Catalog 2018-2019 
    Jun 13, 2024  
Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Transfer Credit and Credit for Prior Learning

Return to: Rules, Regulations, & Policies  

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 can be gained in the following ways: through a Course Challenge taken at Aims or by taking a standardized test (see below for more information).  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, Registration & Records or the Student Success Center.

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 coursework 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 declared program. 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. Coursework 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 coursework applicable to the degree or fifty percent of coursework applicable to the certificate program and completed prior to graduation must be Aims Community College courses.

Students must be admitted to Aims and be degree or certificate declared in order to receive transfer credit. Official transcripts must be mailed or sent electronically through a secured online system 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.

Official transcripts and other documentation of previous coursework (course descriptions and course syllabi, when needed) must be forwarded to Admissions and Registration 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 evaluations will be completed within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt by the Admissions and Registration Office. If a student has a question or concern about the decision of the transcript evaluator, the student should contact the transcript evaluator. If the student feels that there is still a concern, the student may appeal in writing. 

International Transcript Translation

It is the responsibility of the student to have international transcripts translated into English through a “course-by-course” evaluation by a recognized translation service prior to submitting them. In many cases the student also needs to request course translations. 

The Appeals Process

The decision 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 Assistant Director of Admissions and Registration within fifteen (15) calendar days. The Assistant Director of Admissions and Registration will provide a response within fifteen (15) calendar days via the student email @ aims account.

2nd Level Appeal

The appeal decisions regarding course transferability and/or placement made by the Assistant Director of Admissions and Registration will be binding if the student fails to file a written letter of appeal to the Executive Director of Admissions and Registration within fifteen (15) calendar days. The Executive Director of Admissions and Registration will provide a response within fifteen (15) calendar days via the student email @aims account.

For “state guaranteed general education” an additional level of appeal is available if the college level appeal is denied. This appeal is filed with the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) when the student feels that one of the following is an issue:

  • Lack of appropriate policies or procedures required by CDHE policies.
  • Aims did not follow the College’s established policies or procedures.
  • Aims did not respond to the student’s written appeal within 30 days.

CDHE’s appeal process is not designed to resolve disputes between an individual and an institution that involves grades or billing. These issues are outside the CDHE’s area of authority. CDHE may be able to facilitate a meeting or identify the correct contact person.

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. In order to receive transfer credit, students must be admitted to Aims, be degree or certificate declared, and submit official transcripts 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 shown on the Military Joint Services Transcript. 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). In order to receive transfer credit, students must be admitted to Aims, be degree or certificate declared, and submit official transcripts to the Admissions, Registration & 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, Registration, & Records Office or on the web site at

Transferring Credit Out of Aims

In January 2003, the State of Colorado 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. 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.

Articulation Agreements

According to the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), the 3 primary strengths of community colleges lie in accessibility, economics and teaching/learning support. Whether it be to give a student a start in a university-parallel curriculum (2 + 2) or provide strong skills to bring to the workplace (career and technical education), Aims Community College is committed to working with 4-year programs throughout Colorado and the nation so that any student has the opportunity to complete a 4-year degree.

To that end, Aims Community College works with 2 different types of articulation agreements to get students a head start on a bachelor’s degree: university-wide agreements and program-specific agreements. You can find out more about each of these agreements by visiting our website at