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Non-Traditional Education

Credit for Prior Learning Experience and Non-Traditional Education

WNC recognizes that students accumulate a great deal of information and knowledge outside of the college environment from various training, non-traditional educational sources, and work experience. Therefore, WNC will consider awarding credit for prior experiential learning to students who have been accepted to the college and are declared as degree/certificate seeking.

Students may request to have non-traditional training and/or credits evaluated by submitting a “Petition for Transfer Credit Evaluation” form to Admissions and Records. Students must submit official transcripts, training records, certificates or military forms and then allow 4 to 6 weeks for the evaluation to be completed. Once completed, students will be able to view their transfer credit in myWNC and can run a degree audit report to determine how the transfer credits apply toward their intended degree or certificate program. An email will be sent to each student when the transfer evaluation is completed.

In general, only credits applicable to the student’s specified degree or certificate program will be transferred to the student’s WNC record.

Non-Traditional Education

A minimum of 45 contact hours or 15 hours of instruction plus two hours of outside preparation per contact hour is required for each credit awarded. The college may accept a maximum of 15 credits from non-traditional sources to include the following:

  • Correspondence courses
  • Extension courses
  • Post-secondary institutions without regional accreditation
  • Certificate training
  • Other recognized sources

The above sources must meet the minimum standards for accreditation by national or state recognized agencies. Credits from non-traditional sources are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In general, credit is awarded only for those courses or training experiences that are comparable to those courses offered by Western Nevada College. Certain credits may be applicable to satisfy course requirements for occupational degrees while others may be used as elective credit primarily for the AGS and AAS and Bachelor of Applied Science degrees and for Certificate of Achievement only. Correspondence credit from regionally accredited institutions can be applicable towards all degrees.

Credit For Military Service

Veteran students and students who are active military and declared as degree/certificate seeking are encouraged to submit a copy of their military transcript, JST or Air Force, and their DD2-14 and records of approved examinations (if applicable) to determine if credit may be awarded for military service and/or training. This is required for veterans receiving military benefits.

WNC will consider recommendations from ACE, the American Council of Education, when granting military credit. Although credit from a military transcript can be granted towards any WNC degree or certificate of achievement, up to 45 credits may apply towards an Associate of General Studies degree.

Students can use the following links to order official military transcripts to be sent to WNC for evaluation:

Joint Services Transcript – for Army, Navy, Marine Cops and Coast Guard –
Air Force –

Information on military training and courses that have been previously evaluated for transfer may be found at the link below.

Veterans who have completed more than one year of active duty and were honorably discharged may be granted non-traditional credit from a DD2-14, up to a maximum of four credits.

Veterans and active duty military seeking additional information or assistance can contact the Veterans Resource Center at 775-445-3263 or Admissions and Records at 775-445-3147 or

Credit By Examination

A maximum of 30 units for an associate degree, 15 units for a certificate of achievement, or 60 units for a bachelor’s degree, accumulated through an acceptable credit by examination process, may be accepted toward degree requirements. Credit earned by examination may not apply toward satisfying the minimum on-campus resident credit requirements.

The following examinations and transcript evaluation are permissible for determining credit by examination:

  • College Board Advanced Placement Examination (CBAPE)
  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • Excelsior College Exam
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
  • American Council on Education (ACE) Corporate Credit
  • Military Transcript (JST, Air University, or Community College of the Air Force)
  • Challenge Examinations
  • Other national testing organizations may be considered


Challenge Examinations:

The college recognizes that students accumulate information outside the classroom without formal instruction. There are times when this information may be extensive enough to satisfy the requirements of courses offered by the college. For this reason, with approvals, an enrolled student may be allowed to take challenge examinations to receive credit in certain courses. A student interested in these examination procedures should contact Admissions and Records.

Policies relating to challenges are:

  1. A student may not challenge a lower level course in the same subject area that the student has already received credit in at a more advanced level.
  2. A student enrolled in a more advanced course may not challenge a lower level course in the same subject area.
  3. A student may not challenge a course that has been previously attempted.
  4. A maximum of 15 credits for challenge examinations is allowed. A maximum of 15 credits in a single, or related , subject areas is allowed.
  5. Credit earned in challenge examinations are not considered resident credit, do not count as part of a student’s credit load for any given semester, nor are they computed into the grade point average.
  6. Successful challenge examinations are posted as a “pass” on the student’s transcript.
  7. Challenge examinations may not transfer to other academic institutions and may not count for licensing agencies.
  8. WNC reserves the right to deny any petition for challenge examination credit.
  9. A student must be currently enrolled and have completed coursework for credit at WNC before credit by examination will be placed on an official academic transcript.

Students should first view the policies associated with challenge examinations. Students who believe they might qualify should speak with a full-time instructor who teaches classes in the applicable discipline. If no full-time instructor is available, a part-time instructor may be authorized to offer an exam with the approval of the Division Director. The instructor must approve offering a challenge examination; there is no requirement on the part of WNC to offer a challenge examination upon request.

