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Alternative Credit and Study Options

Catalog: Alternative Credit and Study Options

In addition to regularly scheduled credit classes, students may receive college credit for participation in the following alternative credit and study options:


Credit by Examination is a process by which students may earn credit in recognition of knowledge and skills gained from previous experience or training when such knowledge and skills are deemed to be substantially similar to the student learning outcomes of the course for which credit is being sought. A student, who meets the following requirements, may receive credit for some courses by passing an exam:

  • Completed 12 units at Cosumnes River College
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better at CRC

Under special circumstances these requirements may be waived by petition to the Dean of Student Services and Enrollment Management.

A maximum of 15 credit units of catalog courses may be earned through Credit by Examination. Credit by Examination may not be applicable to all courses. Eligibility for Credit by Examination is NOT permissible under the following situations:

  • The student has completed or enrolled in a more advanced course, which follows this course in sequence.
  • The course (or its equivalent) appears on the student’s transcript with a grade other than a W.
  • The exam would duplicate coursework for which credit was granted previously.
  • The student does not meet the pre-requisite or co-requisite for the course.

Under special circumstances these restrictions may be waived by petition to the Vice President of Student Services.

Please note that some four-year colleges and universities do NOT accept units granted through credit by examination. Students are advised to meet with a counselor for more information.

Please follow these steps to participate:

  1. Find a professor who is willing to administer the exam. The examining instructor determines the scope and form of the exam.
  2. Complete the appropriate paperwork at the Admissions and Records Office. Staff will verify your eligibility.
  3. Have the examining professor sign the petition and schedule the examination.
  4. Have the appropriate area dean sign the petition.
  5. Return the completed petition to the Admissions and Records Office for enrollment in a test section and provide payment of appropriate enrollment fees.
  6. Take the exam as scheduled. (The examining professor will submit a grade of “Pass” or “No Pass” to the Admissions and Records Office. See “Pass/No Pass” Grading for further information.)

Please note that all Cosumnes River College policies are in effect with respect to Credit by Examination, except as indicated above.


Students may earn college credit through any of the following: College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP) Subject Tests (CEEB), or International Baccalaureate (IB) High Level (HL) examinations. See specifics below:


Students enrolled at Cosumnes River College may be awarded units of credit for each CLEP General Examination passed with a minimum score as listed on the CLEP chart. Submit scores from the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) to the Admissions and Records Office for evaluation of college credit. Refer to the CLEP examination chart for specific information. Qualifying CLEP scores do NOT earn equivalent course credit, but satisfy General Education areas required for an AA or AS degree at CRC. Credits/units earned are posted to the transcript as “Pass” (“P”) – letter grades are not awarded.

Students should be aware that other colleges and universities have the right to accept, modify, or reject the CLEP units. Students should meet with a counselor for more information on College Level Examination Program (CLEP). The University of California (UC) does NOT currently accept CLEP credits.

Actual credit awarded may be affected by college coursework previously taken.

View Table of College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Scores and General Education (GE) Area Credit at CRC


Students enrolling at Cosumnes River College may be awarded units of credit for each Advanced Placement examination passed with scores of 3, 4, or 5: Refer to the AP chart for information on the specific course credit awarded and GE areas covered. Submit Advanced Placement test scores to the Admissions and Records Office for evaluation of college credit. Credits/units earned are posted to the transcript as “Pass” (“P”) – letter grades are not awarded. Credit may not be earned for courses which duplicate credit already awarded for Advanced Placement examinations

View Table of Advanced Placement (AP) Test Scores and General Education (GE) Area Credit at CRC


Students enrolling at Cosumnes River College may be awarded units of credit for each International Baccalaureate (IB) High Level (HL) examination completed with a score of 5, 6, or 7: Refer to the IB chart for information. Qualifying IB scores do NOT earn equivalent course credit, but satisfy General Education areas required for an AA or AS degree at CRC, for CSU-GE Breadth, and IGETC. Credits/units earned are posted to the transcript as “Pass” (“P”) – letter grades are not awarded.

Actual credit awarded may be affected by college coursework previously taken.

