Catalog 2010-2011, Final Edition 
    Feb 22, 2024  
Catalog 2010-2011, Final Edition [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Credit for Prior Learning

Aims recognizes that learning is gained in a variety of ways. While some students have taken college courses at other colleges and universities and transfer those credits to Aims, others have acquired knowledge and competencies outside a formal college setting. The learning obtained from these life or work experiences is termed experience-based learning and can occur in a variety of non-college settings: in the workplace, in the home, through mass media, through a vocational or service organization or the military. Aims recognizes that transfer credit and/or experience-based learning may be equivalent to Aims college courses.

Students requesting credit for prior learning must submit an Application for Admission and declare a specific degree or certificate program. Credit for prior learning does not meet residency requirements nor does it contribute to eligibility requirements for Financial Aid or Veteran’s benefits. Additional information regarding credit for prior learning procedures and requirements may be obtained from Admissions & Records, the Student Success Center, and faculty advisors. Forms to request credit for prior learning are available in Admissions and Records.

Transferring Credit to Aims

Undergraduate credit hours awarded within the prior ten years from any regionally accredited higher education institution may be transferred in to an Aims Community College Degree or Certificate program if they apply to the completion of the student’s graduation requirements. Credits older than ten years will also receive careful consideration for transfer. The College reserves the right to examine all credits to determine equivalency of content. In the event that course work is found not to be equivalent, the course may not be accepted as transfer credit. Obsolete course content is not considered equivalent. To be eligible for transfer, courses must have been completed with a “C” grade or better at an accredited college or university, or other approved institution. Transfer courses must be applicable to the student’s program of choice. The acceptance of this credit is documented on the student’s permanent record as earned credit only, without any indication of grade or quality points. Course work from institutions using the quarter credit system is transferred in using the formula of 1 quarter hour equals 2/3 semester hour or 1 semester hour equals 1 1/2 quarter hours. Some courses offered under the quarter system do not have the same clock hours as those offered under the semester system and may not be considered equivalent to courses Aims offers.

Fifteen semester hours of course work applicable to the degree or fifty percent of course work applicable to the certificate program and completed prior to graduation must be Aims Community College courses.

Students must submit a Transfer Credit Evaluation Request form to Admissions & Records indicating the specific certificate or degree program the credits are to be evaluated toward. The request for review and official transcripts to be reviewed must be received in the Admissions & Records Office no later than the end of mid-term week of the semester prior to the anticipated semester of graduation. Official transcripts must be mailed from all previously attended colleges directly to Aims; faxed transcripts are not accepted as official. Although we prefer that official transcripts are sent directly from all previous colleges, we will accept hand-carried, sealed official transcripts. Unofficial and opened official transcripts will not be accepted. The Registrar will determine the number and nature of transfer credits applicable toward a degree or certificate. Students who have completed courses that may demonstrate their proficiency in math, English, and/or reading may also indicate on the Transfer Credit Evaluation Request their desire to have transcripts forwarded to the Assessment Center to meet the assessment requirement.

Official transcripts and other documentation of previous course work (course descriptions and course syllabi, when needed) must be forwarded to Admissions & Records directly from the institution maintaining the original record. Official transcripts covering a student’s previous secondary and college education, submitted to the college as part of the admissions or transfer evaluation procedures, become part of the official file and cannot be returned to the student. The college does not issue or certify copies of transcripts from other institutions. Transfer credit evaluation will be completed within thirty (30) working days after all documents are received in the Admissions & Records Office. The decisions regarding course transferability and/or placement made in the initial transcript evaluation will be binding if the student fails to file a written letter of appeal to the Registrar within fifteen (15) calendar days. It is the responsibility of the student to have international transcripts translated into English “course-by-course” evaluation by a recognized translation service prior to submitting them.

Transfer Credit Evaluation Request

Click here for a printable Transfer Credit Evaluation Request  form.

Standardized Testing

Aims Community College offers transfer credit for achievement and knowledge gained outside the traditional classroom through standardized tests such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Advanced Placement Program (AP), Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education (DANTES), American College Testing-Proficiency Examination Program (ACT-PEP), the Excelsior College Exams (formerly known as the Regents College Exams), and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams. To apply for such credit, submit official transcripts along with a Transfer Credit Evaluation Request form to the Admissions & Records Office.

Published Guides

Formal military and/or business/industry training may receive transfer credit through an evaluation of that learning using Published Guides. The American Council on Education (ACE) Military program uses the credit recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) to evaluate military training. Credit awards for military experience-based learning are based on recommendations contained in The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces. Credit awards for business and industry training are based on recommendations contained in The Directory of the National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI), AARTS or SMART. To apply for such credit, submit an official transcript along with a Transfer Credit Evaluation Request form to the Admissions & Records Office.

Course Challenge

A student may challenge a course for which the student believes his or her prior training and/or experiences are adequate to meet the instructor’s course requirements. Earning course credit through challenge examination is equivalent to passing a cumulative, end-of-the-term examination or a series of comparable exams. Examinations will vary depending on the type of course being challenged and will be arranged and evaluated by faculty who teach the course. Only certain courses identified by individual divisions are available for this option. Information about course challenge is available in the Admissions & Records Office or on the web site at


Aims recognizes that some students may have acquired theory and knowledge outside the academic setting through life experiences which may be equivalent to college-level course work. Such students may earn credit for experience-based learning through the presentation of a course-based portfolio. The portfolio is not merely a study of accumulated knowledge, but rather an examination of learned life experiences discussed in essays and presented through publicly verifiable documentation. Students should prove to an expert in the field that they possess the learning which is claimed. This learning must reflect theory beyond the specific situation, procedure, routine or skill from which the learning was based. Further, students must document the relationship between prior learning, written academic goals, and their degree program, and should connect a cognitive theory of learning to the relationship between theory, knowledge, and experience. Students will be responsible for preparation, presentation, and documentation of the portfolio to gain credit for specific courses at Aims. Additionally, students must take a Portfolio course prior to submission of a portfolio. Information on portfolio is available in the Student Success Center.

Transferring Credit Out of Aims

As of January 2003, the State of Colorado has initiated a new general education transfer policy between Colorado public colleges and universities. This policy designates and guarantees the transferability of approved general education courses taken at Colorado community colleges. The exception may be credits earned for prior learning (e.g. CLEP AP, portfolio, etc.). Students are strongly encouraged to work with their transfer advisor for specific information about their particular major and/or degree area. Students may contact the Colorado Commission of Higher Education at the following web site for further information ( Transfers/). The Student Success Center will also assist students with transfer questions.