Policy on Transfer and Award of Academic Credit

ISSA is proud to be accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency, and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Concurrent with this accreditation, ISSA programs equate to three (3) college credits for schools using the semester system and five (5) college credits for schools using the quarter system.

Please be advised, college transfer credits are determined by the receiving institution. Each institution is responsible for determining its own policies and practices with regard to the transfer and award of credit. It is the receiving institution's responsibility to provide reasonable and definitive policies and procedures for determining a student's knowledge in required subject areas. ISSA will furnish transcripts and other documents necessary for a receiving institution to judge the quality and quantity of the work completed by its students. Be advised that the work reflected on the transcript may or may not be accepted by a receiving institution.

Interinstitutional Transfer of Credit

Credit transfer depends on:
  1. The educational quality of the institution from which the student transfers.
  2. The comparability of the nature, content, and level of credit earned.
  3. The appropriateness and applicability of the credit earned to the programs offered by the receiving institution, in light of the student's educational goals.

Accreditation: Accreditation speaks primarily to the first of these considerations, serving as the basic indicator that an institution meets certain minimum standards. ISSA gives careful attention to the accreditation conferred by accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CHEA has a formal process of recognition that requires recognized accrediting bodies to meet the same, generally accepted minimum standards for accreditation.

Comparability and Applicability: Comparability of the nature, content, and level of transfer credit and the appropriateness and applicability of the credit earned in programs offered by the receiving institution are important in the evaluation process. This information is obtained from catalogs and other materials and from direct contact between staff at both the receiving and sending institutions.

Admissions and Degree Purposes: There may be differences between the acceptance of credit for admission purposes and the applicability of credit for degree purposes. A receiving institution may accept previous work, place a credit value on it, and enter it on the transcript. However, that previous work, because of its nature and not its inherent quality, may be determined to have no applicability to a specific degree to be pursued by the student.

Unaccredited Institutions: Institutions of postsecondary education that are not accredited by CHEA-recognized accrediting bodies may lack that status for reasons unrelated to questions of quality. Such institutions, however, cannot provide a reliable, third-party assurance that they meet or exceed minimum standards. That being the case, students transferring from such institutions may encounter special problems in gaining admission and in transferring credits to accredited institutions.

Foreign Institutions: In most cases, foreign institutions are chartered and authorized by their national governments, usually through a ministry of education. Although this provides for standardization within a country, it does not produce useful information about comparability from one country to another. The Council on International Education Exchange, Council on Evaluation of Foreign Credentials, National Liaison Committee on Foreign Student Admissions, and National Association of Foreign Student Affairs can assist with information or guidelines on admission and course placement of foreign students. Equivalency or placement recommendations are evaluated in terms of programs and policies of the individual receiving institution.

Validation of Extra-Institutional and Experiential Learning for Transfer Purposes: Transfer-of-credit policies encompass educational accomplishment attained in extra-institutional settings as well as at accredited postsecondary institutions. Recommendations provided by the American Council on Education's Office, credit-by-examination programs, and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning help to determine credit equivalencies for various modes of extra-institutional learning.