Ways to Earn Credit
There are several ways to earn the credits you need to reach your academic goals. You could think of your program as a jigsaw puzzle you are completing, with pieces that come from the categories listed below. Be sure to explore the possibilities with your academic advisor and/or staff in the Distance Education Office, Learning Resource Center, and Career Development Center.
Earn credit through Woods Online courses
Learn more about our online course formats.
College courses taken at regionally accredited institutions of higher education are likely to transfer into the Woods Online program.
- The grade must be at least a C.
- Certain dated (older) credits may not meet current general studies or major requirements.
- If the credits are too old or you attended an unaccredited institution, you may now be able to show your learning is valid and current with an exam over the course content.
Alternative Format (AF) Courses
Alternative Format (AF) courses meet on campus, usually on the weekend. Offerings in this format are listed on the course rotation schedule for the upcoming semester. (Course rotation schedule is on the Academic Information Page)
- Courses meet all day and include a variety of learning activities.
- Work will be required before the first and after the last class, and in between meetings.
- AF courses are a great way to meet other students and interact with instructors in class.
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
Document your prior experience and qualify for college credit.
- This is college-level learning you’ve done “on your own” – at home, work, through volunteer activities in your community, church, etc.
- College faculty will assess your prior learning application; you may be awarded PLA credit, for which there is a per credit fee.
- PLA credit can apply to general studies, major, or elective requirements for graduation
- Maximum 30 hours of PLA credit towards a baccalaureate degree and 15 towards an associates degree.
- Read more information about our Instructions for Submitting your PLA Portfolio (PDF)
Training Programs & Certifications
Training programs, such as those offered by the military, the American Bankers Assn., Certified Professional Secretaries, etc., that have been evaluated by the American Council on Education will grant you college credit. With documentation, college credit is awarded to you at no cost.
CLEP and Standarized Testing
- National exam programs include CLEP, DANTES (military), and AP (high school).
- CLEP exams may be taken at SMWC or elsewhere and are relatively inexpensive.
- Read more information about the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) (PDF)
- Visit the Learning Resource Center to schedule an exam or to learn more about CLEP testing.
- You can also learn more by visiting www.collegeboard.com/clep.
If your schedule and distance from campus permit, you may enroll in campus-based classes.
- Up to half your course load may be campus classes (which are daytime, weekday).
- Registration in August or January is required for this option.
Take courses elsewhere
You may enroll in courses elsewhere while enrolled in the Woods Online program and then transfer the credits to SMWC.
- Courses must be pre-approved (in writing) so you're sure they will be accepted and know how they will be applied to your SMWC graduation requirements. Download Form Here (PDF)