System Procedures
Chapter 3 - Educational Policies

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for Board Policy 3.33

Part 1. Purpose of Procedure.

Subpart A. The procedure specifies uniform granting of credit to a student for successful completion of CLEP examinations by defining the requirements of and guidelines for the implementation of the policy.

Subpart B. The procedure provides for uniform granting of credit to a student for successful completion of CLEP examinations using the current scoring scale and for scores earned using prior scoring scales. Scores presented using prior scales shall be granted according to the ACE guidelines for that scoring scale and time period.

Part 2. Definitions.

Subpart A. CLEP examinations. CLEP examinations are designed to assess student mastery of introductory (lower division) college course material in particular subject areas.

Subpart B. American Council on Education (ACE). ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions and seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives. ACE provides recommendations for granting college and university credit for CLEP examinations.

Part 3. Minimum Examination Scores. A college or university shall grant college credit to students who earn a score of 50 or higher on CLEP examinations, with the exception of Level 2 foreign-language examinations, for which a minimum score of 60 for German language, 59 for French language, and 63 for Spanish language is required. These scores conform with recommendations made by the American Council on Education (ACE) and comply with M.S. 120B.131 pertaining to eligible high school students.

Part 4. Equivalent Course Credit. A college or university shall grant equivalent course credit for a specific lower division college course for each CLEP examination that covers substantially similar material. Equivalent course credits may be applied to certificate, diploma, and/or degree programs as either required or elective courses.

Part 5. Non-Equivalent Course Credit. A college or university shall grant lower division elective course credit for each CLEP examination that is not substantially similar or equivalent to an existing course offered by the college or university. Non-equivalent course credits may be applied to certificate, diploma and/or degree programs as elective courses.

Part 6. Credit Limit. A college or university shall not limit the total number of credits a student may earn through CLEP examinations so long as the total of earned credits does not contradict the intent of Board Policy 3.17 and the institution's residency policy that establishes the number of credits taught by the faculty recommending the awarding of the diploma or degree.

Part 7. Transfer of Credit. A student who transfers to another institution within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system shall have credits granted for CLEP examinations evaluated in accordance with Board Policy 3.21 and System Procedure 3.21.1Undergraduate Credit Transfer and with Board Policy 3.37 and System Procedure 3.37.1 Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.

Part 8. Implementation.

Subpart A. Student responsibility. A student must arrange for an official report of CLEP examination scores to be sent from The College Board to a college or university in order to receive credit.

Subpart B. College or university responsibility. Each college and university shall develop and publish a CLEP policy and/or procedure, specifying how it will implement the provisions of Policy 3.33 and Procedure 3.33.1. The institutional policy shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

  • the list of available CLEP examinations;
  • the minimum score level required for granting course credit, as established in Part 3 of this procedure;
  • a list of courses determined to be equivalent to each CLEP examination and the number of credits granted for each course;
  • a statement specifying that there is not a limit on course credits granted based on CLEP examination scores, except as noted in Part 6 of this procedure;
  • information about CLEP examination sites with contact information and the cost of CLEP examinations. Minnesota CLEP examination sites can be found on the College Board website; and
  • a statement of the means by which students are informed of and advised about the use of CLEP examinations, such as the college catalog, website, counseling and advising materials, and other resources.

Related Documents:

System Procedure History:

Date of Adoption: 09/14/06
Date of Implementation: 09/14/06
Date of Last Review:

Date & Subject of Amendments:

1/25/11 - Amended Part 3, lowered minimum scores. Amended Part 7, reference to additional policies and procedures. Eliminated Part 8, Subpart A, date of implementation.

No additional HISTORY.