The California Community Colleges have long had mechanisms for awarding students credit for prior learning, from evaluating transcripts to establishing standards for the units and course credit to be associated with designated scores on nationally and internationally recognized curricula and exams. While the processes for awarding credit via these traditional mechanisms are generally well-developed, other avenues to college credit may not benefit from the same level of standardization and may be in need of refinement locally. Most notably, the awarding of credit in career technical education (CTE) areas for articulated high school work, including courses in Regional Occupational Career Programs (ROCPs), is an area in need of improvement, as increases in the number of articulated high school courses have not yielded a corresponding increase in the awarding of credit. While high schools offer courses in CTE areas to their traditional populations, ROCPs provide high-quality career preparation classes and services to prepare youth 16 years of age and older and adults for successful careers in response to the needs of the local labor market. Local policies and practices may, in some cases, hinder the transcription of credit earned. Once an articulation agreement has been established, the awarding of credit requires a coordinated intersegmental effort that begins in a high school class and ends in a community college admissions and records office. The intervening steps must not be overly burdensome on the student and the process should not be unreasonably prolonged. Most importantly the process must ensure that the student has achieved the competencies that justify the awarding of credit. Title 5 regulations permit high school students to earn college credit that is notated on a college transcript through credit by exam mechanisms, with no residency requirement. Local policies can enable students to earn college credit for their high school work at no cost or minimal cost to the student in a way that neither compromises the integrity of the college course nor disrupts the smooth transition of a student from high school to college. Such practices are effective in providing high school students college level coursework in a high school setting and provide faculty across segments an opportunity to collaborate to benefit students. The process of developing this paper produced a collection of documents that can inform effective implementation practices at the local level. CTE practitioners offered forms, letters, “how-tos,” and fliers, all of which illustrate local practices. These documents can be used to develop new or modify existing practices.
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