Regional Accreditation Policy: Union University accepts all college level credit earned through institutions of higher learning that hold regional accreditation in coursework where a grade of C or higher is earned. Exception: Courses with grades of D will be accepted only when the credit was applied toward the diploma or degree awarded to the student as documented on the transcript of the degree-granting institution and to include documentation of their acceptance of a D in transfer.
What is Regional Accreditation? Union's regional accreditation is SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools); each association has a regional designation in its name. Each association operates independently. Current membership (accreditation status) often can be researched on the website of the appropriate regional association. By name, the regional accrediting agencies are: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, SACS, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
What is college level credit? Coursework that applies toward a college degree is typically numbered 100 or higher. Courses numbered less than 100 are usually remedial and will not transfer. Many transcripts have a key attached or on their reverse side to explain course levels. Courses that bear a number of 100 or higher but indicate within their title and content that they are remedial will not be accepted as college level. Coursework must be directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of Union University and the degrees awarded.
Bible College Accreditation Policy: Credits earned with the grade of C or better are provisionally accepted from colleges accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Those credits are fully accepted upon the student's successful completion of one semester at Union University. Successful completion is defined as a 2.0 GPA in 12 semester hours attempted at Union. Regional accreditation is overarching; ABHE is part of the consideration only if the school is not regionally accredited.
Policy regarding Credit from Institutions of Higher Learning who have neither ABHE nor Regional Accreditation: In order to establish criteria concerning qualified faculty and equivalent learning, the chief academic officer must provide written verification of minimum degree requirements for faculty, the minimum number of graduate hours required in the teaching area, and how long this policy has been in place. Once the former has been satisfied, the credit is provisionally accepted until the student has obtained a 2.0 GPA in 12 semester hours attempted at Union. The policy as passed by the Academic Council and a sample letter that can be used to help the student write a letter follow.
Policy regarding Credit from International Institutions of Higher Learning outside the Regional Accrediting Agencies: Official transcripts from institutions outside the United States and outside the accreditation scope of the regional accrediting agencies must be evaluated by one of the agencies participating in the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. Contact information for member agencies are available at www.naces.org. Official reports should be forwarded to the Admissions Office working with the student.
Credit by Testing Policy: Following the minimum score recommendations of The American Council on Education (ACE), Union University awards credit for satisfactory performance in Advanced Placement (CEEB) exams, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES. The awarding of credit for International Baccalaureate (IB) has been established within the university on a departmental basis; not all departments award credit. Course parallels are detailed in the catalogue under "Special Advanced Placement Policies" in the Admissions chapter; however those awards are not restricted to the admission process period. Official reports of Credit by Testing can be applied to graduation only if received before the end of the Fall preceding Spring graduation or before the end of the Spring preceding Fall graduation.
Union awards credit for military experience/training, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), and non-collegiate sponsored instruction in accordance with the recommendations of the American Council on Education and in compliance with Union's participation in the Servicemember Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Program. College-level credits are awarded as parallels or departmental electives as appropriate; where applicable they do meet degree requirements. The maximum credit accepted by testing is 32 semester hours; when more than 32 hours are earned the 32 hours that best satisfy the student's requirements and wishes are applied to the degree. NOTE: Recommendations for military and other non-traditional education by ACE are made in 4 categories: no credit, vocational credit, lower division college credit, and upper division college credit; UU will acknowledge equivalencies in the last two categories.
Credit for Prior Learning/Portfolio Credit Policy: Is transferable only into programs that award CPL credit. Presently only the BSOL program awards CPL credit. BSOL students work with the Director of Prior Learning in developing the portfolio. Additional information is available in the Adult Studies section of the Catalogue.
Time Expiration of Undergraduate Credit: Union University does not impose a time limit on undergraduate credit; however, the Nursing Program of Union University does not accept Human Anatomy & Physiology and Pathophysiology credit that is more than 5 years old at the time the student is to begin clinical study. Current knowledge from A&P credit older than 5 years can potentially be validated by the student's passing the NLN Anatomy Examination; see the School of Nursing for details.
Transcript Evaluation Procedure: Official transcripts received by enrollment personnel are logged as received, copied for the counselor's reference, and forwarded to the Registrar for evaluation provided the student has an application to the university on file. The transcripts are logged as received in the Academic Center, checked for previous (partial) evaluations, and evaluated. The evaluation report is entered into the student's computer file and a copy mailed to the student; a duplicate report is maintained with the transcript in the AC awaiting the arrival of the paper admission file on the student. Upon arrival of the admission file at the beginning of the semester, the transcript and evaluation report will be added to the file for retention, no less than 5 years after the student discontinues enrollment at Union University. The transfer credit posted to the computer is viewable to Union faculty & selected staff under the "legitimate need to know" clause of FERPA with the same security measures as Union credit is viewable.
Transcripts, test reports and all other documents received become the property of Union University. They cannot be copied for a party outside UU, including the student, nor can they be transferred to another institution. They may only be copied for UU use in accordance with the "legitimate need to know" clause of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, FERPA.
Official reports of testing in consideration for credit by testing are handled in the Academic Center in a similar manner as transcripts. As with transcripts, only official documents are evaluated.
Freshmen with Credit: Freshmen who have earned college credits by Dual Enrollment (college and high school simultaneously) or by credit by testing will have their credits evaluated in the same manner as transfer students. Freshmen cannot use Dual Enrollment or Testing Credit to earn Sophomore status before completion of their first semester as a full-time student in college following high school graduation. The credits will be posted but the student level will not be updated as sophomore until the first Fall or Spring Semester is completed with grades processed as an "FF," first-time freshman per IPEDS (of the National Center for Education Statistics of the federal government) definition requires.
Evaluation of Courses bearing Reciprocal Credit: Courses allowed for reciprocal credit at the former institution may be used in either category regardless of the prefix shown on the transcript. Consideration is given to the student's program of study and the department of assignment at Union University.
Transfer of Graduate Credit Policy: Restrictions regarding minimum grade and time expiration upon the acceptability of transfer graduate credit are detailed in the Graduate Catalogue and vary by program.
The Registrar will award transfer graduate credit for courses with grades of A or B upon recommendation of Program Directors or Deans for degree seekers of our graduate programs. Application of the coursework to the student's graduate program/degree is determined by the Dean or Director of the respective program. Previous graduate work is not evaluated on non-degree or non-licensure seekers or those seeking advanced degrees except as applicable to those degrees. Undergraduate credit is evaluated only as it applies to prerequisites or for teacher licensure but is not posted to the transcript.
In rare cases, graduate credit may be used in the documentation of prerequisites content of a second bachelor degree provided other criteria for that degree are met. See the undergraduate catalogue or inquire of the Registrar for additional details.
Continued Transfer of Credit after Enrollment: Union University reserves the right to restrict its students' enrollment to enrollment in Union University credit and to maintain policies in regard to minimum residency in each major, minor, and accumulated to graduation.