Retroactive credit policy helps students get ahead

The Retroactive Credit Policy at Kent State is a way to assist students who may have tested out of a class get the credits for the class.

“It’s very similar to the CLEP (College-Level Examination Program), which awards students college credit based on their proficiency,” said Therese Tillett, Executive Director of Curriculum Services.

“The difference is that instead of taking an exam, a student will take the next higher level class, then you can request to get the credit for the courses on your transcript.”

For example, a student who took a language throughout high school can take Spanish II without completing Spanish I at Kent, but still get the credits for taking both courses. 

“This academic year is the second academic year the policy has been in effect.” Tillett said, on the history of the policy. “Quite a few other universities also have a policy very similar to this. Our Department of Modern and Classical Languages requested it be enacted. They were seeing that students, for example, would test into the higher level French class and would have to take the lower level one anyway. They would be wasting their time and money in these classes they would not need to take. It didn’t benefit the student or the professor. It was made to incentivize students to take the higher level courses right away.”

Not all fields of study can be supported by this policy. It is mostly used for math and language credits.

“We saw universities where the policy was only used for language,” Tillett said, “And we really wanted to broaden it. Any program where the courses are really sequenced and build off of each other.” 

Elizabeth Ziegler, a senior Integrated Mathematics major, said she wish she knew about the program earlier. “I tested out of College Writing and German coming into my freshman year. The added credits would have been nice to have Freshman or Sophomore year, especially for scheduling. The added few credits would have been nice to get to schedule before everyone else. I’m in the last scheduling bracket now so it isn’t really relevant for me anymore.” 

Ziegler said she can see how this can be a big help in other areas as well.

“If the class is not for a major, having the credits can help you streamline the classes you have to take. Getting four free German credits means that’s one less elective I have to take, which means I can take another class for my major, which means I can get out sooner. One free class can open up a lot of your schedule.”

The form to apply for the policy can be acquired at the Registrar in Schwartz Center.

Jacob Ruffo is a student life reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].