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Work Experience Waiver and Proficiency FAQ

Frequently Asked questions

It is suggested that a minimum of 100 hours of time on the stated course objectives in the workplace be documented for each course credit hour. See the excerpt from the 2003 college catalog.

  1. If I know everything taught in a course do I have to take it?
  2. What are eligibility considerations For Waiver For Work Experience?
  3. What are some alternatives to the Work Experience Waiver?
  4. Does a Work Experience Waiver give or gain credit?
  5. What are the procedures for a work waiver?
  6. What is the maximum number of credits for which I can use a Work Experience Waiver?
  7. How do I obtain the course objectives for a class to process a work waiver?
  8. Who decides if I have enough experience?
  9. What if I work for myself?
  10. How long does a work waiver take to process?
  11. Does a work waiver cost anything?

For information on Proficiency Testing, see Credit by Proficiency Exam.

  1. If I know everything taught in a course do I have to take it?
    In order to gain credit for any Owens course it is not enough that you know the material. You must demonstrate that ability or knowledge to the satisfaction and standards of the faculty and department in which the course resides.

    Remember you are asking the college to certify your knowledge to employers and other institutions. This is why some proof and documentation is required of the student.

    One way to accomplish this is to create a Work Experience Waiver Documentation Packet detailing, explaining and documenting your work experience.
  2. What are eligibility considerations For Waiver For Work Experience?
    If you have done on-the-job tasks which you feel would meet the particular course objectives and total 100 or more documentable paid work hours per course credit hour you may pay the fee and complete a packet for evaluation by the department offering the course. Normally only paid employment experiences are considered.
  3. What are some alternatives to the Work Experience Waiver?
    • Take the actual course and pass it.
    • Pass the official course proficiency.
    • Course substitution.
    • Transfer credit of a like course passed at an accredited institution.
    • Advanced Placement Examination
    • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    • Educational Experience Waiver.
    • In some cases, at the discretion of the department offering the course, passing a commercial certification test may allow you to waive a course.
  4. Does a Work Experience Waiver give or gain credit?
    No, a waiver of whatever kind does not really give or gain credit toward graduation, but it does relieve you of the responsibility of passing that particular course thereby putting you that much closer to graduation in your program of study.

    When courses are waived, no additional coursework will be required in lieu of those courses waived. Coursework which has been waived will be noted in the student's permanent record by course number and the notation "waived".
  5. What are the procedures for a work waiver?
    1. Request the Course Outline from the Division Secretary where the course resides. (For example, CIS courses reside in the Business and Public Services Division.)
    2. Examine the list of Course Objectives.
    3. Determine if you believe you have accumulated the required number of relevant paid work hours to satisfy those objectives, minimum 100 paid work hours per credit hour, and whether they meet all of the Course Objectives.
    4. Document those work hours in written or electronic format as requested by the department.
    5. Pay your fee for evaluation.
    6. Submit your packet to the Department Chair of the Department in which the course resides. (For example, CIS Classes reside within the Information Systems Department, formerly CIS/OAD.)
  6. What is the maximum number of credits for which I can use a Work Experience Waiver?
    Nine (9), except for some special program exceptions.

    The maximum number of credit hours that may be waived by virtue of work experience is nine credit hours except in pre-approved programs such as LPN/AND, Associate of Technical Studies (Type B) and Law Enforcement.
  7. How do I obtain the course objectives for a class to process a work waiver?
    Make a request for a copy the Course Outline and Course Syllabus from the Division Secretary. Allow 24 hours minimum to process.
  8. Who decides if I have enough experience?
    One or more faculty members in consultation with the department chair evaluate your written documentation packet to see if the documentation and examples you provided are conclusive and whether said documentation and examples do, in fact and substance, meet the particular course objectives.

    Faculty or other evaluators may only use written, included documents and samples.
  9. What if I work for myself?
    It is not sufficient for you to vouch for yourself as documentation in a Work Experience Waiver.

    Recommendations and letters from clients/customers who have seen your skills applied on the job would be needed. You would also need to provide even more complete and extensive examples of your work experience as it relates directly to specific course objectives.
  10. How long does a work waiver take to process?
    It depends on faculty and chair availability, but a minimum time is roughly two months.
  11. Does a work waiver cost anything?
    Yes, Contact the Bursar's Office for more information.


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