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Transfer to Baccalaureate Institutions and Credit for Prior Learning

Transfer is the procedure by which credit hours students earn at one institution are applied toward a degree at another institution. The Associate in Arts and the Associate in Science degrees at KCTCS are transfer degrees, made up of 60 credit hours of general education course work and electives that can make up the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. All students are encouraged to complete an associate degree at KCTCS prior to transferring to a four-year institution. Students who transfer before earning a degree are encouraged to become General Education Certified first. KCTCS has developed several pathways and transfer agreements to help students complete an associate's degree and then seamlessly transfer to a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year institution, both in and out of state. Those agreements are available at the Transfer Guide Section on the KCTCS Transfer Web Page.

Transfer Contacts and Services

There are a staff available to assist students with information and assistance for transfer at each KCTCS college and four-year institutions. Students who are interested in transferring, or just have questions about transferring are encouraged to seek information as soon as possible.

KCTCS contacts are available in the Contact Section of the KCTCS Transfer Web Page.

Credit for External Experiences and Prior Learning

KCTCS colleges recognize that valid college-level learning experiences occur outside the traditional classroom setting. Colleges will assist students in recognizing appropriate external experiences and applying them toward a KCTCS credential. Colleges reserve the right to validate student competence through the variety of mechanisms described in this section.

  1. Advanced Placement (AP) Program
    KRS 164.098 requires Kentucky Institutions to award credit for scores of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement Tests. KCTCS colleges participate in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. Interested students should have their official examination results sent to the Admissions Office of their local KCTCS College. Students are responsible for providing a transcript of AP credits earned.
  2. Articulation Agreements
    Articulation agreements provide a mechanism to accept and award credit for courses that will transfer toward a credential. Articulation agreements specify the terms and conditions for courses taken at other institutions that will apply to a KCTCS credential, and/or the terms and conditions for courses taken at KCTCS that will apply to credentials or degree programs at other institutions. In either case, the award of applicable credit to the credential is subject to the specific terms of each agreement and all requirements specified in the agreement must be met before credit can be awarded. For information about articulation agreements for KCTCS credentials, contact the college Student Records Office.
  3. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    KCTCS colleges accept the General and Subject Examinations of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). The Subject Examinations cover specific material which is common to courses in many colleges and universities. The level of proficiency to earn credit through CLEP is approximately equivalent to that required to earn a “C” in the course. Students are responsible for providing a transcript of CLEP credits earned.
  4. Military Service Experience
    A student may receive course credit in recognition of collegiate-level credit completed through DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests). To receive course credit for successful DSST exams, the student must have received a minimum standard score of 46. Credit will be given only upon receipt of an official DSST score report or transcript. A student may receive course credit where appropriate and equivalent courses are available for formal military training as recommended in A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services (ACE Guide), published by the American Council on Education (ACE).
  5. Special Exam: STEP (Special Technical Education Proficiency) or Challenge
    Institutionally developed and administered exams provide an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of course content and receive credit toward program requirements. The student must be accepted for admission and enrolled in the college and apply for the exam through the Student Records Office. For more information, see “Tuition and Charges.” A STEP test is a method for students to earn credit in technical courses by assessing learning acquired through non-college experiences. Challenge exams provide students the opportunity to test out of courses that are not required for the program but are prerequisites for the higher-level required program courses.
  6. Portfolio - Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
    Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio students may contact any KCTCS college for information regarding applications for college credit via portfolio. For more information, see “Tuition and Charges.”
  7. Non-Classroom Learning Experiences
    • Work-Based Learning Experiences

      Many of the diploma and degree programs offered through the colleges have Work-Based Learning included in the curriculum. Work-Based Learning refers to the programs that offer academic credit for degree-related work experience during a specific semester. The experiences and credit awarded vary according to the program’s requirements. These experiences must be planned and supervised by the college and the employer to ensure that the work experience contributes to the student’s education and career objective. The cornerstone of Work-Based Learning is Cooperative Education. Other programs that are considered part of Work-Based Learning are Internships, Practicums and Experiential Learning. These courses afford the student a unique opportunity to integrate formal classroom training with supervised work experience.
    • Service-Learning

      Students have the opportunity to enroll in service-learning programs which are designed to integrate community service with academic instruction as it focuses on critical and reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service-learning programs involve students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing academic skill, sense of civic responsibility and commitment to the community. 

