Articulated Credit Procedures

A. PURPOSE:
A number of the topics covered in introductory or foundational courses required as part of Associate of Applied Science, Technical Certificate, and Certificate of Proficiency programs at North Arkansas College (Northark) are thoroughly covered in high school classes or programs of study. Articulation agreements with secondary institutions allow these classes to be evaluated and documented as equivalent to specific post-secondary courses. High school students who complete articulated courses gain the following benefits:

  • Elimination of duplicated coursework between high school and college.
  • Better preparation for college work in their chosen area of interest.
  • Significant savings in tuition and book costs since articulated courses are available at no cost to the student.

Northark benefits from these agreements since they provide an incentive for talented high school students to attend Northark after graduation. Additionally, students who have completed articulated courses are better prepared for college work and are able to begin their college program of study at a more advanced level. Articulated courses are an important part of Northark’s effort to provide a seamless transition from secondary to post-secondary educational opportunities.

B. Establishment of Course Articulation:

  1. Articulation Agreements document requirements that must be satisfied by high school courses or course sequences in order to be considered equivalent to specific Northark courses. By mutual agreement between Northark and the participating high school, students completing these articulated courses with a grade of “A” or “B” will receive Northark college credit for these courses upon enrollment at Northark. Northark will not charge tuition or fees for course credit earned under approved Articulated Course Agreements. Articulated courses are designed to fit Northark non-transfer programs of study.
  1. Participating high schools will appoint an Articulated Credit Program Coordinator (ACPC) to coordinate Articulated Course proposals, procedures, and processes for their school. The ACPC is assumed to be the high school principal if not otherwise designated. High school teachers are encouraged to propose courses or course sequences as candidates for articulation through their ACPC.
  1. The Northark Academic Dean responsible for the college courses for which articulation agreements are in place or proposed will conduct in-service training for participating college and high school personnel. This training will typically be held early in the fall semester to provide an opportunity for all concerned to review existing articulation agreements, propose new agreements, and discuss improvements to be made to our Articulated Credit program. This training will be coordinated with the Ozarks Unlimited Resources (OUR) Cooperative’s in-service training schedule to simplify scheduling for high school teachers.

  2. In order to be accepted for articulated credit, a close correlation between the Curriculum Frameworks for the articulated high school course(s) and the learning objectives/course outcomes listed on the Official Course Syllabus for the articulated college course must exist. Thoughtful collaboration is required between high school and college instructors in order to properly document this correlation with an Articulated Course Agreement. Maintaining the academic integrity of this process is crucial in order to avoid harm to the student who takes articulated credit courses in good faith and to avoid jeopardizing college wide and individual program accreditation standards.

  3. As part of this collaboration, college instructors should review and make recommendations to high school instructors regarding examinations given during or at the end of a course with the goal of ensuring the same level of rigor in the articulated high school course as in the associated college course. However, students successfully completing an articulated course will not be required to take additional testing at Northark before being awarded credit for the course.

  4. The learning objectives and outcomes on Official Course Syllabi are regularly updated based on input from program advisory boards, changes in technology, and evolution of the job market. Annual course articulation in-service training sessions will be used to update all concerned with such changes, but the key to a successful articulated credit program is frequent communication between high school and college instructors involved with the articulation agreement. Northark’s Academic Deans may require additional criteria for successful completion of articulated credit courses, such as a practical component, particular grade level, or a minimum grade point average, but these requirements will be clearly specified in the articulation agreement.

  5. In general, articulated courses fit into a program of study leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree or to completion of a Technical Certificate or Certificate of Proficiency program. Every effort will be made to ensure that high school students are aware of the courses in these programs and how articulated courses can expedite their progress.

C. Administrative Procedures for Course Articulation:

  1. The school district Articulated Credit Program Coordinators (ACPCs) should formally request course articulation through the responsible Northark Academic Dean using the “North Arkansas College Course Articulation Request” form. All Articulated Credit Program documents and forms are available on Northark’s website.

  2. The appropriate Northark Academic Dean will designate a full time faculty member, typically, the Curriculum Manager for the course under consideration, as the point of contact for the high school instructor of the articulated course. The college and high school instructors will collaborate on the requirements for articulation and mutually determine whether the articulation proposal can reasonably be achieved under the procedures described in section A above. This collaboration should address the correlation of high school Curriculum Frameworks and college Official Syllabus Learning Objectives/Course Outcomes, establish testing policies, develop a test-item bank, and identify resources and other conditions necessary to complete the articulation agreement. Frequently this process results in improvements to the Official Course Syllabus for the college course in that objectives are more focused and measurable and accurately reflect the demands of the work place.

  3. When the details of the Course Articulation Agreement have been agreed upon by the instructors involved, they will sign the agreement and forward it to the appropriate Northark Dean for review and signature. A copy of the signed agreement will then be forwarded to the high school ACPC to formalize the articulation agreement. Typically, signatures on Course Articulation Agreements are obtained during the annual Articulated Credit meeting of college and high school faculty. Once the Course Articulation Agreement is signed by all parties, it becomes effective and students should be encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity it offers.

  4. Northark will maintain a matrix of articulated courses for each academic year by high school. This matrix will be posted on the Northark website. This website will serve as the reference for admissions personnel in determining whether or not high school students may be eligible for articulated credit.

D. Administrative Procedures for Awarding Articulated Course Credit:

  1. A student may earn no more than one-third (1/3) of the credits required for an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, or Technical Certificate degree and no more than one-half (1/2) the credits required for a Certificate of Proficiency through articulated credit and other nontraditional methods (CLEP, AP, challenge tests, correspondence courses, and credit by certification examination). Credits earned in excess of these amounts will still be posted to the students’ transcripts; however, they will be treated as excess electives and not counted towards the credit hours needed for graduation.

  2. Students who are enrolled in a high school course at the time it is approved for articulation are eligible for articulated credit at the end of that academic year.

  3. Once a course is formally articulated, high school students must earn either an “A” or a “B” in the course in order to receive college credit.

  4. A high school student or high school graduate desiring articulated credit must provide documentation of his/her successful completion of an Articulated Course via a signed form provided by Northark available online from that student’s high school teacher or counselor that includes the high school course name, articulated college course name (ex. CIS 1103– Intro to Information Technology), student’s name and identification number, graduation year and letter grade for the course. High school courses still in progress may be listed on this form for early enrollment advising purposes. In the event that a signed form from the high school cannot be obtained, articulated credit based on evaluation of the student’s high school transcript may be requested by the student.

  5. Students will present the signed official form to their advisers when they enroll for classes.

  6. To avoid exceeding maximum credit limits imposed by financial aid guidelines, students are encouraged to request only transcription of articulated credit applicable to their program of study.

  7. Recording of Articulated Credit on the Student’s Northark Transcript:
  • Credit for articulated courses will be entered on the student's Northark transcript as soon as the student has successfully completed at least one Northark course.
  • Any Articulated Credit earned will be placed at the top of the student’s transcript before the listing of any courses taken through Northark and clearly identified as “Articulated Credit Earned.”
  • Credit earned will be designated with a “CR” on the student’s transcript. There will be no specific grade recorded on the transcript and the date will be omitted.
  • For consistency with other college programs, Articulated Course Credit must be transcripted within two years of completion of high school graduation.