Alternative ways to transfer credits

You can receive college credit for learning done through many non-accredited sources. 

Getting your credits transferred to NPC from a  regionally accredited institution is generally achieved by submitting your official transcripts to the college's Records and Registration office. However, you may also qualify to receive credit through a variety of other means as permitted by policies approved by the NPC District Governing Board. The following sections describe credit by these other means.

To have your alternative credits evaluated by NPC through the Alternative Learning Program at Northland Pioneer College, contact the Records & Registration Office, Alternative Credit Evaluator, at (928) 524-7459 or (800) 266-7845, ext. 7459.

Please note that once awarded by NPC, acceptance of such credits upon transfer to another college or university may be treated differently by the institution to which a student transfers.


To receive credit for prior learning, the student must provide evidence of the quantity and quality of the learning that has been achieved. The nature of this documentation varies depending on the topic or skill, but generally includes certificates of completion for non-college courses in the private, government, or military sectors. Additionally, the student must provide documentation of course content and classroom hours.

Those interested in the evaluation of their prior learning should first meet with an NPC academic adviser. This is necessary to receive a general overview of the options and processes that may need to be followed for any individual student's situation.


Credits awarded through CLEP/AP may be used at Northland to count toward the student's degree program including general education, major, and elective requirements. The student does not have to take additional courses to replace the credits for which s/he qualified by CLEP/AP examination in order to accumulate 64 hours for graduation.

Northland establishes acceptable test scores for the awarding of credits based on recommendations from American Council on Education (A.C.E.) and/or the state articulation agency for each discipline. Please see an academic adviser for minimum scores.

The acceptance of prior learning credits or CLEP/AP examination credits may be treated differently by the other institution upon transfer. Students desiring to use such credits at other institutions are advised to check the policies of each institution. Normally a fee is charged for posting credits earned through Alternative Learning.

The CLEP/AP examination credits are not used in computing the student's subsequent grade point average. Credits are posted on the student's transcript. A maximum of thirty (30) semester hours of CLEP/AP credit may be used at Northland toward the associate degree requirements.

Specific information concerning CLEP/AP subject and general exams, equivalent Northland courses, acceptable scores, and the number of credits that Northland awards for each test is available from the Alternative Learning Evaluators.

Credit will not be awarded twice in the event a student has met a specific Northland graduation requirement through Northland course credit or another institution's transferable credit and the student is also eligible for the same credit through CLEP/AP test scores.

Students desiring to use CLEP/AP scores for satisfying requirements at institutions other than Northland are advised to check the CLEP/AP policies of those specific institutions. Each institution reserves the right to set scores for passing, as well as which tests they accept as testing over the equivalents of their courses. It is possible that passing scores may be higher or lower at other institutions. CLEP/AP scores, not necessarily courses, transfer for use between institutions and may be treated differently by the receiving institution.


Credit by examination through NPC Departmental Examination will only be available in subjects for which CLEP is not available and for which testing arrangements can be made. Credit by Departmental Examination testing may not be available for all subjects. An appropriate fee must be paid for the type of credit by examination selected as stated in the tuition and fees schedule included in the NPC Class Schedule. Credit will not be awarded both for credit by examination and equivalent courses taken. In the cases where credit is available for the same course from multiple sources, Northland reserves the right to determine which of the credits will be used toward Northland graduation requirements.

Notification of credit award (or non-award) by examination will be sent to the Records & Registration Office, and the student, by the Alternative Credit Evaluator.


Transfer credit from non-accredited post-secondary institutions may also be awarded if Northland is satisfied that such credits represent equivalent or higher level work and other measures of the quality of the work completed are evident. This provision includes private-for-profit postsecondary institutions, post-secondary institutions operated under the auspices of an Indian tribe, and credit recommendations from the American Council on Education for non-college- sponsored training and experiences.


Credit may be awarded in some instances for course/ competency work satisfactorily completed by students while enrolled in a high school with which Northland has a course articulation agreement. A list of courses for each participating high school in Northland's service area for which from Northland may award credit may be obtained the respective high school's counselors or the local NPC academic advisers. Interested high school students should ask their high school instructor to begin competency card checkoffs for them as they work through the articulated high school course(s). The checkoff card remains with the high school as the student completes the competencies and for three (3) years after high school graduation. If all listed competencies for an NPC course(s) are satisfactorily completed prior to high school graduation, the student is eligible for Northland credit in the course(s). Students must enroll at Northland prior to credits being posted to a Northland transcript.

To initiate the use of such eligible credits at Northland and their posting to a Northland transcript, students must pick up a Student Request for Transfer of Articulated Credit Records to Northland form from their high school counselor or local NPC academic adviser, complete the student portion of the form, and submit it to their high school. The student must attend Northland within three (3) subsequent school years of graduation from the participating high school in order for credits obtained by articulation to be recorded on the student's Northland transcript. The student should initiate a request for the actual transcripting of his/her articulated credit immediately after this requirement is met. When the required competency documentation is transferred to Northland by the high school, and other conditions above have been met, the credits will be posted to the student's Northland transcript.

These credits will be recognized, if appropriate, as part of the total credits required for the Northland program, certificate, or degree sought.

College credits for articulated course/competency work are limited to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours for a certificate program and eighteen (18) semester hours for an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of General Studies program. Credits awarded through articulation agreements are not used in computing the student's subsequent grade point average at Northland.

The acceptance of such articulated credits upon transfer to other post-secondary institutions may be treated differently by the receiving institution. Students desiring to use these credits at other post-secondary institutions are advised to check the policies of the specific institution.


The Individualized Learning Contract provides a method of independent study through learning objectives, individualized activities, and appropriate methods of evaluation to verify the objectives have been achieved. A student completes a Learning Contract Application in consultation with an academic adviser. If approved by the appropriate Division Dean/Director, the Division Dean/ Director will develop the course, and arrange for a Northland faculty member to act as a resource person and evaluator, while the student completes the contract.

Credit is awarded for the completion of learning contracts when the instructor has received evidence from the student that learning objectives have been achieved.

Students assigned the 'I' or "incomplete" grade at the end of a semester for a learning contract enrollment must complete the learning contract within the initial grade policy time limit. After that time, any 'I' will be converted to an 'F'.


Many area high schools offer dual enrollment classes to their students through an agreement with Northland. Dual enrollment classes allow students to earn college credits for certain classes offered at the high school before they graduate from high school. Students can get a head start on college through dual enrollment. Occupational classes are accepted for credit at all state community colleges. Academic courses are accepted for credit by all state community colleges as well as state universities. For further information about dual enrollment click here .


Internship education is an option that allows the student to integrate college course work with work experience in business, government and industry. Through the use of formalized "Learning Objectives" established at the beginning of each semester, the intern student earns college credits that may be applied to degree requirements. Some college departments have mandatory internships with requirements specific to the program. However, internships are an option for anyone who wishes to gain additional skills as well as college credits.

For information, contact Career Services.


Northland and the Department of Corrections provide vocational and postsecondary education to inmates of the Arizona State Prison located in Winslow. Most programs are open-entry, enabling continuous student enrollment. Vocational courses are offered throughout the entire year ensuring students the opportunity to complete their educational or training goals.