Standards for Awarding Credit for Prior Learning

KCTCS Colleges utilize credit for learning experiences in industry, business and government as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE). The recommendations for awarding credit appear in The National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs, published by the ACE. KCTCS Colleges utilize best practices and standards provided through the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) when awarding credit for prior learning.

Guidelines for Advanced Placement Credit

AP Subject Examination Scaled Score to Earn Credit Equivalent Course Credit Hours
AP Research Capstone 3-5 Elective Credit 3 credit hours
AP Seminar Capstone 3-5 Elective Credit 3 credit hours
Art History 3 ART 105 or ART 106 3 credit hours
4-5 ART 105 and ART 106 6 credit hours
Biology 3-5 BIO 112 3 credit hours
Calculus AB 3-5 MAT 175 5 credit hours
Calculus BC 3-5 MAT 175 and MAT 185 10 credit hours
Chemistry 3 CHE 170 4 credit hours
4-5 CHE 170 and CHE 180 8 credit hours
Chinese Language and Culture 3 RAE 150 4 credit hours
4-5 RAE 150 and RAE 151 8 credit hours
Comparative Government and Politics 3-5 POL 210 3 credit hours
Computer Science A 3 Elective Credit 3 credit hours
4-5 CIT 149 3 credit hours
Computer Science Principles 3-5 Elective Credit 3 credit hours
English Literature/Composition 3-5 ENG 161 3 credit hours
English Language/Composition 3-5 ENG 101 3 credit hours
Environmental Science 3-5 EST 150 4 credit hours
European History 3-5 HIS 104 and HIS 105 6 credit hours
French Language 3 FRE 201 3 credit hours
4-5 FRE 201 and FRE 202 6 credit hours
German Language 3 GER 201 3 credit hours
4-5 GER 201 and GER 202 6 credit hours
Human Geography 3-5 GEO 172 3 credit hours
Italian Language and Culture 3 Elective Credit1 3 credit hours
4-5 Elective Credit1 6 credit hours
Japanese Language and Culture 3 JPN 201 3 credit hours
4-5 JPN 201 and JPN 202 6 credit hours
Latin: Vergil 3 Elective Credit1 3 credit hours
4-5 Elective Credit1 6 credit hours
Microeconomics 3-5 ECO 201 3 credit hours
Macroeconomics 3-5 ECO 202 3 credit hours
Music Theory 3-5 MUS 174 3 credit hours
Physics 1 3-5 PHY 2012 4 credit hours
Physics 2 3-5 PHY 2032 4 credit hours
Psychology 3-5 PSY 110 3 credit hours
Spanish Language 3 SPA 201 3 credit hours
4-5 SPA 201 and 202 6 credit hours
Spanish Literature 3-5 Elective Credit (humanities)1 3 credit hours
Statistics 3-5 STA 220 3 credit hours
Studio Art 2-D Design 3-5 ART 112 3 credit hour
Studio Art 3-D Design 3-5 ART 113 3 credit hours
Studio Art – Drawing 3-5 ART 110 3 credit hours
US Government & Politics 3-5 POL 101 3 credit hours
US History 3-5 HIS 108 and HIS 109 6 credit hours
World History 3-5 HIS 101 3 credit hours

American Council on Education

Students may receive credit for learning experiences in industry, business and government as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE). The recommendations for awarding credit appear in The National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs, published by the ACE.

Articulation Agreements

Articulation agreements provide a mechanism to accept and award credit for courses that will transfer toward a credential. Articulation agreements specify the terms and conditions for courses taken at other institutions that will apply to a KCTCS credential, and/or the terms and conditions for courses taken at KCTCS that will apply to credentials or degree programs at other institutions. In either case, the award of applicable credit to the credential is subject to the specific terms of each agreement and all requirements specified in the agreement must be met before credit can be awarded. For information about articulation agreements for KCTCS credentials, contact the college Student Records Office.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

KCTCS colleges accept the General and Subject Examinations of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). The Subject Examinations cover specific material which is common to courses in many colleges and universities. The level of proficiency to earn credit through CLEP is approximately equivalent to that required to earn a “C” in the course.

