Alternative Options for Earning Credit

Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Green River's academic year is divided into fall, winter, and spring quarters of approximately 11 weeks each, plus optional summer sessions.

Credits may be earned from class lectures, lab sessions, independent study, practicums, and eLearning, including hybrid and online courses.


AP (Advanced Placement)

The Advanced Placement Program® is a cooperative educational endeavor between secondary schools and colleges and universities.

The program provides motivated high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in a high school setting. Students who participate in the program not only gain college-level skills, but in many cases they also earn college credit while they are still in high school.

AP courses are taught by high school teachers who follow course guidelines developed and published by the College Board. Green River College grants credit in a variety of subject areas for students who have obtained a particular score on their College Board Advanced Placement examinations. 

These exams are given by the Educational Testing Service at locations around the country. Students must submit an official copy of AP scores. Upon evaluation of those scores, the student will be notified of acceptable credits. 

Credit is posted to the student transcript at the time of graduation only.See pages 23-24 for the list showing division policies on granting placement or credit for AP examinations. Grades range from a high of 5 to a low of 1; in most departments, credit and/or placement is awarded for grades of 3 or higher. 

In some cases, the student must consult the appropriate departmental advisor.Articulation Agreements Green River recognizes that quality education takes place in other learning institutions.

In realization of this, Green River Community College has signed articulation agreements with area high schools, as well as other institution of higher learning. Articulation agreements are agreements by which credits taken at a particular institution are accepted automatically at another, allowing that all requirements of the agreement have been met.

Transfer Institution Agreements Green River has been working with several four-year institutions, both in the state of Washington and bordering states such as California, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

These agreements are designed to provide a smooth transition from Green River into specific college departments. The agreement between Green River and the other colleges identify specific courses that if taken will be allowed for automatic credit at the other institution.

In doing so, Green River is enabling students to, for the most part, transfer directly into their majors. Students should contact their Green River program advisor for agreements in their area of study. High School Agreements Green River recognizes that quality education takes place in area high schools and has signed articulation agreements with many schools to grant college credit to students earning a grade of a B (3.0) or higher in their high school career and technical education courses. Credits are posted to transcripts during the summer following the school year in which they were earned. 

To qualify, students must meet specific requirements established by the college and high school instructors and apply for credit through their high school and pay associated fees.

Further agreements between high schools and additional career and technical education programs are being developed. Students can contact their high school counselor or the Green River Tech Prep office for more deta

IB (International Baccalaureate Program)

The International Baccalaureate Program is a rigorous pre-college course of study for highly motivated high school students.

The comprehensive curriculum is designed to prepare students for liberal arts education at the college-level.

It is called "international" because it is available to students in several countries, not because it is in any way an international experience. The International Baccalaureate program is similar to the College Board Advanced Placement program, but differs because IB scores require a test score and a very rigorous class.

Green River College has begun accepting international baccalaureate credit.  

Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor for transfer of credit information. See the 

list below for departments granting IB credits.

IB Department Score Course(s) and Credits Counts Toward/Comments
African History 7,6,5 HIST 224 - 5 Cr Social Science Distribution
American History 7,6,5 HIST& 136 and &137 - 10 Cr Social Science Distribution
East/Southeast Asia and Oceania History 7,6,5 HIST 900 - 5 Cr Social Science Distribution
European History 7,6,5 HIST 230 - 5 Cr Social Science Distribution
History See - African American History, American History, Islamic History or East/Southeast Asia, European History, and Oceania History
Islamic History 7,6,5 HIST 900 - 5 Cr Social Science Distribution
Mathematics 7 Math& 151 - 5 Cr Math/Science Distribution
Mathematics 6,5 Math 900 - 5 Cr Math/Science Distribution
Physics 7,6,5 PHYS& 114, 115 and 116
(15 Credits)
Lab or Natural Science Distribution

* When numbers 900 or above are assigned it indicates that there is no specific Green River College course equivalent for all or part of that exam. Credit is awarded by category rather than course specific. The IB Exam for ENGL B (ESL) is considered non-transferable to Green River College.

Submitting Your IB Transcript

The easiest way to ensure that the Green River receives your IB transcript is to name Green River College as a recipient when you sign up for IB program exam(s).

If you do not name the Green River College as a recipient when you take your exam, contact the IB Organization to request that an official IB transcript be sent directly to the Green River College Transcript Evaluator. When you are admitted to the college, you may be eligible for Green River College course credit; if so, the courses and credits awarded will be accessible to on your Degree Audit.

You will be notified by mail of credit awarded.

PLA (Prior Learning Assessment)

What is PLA?

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a process for evaluating and assessing a person’s existing knowledge and competencies obtained through prior nontraditional education, training, and/or work experience for college credit.

Who Should Use PLA?

Prior Learning Assessment is available to anyone who has knowledge or experience that aligns with a particular class currently taught at Green River College. Individuals with knowledge and skills obtained through work experience, on-the-job training, military experience and training, industry certification, apprenticeships, etc., are eligible to complete the PLA process for credit consideration.

How is Credit Awarded?

An individual’s knowledge and competencies will be evaluated in relation to the competencies of the program and will be awarded credit for demonstrated learning outcomes that are appropriate to the course. Grades (either decimal or Pass/No Credit) will be determined by the faculty member conducting the assessment and posted to the student’s transcript. A maximum of 25% of a program’s course requirements may be earned through the Prior Learning Assessment process.

Credits earned through Prior Learning Assessment at any Washington Community and Technical College will be accepted toward the appropriate course or program at any other Washington Community and Technical College. If you plan to transfer to a four-year institution, it is recommended to check the transferability of credits earned through Prior Learning Assessment.

How is Prior Learning Assessed?

Students will be assessed through the course challenge process. This can be accomplished through testing, demonstration, written documentation, oral interview, or other appropriate method by which the faculty member determines the student’s understanding of the subject matter

How Much Does it Cost?

A cost of 1 or 2 credits at the current tuition rate will be charged for each course assessed through the PLA process, depending on the method of assessment required to determine an individual’s knowledge and competencies.

What is the Process?

Students who wish to receive credit(s) for prior learning should contact a full-time faculty member within the program for which they wish to receive PLA evaluation and complete a Prior Learning Assessment Request form (provided by the faculty member). The faculty member will work with the student to determine the best method of evaluating competencies and learning outcomes that are appropriate to the specific course.

What are the benefits of PLA?

The Prior Learning Assessment process can avoid duplication of coursework and potentially reduce time and costs associated with degree completion.