If a student is interested in transferring to a university to pursue a bachelor’s degree, it is critical that they meet with a counselor since the admission and transfer requirements are different at each institution. For example, some universities may not accept credit/no credit grading as meeting the requirements for a given major.

View Table of International Baccalaureate (IB) Examination Scores and General Education (GE) Area Credit at CRC


Credit for military service is granted upon presentation of papers showing honorable discharge from active duty of one year or more in the United States armed forces. A veteran may receive four (4) units of elective credit by submitting a copy of the DD 214 separation papers and a petition. Veterans may also receive credit for satisfactory training completed in service school.

After enrolling at CRC, a veteran may apply for evaluation of military service experience for college credit. A copy of the veteran's DD214 (member copy 4) separation paper MUST be submitted at the Veterans Services Office and a petition completed after the first semester of attendance. Credit granted for military service is based on A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services, published by the American Council on Education. Students in the six-month reserve training program are not eligible for military credit. This is in accordance with the recommendation of the American Council on Education.


Cosumnes River College expands access to its educational programs through distance education. Student learning outcomes, registration, and degree applicability for these courses are the same as those for on-campus courses. There are two types of distance education:

Online Instruction
Learning opportunities using this medium come in two modes. In the first, all or most course instruction takes place online through the use of materials and activities posted on an internet site. The class schedule indicates how often class meets on campus. In the second mode, the instructor of a class that meets face-to-face in the traditional way may use the internet to post learning materials, resources and assignments, as well as provide individual contact with students through email or other electronic means. Not all classes that use the internet in this way are indicated in the class schedule.

Televised Instruction
The instructional television system brings students live, interactive classes, broadcast from the main campus over several area cable systems and online via streaming media. Students use the telephone (toll free) to report attendance, ask questions, and participate. Class sessions are also available for student review via on-demand streaming media, and students can subscribe to a podcast or video podcast. On-campus attendance is required only to take exams, with accommodations made for student schedules. Class materials may be picked up or mailed. Assignments may be faxed or mailed to instructors. Student participation is expected.


The Cosumnes River College Honors program is designed specifically for academically accomplished students, and students seeking a challenge with the ability and desire for high achievement. Through its series of special Honors courses, the program provides opportunities for intellectual growth beyond those generally found in most lower division programs. These one to three unit courses are intended to augment and enhance a student's knowledge and educational experience. In the broad plan of the program, some of these courses are linked to a particular course and are intended to provide in-depth, rigorous treatment of certain related topics. These classes may require concurrent or previous enrollment in another course. Prospective Honors Program students should possess the ability to think and work independently, write clearly and purposefully, and cooperate in the spirit of discovery and understanding.

Honors courses are special intensive courses in which students will confront and attempt to resolve difficult questions that arise in a careful study of the issues found in the discipline(s). Honors students are expected to research aspects of these questions and present their findings to the class in written form for seminar discussion. Field trips to attend events or to conduct research may be an integral part of the Honors course experience. Students who successfully complete units from Honors courses may be able to count these units as part of the Transfer Breadth Requirements. Students who complete 15 units or more in honors-designated courses will earn special recognition as an Honors Scholar, a distinction that may entitle the student to guaranteed transfer and scholarship opportunities at select transfer colleges and universities.

Students interested in applying for membership in the Honors Program should contact the Faculty Contact person (see pg 241) or the Vice President of Instruction and Student Learning (College Center) for application materials.


Aerospace Studies: Air Force ROTC is available to Cosumnes River College students through a program offered at CSU, Sacramento. There is no obligation to join the military to take the courses. Students may take courses to explore an interest in a military career. Two-, three-, and four-year programs are available, leading to a commission in the United States Air Force. Scholarships are available to qualified students. Classes are conducted at CSUS. Topics include military history, management, leadership, problem solving, ethics, public speaking, world politics, international relations, and current events.

To apply for the program or for more information, contact the Unit Admissions Officer at (916) 278-7315. It is recommended that applications be submitted no later than the first semester of the sophomore year.