If instructor approval is obtained, students must obtain permission from the Director of Admissions and Records to ensure the WNC polices allow the student to take the exam. If approved, the student is required to pay the $25 challenge exam fee. The instructor will administer the exam and forward the results to Admissions and Records. Additional information including fee may be found on the Challenge Examination Request Form.


College Level Examination Program (CLEP):

Credit may be granted for the satisfactory completion of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) general examinations.

Credit may be granted for the general examinations with a score of 50 or above as follows:

Examination WNC Course Equivalent Credit/Units Granted
College Composition ENG 101 with a score of 50 to 63 3
ENG 101 and 102 with a score of 64 or higher 6
Humanities Humanities Elective for all degrees 6
College Mathematics Math120 3
Natural Sciences Science Elective 6
Social Sciences and History Social Science Elective 6

A maximum of three to 4 semester credits/units may be granted for each subject examination. In general, WNC will grant credit according to the standards determined by the University of Nevada, Reno. Credit is not granted for laboratory science and Nevada constitutions. Contact Admissions and Records for specific information on how credit is granted for each test.


College Board Advanced Placement Examinations:

Upon receipt of an official score report from the College Board, WNC can grant credit for Advanced Placement examinations with a score of 3 or higher for students matriculating to WNC in the summer 2016 or later. Prior to summer 2016, some examinations required a minimum score of 4 for credit.
Western Nevada College (WNC) awards credit for Advanced Placement tests as shown below, for the 2017-18 academic year, for students who matriculated to WNC during the summer 2016 semester or later. For students who matriculated prior to summer 2016, some examinations require a minimum score of 4 for credit.



Students who matriculated to WNC prior to summer 2016 may require a score of 4 for some examinations

History 3, 4, or 5 Art Elective (3 cr.)
Studio Art 3, 4, or 5 Art Elective (3 cr.)
Biology 3 BIOL 100 Lecture (3 cr.)
4 or 5 BIOL 190* (3 cr) and BIOL 191*  (3 cr)
Chemistry 3 CHEM 121* (3 cr.)
4 or 5 CHEM 121* (3 cr.) and CHEM 122* (3 cr.)
Computer Science
Computer Science A 3, 4, or 5 CS 135 (3 cr.)
Computer Science AB 3 CS 135 (3 cr.)
4 or 5 CS 135 (3 cr.) and CS 202 (3 cr.)
Microeconomics 3, 4, or 5 ECON 102 (3 cr.)
Macroeconomics 3, 4, or 5 ECON 103 (3 cr.)
English Language & Composition 3 ENG 101 (3 cr.)
4 or 5 ENG 101 (3 cr.) and ENG 102 (3 cr.)
English Literature & Composition 3 ENG 101 (3 cr.)
4 or 5 ENG 101 (3 cr.) and ENG 297 (3 cr.)
Environmental Science 3, 4 or 5 ENV 101 (3 cr.)
Foreign Languages
 Any AP foreign language exam in a language that WNC offers in courses numbered 111 &112
Language and Culture 3 111 (4 cr.) and 112 (4 cr.)
4 112 (4 cr.) and 211 (3 cr.)
5 211 (3 cr) and 212 (3 cr) or Foreign Language elective
Spanish Literature and Culture 3 111 (4 cr) and 112 (4 cr)
4 or 5 211 (3 cr) and 212 (3 cr) or Foreign Language elective
Students may get credit for two courses for a maximum of 8 credits for AP exams in a Foreign Language and Culture/Literature and Culture.
Human Geography 3,4 or 5 GEOG 106 (3 cr.)
American 3, 4 or 5 HIST 101 (3 cr.) and Social Science elective (3 cr.)
European 3, 4 or 5 HIST 105 (3 cr.) and HIST 106 (3 cr.)
World 3, 4, or 5 HIST 105 (3 cr.) and HIST 106 (3 cr.)
Calculus AB (or AB subscore on BC exam) 3, 4, or 5 MATH 181 (4 cr.)
Calculus BC 3, 4, or 5 MATH 181 (4 cr.) and MATH 182 (4 cr.)
Statistics 3, 4, or 5 STAT 152 (3 cr.)
Theory 3, 4, or 5 Music Elective (3 cr.)
Physics 1 3, 4, or 5 PHYS 151*
Physics 2 3, 4, or 5 PHYS 152* (3 cr.)
Physics C: Mechanics 3, 4, or 5 PHYS 180* (3 cr.)
Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism 3,4 or 5 PHYS 181* (3 cr)
Political Science
Government and Politics 3, 4, or 5 US Constitutions (3 cr)
Comparative Government & Politics 3, 4, or 5 PSC elective (3 cr.)
Psychology 3, 4, or 5 PSY 101 (3 cr.)

*Does not include Laboratory credit. CHEM 121 and/or BIOL 190 without lab is not applicable to WNC’s nursing program.