Academic Credit: Colleges' Common Currency Has No Set Value

Colleges resist regulators' calls for consistency

Academic Credit: Colleges' Common Currency Has No Set Value 1

Brendan Smialowski for The Chronicle

Registrars and academic departments are the gatekeepers of credit.

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close Academic Credit: Colleges' Common Currency Has No Set Value 1

Brendan Smialowski for The Chronicle

Registrars and academic departments are the gatekeepers of credit.

There's more than one way to get a credit. A weeklong service project in the Dominican Republic: 1 credit. An electromagnetic-energy lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 1 credit. A summer internship in fashion: 1 credit. A training program in "meeting facilitation" at McDonald's Hamburger University: 1 credit.

Such designations, based more or less on time, depend on institutional discretion. No Fort Knox backs the currency of credit.

Yet credit underlies vital