Military Science: Army ROTC is available to Cosumnes River College students at CSU, Sacramento. The Military Science Department offers hands-on training in management and leadership. There is no obligation to join the military by taking the course. The program stresses the following leadership dimensions: oral and written communications, oral presentations (formal briefings), initiative, sensitivity, influence, planning and organizing, delegation, administrative control, problem analysis, judgment, decisiveness, physical stamina, and mission accomplishment. Also stressed are current events, national and international politics, military affairs, ethics training and human relations with emphasis on eliminating racial and gender discrimination. Management and leadership are taught using the U.S. Army as a model. Two and three year scholarships are available, covering up to $9,000 per year for tuition, $225 per semester for books and supplies, $200 per semester for lab fees, and $150 a month tax free stipend during the academic year.

To apply for the program or for more information, contact the Unit Admissions Officer at (916) 278-7682. It is recommended that applications be submitted no later than the first semester of the sophomore year.


Experimental Offerings
An experimental offering is a course that is offered on a trial basis. Students enroll in experimental offerings through the regular registration process. Note: Transfer institutions may not accept units earned in experimental offerings. 

Independent Studies
An Independent Studies project involves an individual student or small group of students in study, research, or activities beyond the scope of regularly offered courses. 

Students may petition to enroll in one to three units in a single department per semester, with a maximum of six (6) units of Independent Studies allowed per semester. A maximum of nine (9) units of Independent Studies is allowed toward graduation requirements. Anyone may apply for permission to pursue an Independent Studies project that is designed to foster special knowledge, skills and experience not available in any one regularly scheduled course. It is the student's responsibility to develop a program of study and evaluation approved by the supervising instructor. Petitions should be filed prior to the end of the eighth week of classes. (See Academic Calendar - page 1)

Students can normally expect to successfully accomplish only one such project per semester, as one unit of credit represents approximately 54 hours of work.

It is recommended that students, prior to enrolling, complete college courses or have actual experience and training in the field in question.

To obtain special studies credit, the student must:

  • Discuss and outline the proposal with the supervising instructor
  • Obtain an application from the area dean's office
  • Submit the completed application to the supervising instructor who will obtain the necessary approval, and
  • Upon approval, register for Independent Studies 295 or 495 in the Admissions and Records Office

NOTE: Transfer institutions may or may not accept special studies units.


What nations don't know can hurt them.
The stakes involved in study abroad are that simple,
that straightforward, and that important.
For their own future and that of the nation,
college graduates today must be
internationally competent.

COMMISSION ON THE Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program

Your assignment is to conduct a comparison between food shopping patterns of Italians and Americans for your Cultural Anthropology class, or observe two works of art in the Louvre for your Art History class, or visit the prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela served 27 years as a political prisoner, or strike up a conversation in a language other than English with people who live in the same city where you are living as a guest. Studying abroad can be the most fascinating and life-changing experience students will have in the course of their college careers. Living and studying in a completely different culture challenges students to re-examine their basic attitudes and outlooks, and helps them become globally and internationally competent and culturally aware of similarities and differences. The Los Rios Study Abroad program is learning 24 hours a day, seven days a week when the classroom is an entire country and culture. Plus, it is incredible fun.

The Los Rios Community College District offers study opportunities in cooperation with the American Institute for Foreign Study, and the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium (NCSAC). Programs take place full semesters and during the summer. Classes are taught in English by community college faculty from Los Rios and other NCSAC members, and students take 12 units of GE classes - the same classes that are offered in the community colleges here. Programs are offered on a rotating basis in Barcelona, London, Florence, Paris, Madrid, Capetown (South Africa), Beijing, Shanghai, and other sites on a rotating basis. The enriched curriculum includes language instruction, travel and field trips, cross-cultural experiences and resources not available at home to enhance the learning process.

For more information on how to apply for Study Abroad programs, call the Study Abroad office at (916) 691‑7187 or visit the CRC home page and click on the Study Abroad link, or click on the Quicklinks from any of the other Los Rios college and District home pages, which will take you directly to


(See Work Experience section, page 387)