Guidelines for CLEP General Examinations

CLEP Subject Examination Scaled Score to Earn Credit Equivalent Course Credit Hours
Foreign Languages
College Level French Language 50-69 FRE 201 3
College Level French Language 70 or above FRE 201, FRE 202 6
College Level German Language 50-69 GER 201 3
College Level German Language 70 or above GER 201, GER 202 6
College Level Spanish Language 50-69 SPA 201 3
College Level Spanish Language 70 or above SPA 201, SPA 202 6
History and Social Sciences
American Government 50 or above POL 101 3
History of the United States I 50 or above HIS 108 3
History of the United States II 50 or above HIS 109 3
Introductory Psychology 50 or above PSY 110 3
Principles of Macroeconomics 50 or above ECO 202 3
Principles of Microeconomics 50 or above ECO 201 3
Introductory Sociology 50 or above SOC 101 3
Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648 50 or above HIS 104 3
Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present 50 or above HIS 105 3
Social Sciences and History 50 or above SOC 101 3
Human Growth and Developmental 50 or above AHS 100 2
Science and Mathematics
Calculus 50 or above MAT 174 or MAT 175 4, 5
College Mathematics 50 or above MAT 146 3
College Algebra 50 or above MAT 150 3
Pre-calculus 50 or above MAT 160 5
Biology 50-59 BIO 112 3
Biology 60-64 BIO 120, BIO 112 6
Biology 65-80 BIO 150, BIO 152 6
General Chemistry 50 or above CHE 170, CHE 180 8
Natural Science 50 or above BIO 112 3
Business and Computer Applications
Financial Accounting 50 or above ACC 201 3
Principles of Management 50 or above BAS 283 3
Principles of Marketing 50 or above BAS 282 3
Introduction to Business Law 50 or above BAS 267 3
Information Systems 50 or above Elective Credit 3
English and Humanities
American Literature 50 or above ENG 251 3
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature 50 or above ENG 161 3
English Literature 50 or above ENG 161 3
Humanities 50 or above HUM 120 3
College Composition, College Composition Modular 50 or above ENG 101 3

Guidelines for International Baccalaureate (IB)

IB Course Score Credit Awarded Credit Statement
Biology HL 4 BIO 152 3 credit hours
Biology SL 4 BIO 112 3 credit hours
Chemistry HL 4 CHE 170, CHE 180 8 credit hours
Chemistry SL 4 CHE 140 3 credit hours
English A: Literature HL 4 ENG 101 3 credit hours
French B HL 5 FRE 201, FRE 201 6 credit hours
French B SL 5 FRE 101, FRE 102 8 credit hours
History HL 5 HIS 108, HIS 109 6 credit hours
Mathematics HL 5 MA 113 4 credit hours
Mathematics SL 5 MAT 170 3 credit hours
Math Studies SL 5 Technical Math Elective 3 credit hours
Music SL/HL 4 MUS 100 3 credit hours
Physics SL/HL 5 PHY 2011 4 credit hours
Psychology SL 4 PSY 110 3 credit hours
Spanish B HL 5 SPA 201, SPA 202 6 credit hours
Spanish B SL 5 SPA 101, SPA 102 8 credit hours
Theatre Arts HL/SL 4 THA 101 3 credit hours
Visual Art HL/SL 4 ART 100 3 credit hours

Industry Standard Certification Examinations

Military Service Experience

A student may receive course credit in recognition of collegiate-level credit completed through DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests). To receive course credit for successful DSST exams, the student must have received a minimum standard score of 46. Credit will be given only upon receipt of an official DSST score report or transcript. A student may receive course credit where appropriate and equivalent courses are available for formal military training as recommended in A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services (ACE Guide), published by the American Council on Education.

Special Exam: STEP or Challenge

Institutionally developed and administered exams provide an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of course content and receive credit toward program requirements. The student must be accepted for admission and enrolled in the college and apply for the exam through the Student Records Office. For more information, see “Tuition and Charges.”