Academic Alternatives

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Buffalo Campus
18 Agassiz Circle
Buffalo, NY 14214
(716) 880-2000
(800) 292-1582

Rochester Campus
1880 S. Winton Rd.
Rochester, NY 14618
(585) 272-0030
(866) 212-2235

Dr. Mulvey works with two students

Medaille College recognizes that adult students may possess knowledge and experiences distinguishing them from the traditional college student. Therefore, Medaille College offers adult students the opportunity to obtain credit for this knowledge and those experiences, through Academic Alternatives.

The Academic Alternative process deals solely with college-level knowledge obtained outside the accredited college classroom. This includes, for example, formal learning gained through successful completion of coursework sponsored by business, military, and government institutions; it also may include, for example, knowledge obtained through career experiences, business expertise, and volunteer work.

The most essential thing to keep in mind about Academic Alternatives is that credit is not awarded for experience (no matter how sophisticated) but for the student’s ability to demonstrate that these experiences, knowledge, and/or skills are comparable to what is required within Medaille College’s degree programs and courses.

Any new students interested in academic alternatives should first meet with Medaille College Admissions to begin the process of applying to the College.

Credits earned through academic alternatives are posted on the transcript as a separate designation during the semester in which the credit is awarded. There is an indication of which alternative was pursued. For new and currently enrolled students, the total number of credits earned through any combination of academic alternatives cannot exceed 60 for the baccalaureate degree or 30 for the associate degree. All students working toward the bachelor’s degree must earn the last 30 credits in coursework at Medaille; for the associate degree, the last 15 credits.

Academic Alternatives for Enrolled Medaille Students

Challenge Exams: Students who think they have the knowledge base for a particular course may be able to take a challenge exam instead of enrolling in the course. Contact the Academic Advisor to see which courses are available for challenge exams. This is the only Academic Alternative given residential credit; Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades are issued for challenge exams. Fee: $100 for each exam; non-refundable, non-transferable. Exams must be taken within one year of the date of the official letter from the Office of Academic Affairs. *Graduates please check deadline dates for taking exams. The deadline date may occur before the one year deadline date.

Deadline Dates: May Graduates: File by Nov. 1; Take by May 1
Jan. Graduates: File by May 1; Take by Dec. 15
Aug. Graduates: File by Feb. 1; Take by Aug. 1
(ALP Students check with Student Services for deadlines based on cohort sequences and degree conferral dates.)

Prior Learning Assessment: Students have the opportunity to work with the Academic Advisor to prepare a portfolio which demonstrates college-level knowledge/skills that have been acquired through career and life experiences. The portfolio is directed at addressing objectives for a particular course(s) at Medaille College. Students must discuss policies, procedures, and possible courses for PLA with the Academic Alternatives Advisor. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades are issued for prior learning assessment. Fee: $100 non-refundable, non-transferable application fee for each course; $75 for each credit earned.
Deadline Dates: May Graduates: File by Oct. 1; Submit by Nov. 1
Dec. Graduates: File by Mar. 15; Submit by Apr. 15
(ALP Students check with Student Services for deadlines based on cohort sequences and degree conferral dates.)

Other Academic Alternatives Available

DSST: Medaille offers DSST exams administered on campus. Students do not need to be enrolled at Medaille College. The DSST offers approximately 37 examinations in subject areas that include physical science, applied technology, math, business, humanities, and social sciences; all are in a multiple choice format (the speech includes an audio recording). Additional information and fact sheets are available through Get College Credit.
Fee: $140 for each exam, non-refundable. In the event that an exam has to be rescheduled, there will be a $10 fee for each rescheduling. For more information, visit the Registrar's webpage.

The following academic alternatives, are options taken at other institutions and are eligible for possible transfer credit at Medaille:

CLEP (College Level Examination Program): Offered through CLEP are a series of general and specific exams, administered on computer, that measure achievement primarily in the first two years of college. There are five general areas for exams: Composition and Literature, Science & Mathematics, Foreign Language, History & Social Sciences, and Business. Most tests are multiple- choice and have a 90 minute time limit. Additional information and locations for exams is available at the College Board website.
Fee: $80 for each exam, effective July 1, 2012.

Excelsior College Examinations: There are approximately 51 Excelsior College Exams in the arts and sciences, business, nursing, and education. Exams are computer delivered and taken at Pearson VUE Testing Centers. Additional information, exam guides, deadlines, and registration procedures are available through Excelsior College.

ACE (American Council on Education) Military Program: There are formal courses offered through the armed services that may be eligible for college transfer credit. A DD214 form should be submitted during the Admissions process; evaluation is conducted by the Medaille Registrar’s Office. Additional information is available through the American Council on Education. (select “Military Programs”).

ACE CCRS (American Council on Education College Credit Recommendation Service) provides access to academic credit for formal courses taken through corporations, volunteer associations, and other non-collegiate organizations. Additional information is available through their Lifelong Learning Resource Center (866-205-6267) or contacting:

AP (Advanced Placement) Exams: High school students may take college-level courses through their high schools. A formal examination at the completion of the course is required with scoring processed through the CollegeBoard. Additional information is available at the College Board website.

International Baccalaureate:  Medaille College will accept transfer credit for IB exams with scores of 5 or better.  High school students can obtain more information about this program from their guidance offices and at this website 

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