the best means (interview, examination, portfolio, etc.) for evaluating the experience.
Approval of experiential credit for full-time students must be made in writing over the signatures of the academic advisor, the appropriate department chair, and the associate dean of the faculty. Approval of experiential credit for students enrolled through the continuing education program must be made in writing over the signatures of the director of graduate studies and continuing education, the appropriate department chair, and the associate dean of the faculty.
Experiential credit cannot exceed 6 credit hours in one academic year and cannot exceed a maximum of 12 credit hours in the degree program.
International Baccalaureate Program
Credit for appropriate courses will be granted to entering students who achieve scores of 5, 6 or 7 on International Baccalaureate individual subject examinations. The official International Baccalaureate transcript must be presented by the student for evaluation by the registrar.