Behind the Scenes: How your apprenticeship turns into college credit

There are two requirements that an apprenticeship program must satisfy to qualify for credits toward a degree at a New Jersey public institution of higher education.

Step 1: Rigorous Evaluation of Apprenticeship Training Programs:

Credits are stringently evaluated by the credit evaluation services from the American Council on Education (ACE) CREDIT program or Thomas Edison State College's Office for Assessment of Professional and Workplace Learning (OAPWL).  Teams of subject matter experts review the apprenticeship program's curriculum, materials, teaching objectives and environments,  learning assessment tools, record keeping practices, and more. Upon review, the team determines college-credit-equivalency  and makes a formal recommendation.

Step 2: Articulation of Credit Recommendations into College Degree Programs:

While the recommendation for credit is important, it remains only a recommendation until an accredited institution of higher education accepts it and awards credit. NJ PLACE has facilitated this second step at a statewide level for those who qualify.

NJ PLACE has negotiated agreements with each of the NJ community colleges and the evaluated apprenticeship sponsors. These agreements specify a minimum number of credits the college will count toward a degree, as well as a recommended course of study. Individual colleges may allow a student to transfer more than the minimum credits on a case-by-case basis, or a college may enter into an agreement with an apprenticeship program to transfer a greater number of recommended credits for any of their apprentices. Colleges can award credit for apprenticeship coursework as it progresses, or wait until completion.

NJ PLACE has also developed bachelor degree pathways for NJ PLACE participants.  AAS in Technical Studies graduates can take a "2+2" approach and transfer the degree to a related bachelor program at Rutgers' School of Management and Labor Relations, Thomas Edison State College, or another NJ public four-year institution of higher education.  NJ PLACE participatns may also enroll directly in a bachelor degree program at Thomas Edison State College and use their apprenticeship credits toward the degree requirements.

Click here to learn how to get started with NJ PLACE.