Not all continuing education courses can be transferred to college credit, but with the price of tuition on an upward spiral, it can pay to see if yours will. The process is straightforward, although it will require some work on your part. But the payoff can be big if you've taken a lot of continuing education courses. In addition to continuing education courses, many colleges offer college credit for career experience. If you've had training, for example, at your place of employment, it doesn't hurt to inquire if this training can be transferred to college credit. The key is to try.
Obtain the transcripts from your continuing education courses. These can be obtained by contacting the registrar at the institution from which you took your courses. Calling is best because you can ask what the procedure is for obtaining your transcripts. Ask about obtaining both official and unofficial copies. While you will use unofficial copies when you call colleges and ask about transferring the credits, the colleges might require official copies, which are usually sealed in an envelope, sent to them.
Choose the colleges to which you want to transfer your credits. This can be a list of community colleges or 4-year colleges. Find the contact information about each college, including a telephone number for the registrar's office, and write them in a notebook so you have the information handy. If possible, find the name of someone who works in the office. By making a personal contact, you have someone you can call later if you have questions.
Call the registrar's offices at the colleges and ask about the procedure for transferring credit from continuing education courses. Write down the information in your notebook so you can refer to it later. You might also get addresses from the registrar's office, and you'll definitely want to write these down so you can send copies of your continuing education transcripts. Once you have the procedure, which usually consists of sending official transcripts, thank the person.
Wait for your response. When you get one, hopefully it will be a positive response and you'll have already earned college credits as a result of your transfer.
- Use a pleasant voice when speaking to college administrators. They can be having hectic days and could be turned off by callers who have overly demanding voices. Be persistent. If you don't get the answer you want from a particular college administrator, try another administrator; then try a different college. Some online colleges might be more lenient in providing transfer credits from continuing education courses.
- The first semester of a college career is the most daunting and has the highest dropout rate. Keep your chin up and get through the first semester. It's downhill from there.
Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."