3.6.3 Institutional Credits for a Degree Print
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 07:35

3.6.3     Institutional Credits for a Degree

The majority of credits toward a graduate or a post-baccalaureate professional degree are earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree.  In the case of graduate and post-baccalaureate professional degree programs offered through joint, cooperative, or consortial arrangements, the student earns a majority of credits through instruction offered by the participating institutions.  (See Commission policy "The Transfer or Transcripting of Academic Credit.")

Responsible Unit: Division of Academic Affairs

Compliance Judgment



North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University's policy for credit hours earned through the institution awarding the degree clearly states in the Graduate Catalog that three-fourths of the thirty or more credits hours required for a master's degree must be earned in residence at A&T. A maximum of twelve credits from a previous master's degree at A&T may be credited towards a thirty-hour minimum degree requirement.  Courses taken external to A&T cannot exceed the six credit hour transfer maximum allowed for a thirty-hour minimal master's degree requirement.  A graduate course which has been completed with a grade of "B" or better may be considered for transfer to a master's program provided that it has been completed in a graduate or post-baccalaureate classification at an accredited graduate school [1]. The first digit indicates the classification level of the course.  Courses numbered 600-699 are open to seniors and to graduate students.  Courses numbered 700 and above are open only to graduate students [2].  The requirements beyond the Master of Science for the doctoral degree are twenty-four minimum course credits and twelve dissertation credits; this may differ in the College of Engineering based on the department program's prerogative to establish more restrictive requirements [3].  This policy is adhered to and implemented through departmental programs of study that are designed to incorporate a minimum of six transfer credits [4].

Training Staff to Implement Policies: The graduate studies staff conducts annual orientations and ongoing training sessions relevant to new and evolving policies and issues, as well as provides updates on academic and technical procedures that have been officially approved by General Administration.  Policy memorandums emanating directly from General Administration are posted or distributed from the Provost's Office via e-mail [5]. New policies and academic procedures are printed in the Faculty Handbook [6].

The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) is responsible for central administrative computing and related information activities for the university.  DoIT develops, maintains, and/or provides technical support for the campus financial, human resources, alumni, and student information systems as well as appropriate computing for other administrative units.  The focus for DoIT is easy access to secure, reliable, and timely data. Training at the department level is conducted at the beginning of the semester and through weekly sessions during the school year [7]. Training manuals are provided for staff as resource tools for quickly accessing policies, procedures and student information [8]. DoIT is committed to retraining quality staff, investigating new technologies, and partnering with others to provide technical leadership and effective solutions.

Within the school or college, the procedure for training faculty begins with the department chair or a program's coordinator when academic policies are distributed and implemented.  Each semester an orientation and/or faculty institute is scheduled for the dissemination of new academic or continuing policies or information.  Once the faculty has met and engaged as a department they then move to their specialized areas.  At this juncture, the program coordinators are responsible for sharing more specific information that is germane to their particular discipline.  The advisees are assigned and advisors are provided information by the coordinators.  All faculty advisors are instructed to follow the catalog's academic policies and procedures and to inform graduate students of the importance of acquiring and following the catalog under which they are admitted.  Advisors and advisees meet at least twice a semester, at the beginning of the semester and mid-semester when advisement sessions are scheduled throughout the university [9].  When graduate students first enter the university, a Program of Study is reviewed and completed. It is at this time that all courses and their sequence within the discipline are discussed, the possibility of transfer credits, and the proposed time-line for completing the master's program.  It is important to ascertain the time frame for degree completion so that course scheduling can be determined. All program of study forms are signed by the advisor and the graduate student before submission to the graduate studies office [4].

Policies for Awarding Degrees Through Joint, Cooperative, or Consortial Arrangements: The Joint Program of Social Work describes specific information on the academic collaboration between North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).  Each school has a co-director responsible for administrative leadership and oversight of the individual programs.  The catalog states: This is a single academic program with instruction by faculty from each department. Students attend classes on the campuses of both universities and have access to all academic and support services of the two universities. Successful completion of the degree requires sixty credit hours. The Joint Master of Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The JMSW curriculum has been designed by faculty from both institutions to provide students with advanced generalist social work education. The model for the curriculum is based on contemporary, state-of-the-art theory and practice methods. Courses reflect the theme of providing effective services to families in urban and rural North Carolina. The curriculum is organized by foundation, area of practice, advanced generalist integrative seminars, and field instruction. [10] [11].

The senior academic officers of A&T and UNCG constitute a policy group for the Joint Master of Social Work Program.  This group is named the Inter-University Coordinating Council (ICC).  Members include the chief academic officers (vice chancellor and provost) of each university, the graduate school deans, the deans of the schools in which the departments are located, and the chairs of these departments. ICC meetings are held annually.  Issues of policy, including human and financial resources, space requirements, and guidance concerning other divisions of the university, are brought by the program co-directors and department chairpersons to this group for direction and resolution.  Currently the JMSW Program is administered by two co-directors, one from A&T and one from UNCG, in conjunction with the two department chairpersons. Administratively the A&T co-director reports to the chairperson of the Department of Sociology & Social Work, and the UNCG co-director reports to the chairperson of the Department of Social Work. The co-directors and the chairpersons meet regularly to address issues related to management of the JMSW Program. The Inter-University Coordinating Council is pledged to supporting a high-quality academic program. One of the unique features of this program is that: One of the two universities admits the students to the JMSW Program for a four-year period, and then admission to the program switches to the other university for a four-year period.  JMSW students matriculate from the university to which they were admitted.  Although courses are conducted at both A&T and UNCG, all of the courses that JMSW students complete are processed by the graduate school and registrar of the university that admitted them.  JMSW students may choose to take one 3-credit graduate elective course at A&T, UNCG, or another university [11].

Credit on Transcripts Earned at Other Institutions: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University requires an official transcript from the institution where the transfer credits were earned and a copy of the catalog's course description to be submitted with a written request to accept the transfer credit.  The request form is submitted to the student's advisor for review and evaluation.  The transfer credit must be approved and signed by the chair of the department [12].  It is then submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for the vice chancellor's final approval and signature.   Courses credits are accepted for transfer within six years of completion.  The course or courses recommended for transfer must be similar in description to a course within the current program's curriculum or one within the department or school/college.  The courses taken must be at the 600 level or higher and a grade of "B" or better is required [2].  The course cannot be counted if it was used as part of a student's undergraduate requirements, and no graduate credit will be allowed for excess credits completed in an undergraduate classification at another institution.

Supporting Documents

[1]     Graduate  Catalog,  pg. 38

[2]     Schedule Book, 2008 - 2009. pg. 3

[3]     Graduate Catalog, pg. 43

[4]     NC A&T State University Departmental Program of Study

[5]     NCAT Website -5.pdf

[6]     NC A&T State University Faculty Handbook

[7]     NC A&T State University Training Management System

[8]     NC A&T State University Banner Basics Training Manual

[9]     NC A&T State University 2008 - 2009 University Calendar

[10]   NC A&T State University Graduate Programs Catalog pg.318

[11]   Governance & Administrative Organization of the JMSW Prog. June 2008

[12]   NC A&T State University School of Graduate Studies Transfer Credit

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 May 2010 14:40 )