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Transferring DL Credits

Will college credits that I earn in my PHC Distance Learning courses transfer to other colleges?

Like Patrick Henry College’s on-campus courses, Distance Learning (DL) courses at PHC are reviewed on a regular basis by state and private agencies. These agencies evaluate DL programs to determine whether they have the same college-level academic rigor as on-campus programs. Because PHC is certified to operate and award degrees by the State of Virginia and is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, it is likely that another college will accept your transfer credits from PHC. This is especially true if your PHC courses align well with your intended program of study at the college receiving the credits.

Every college, however, establishes its own policy about when and under what conditions it will accept transfer credits from other colleges. Colleges are not required to accept transfer credits from other accredited colleges. 

College policies regarding the acceptance of transfer credits can be confusing. Some colleges accept virtually every transfer credit from virtually every college, including non-accredited ones. On the other hand, some colleges accept almost no transfer credits from other colleges—even from accredited ones. A variety of factors contribute to whether or not College A will accept transfer credits from College B, such as familiarity with the institution and agreement with the institution’s ideological/religious perspective.  If College A does accept College B’s transfer credits, it does not necessarily mean that College B is a first-rate academic institution. Similarly, if College A does not accept College B’s transfer credits, it does not necessarily mean that College B has sub-standard academics.

If you want to transfer your PHC credits to another school, PHC can assist you by providing the receiving institution with information describing our academic programs. It is wise, however, to contact the college or university you want to transfer credits to before you enroll in PHC courses. Some colleges even permit you to pre-approve transfer credits—i.e., College A will guarantee in writing that it will accept transfer credits from College B before you begin taking courses at College B.

Accreditation, Recognition, and Certification

It will be helpful for you to understand the terms accreditation, recognition, and certification. This information will help you make an informed decision about transferring credits earned in PHC’s DL courses to other colleges or universities. Below are PHC’s institutional credentials, which tell you, as a student, that our academic programs have been evaluated and approved. Our academic reputation among other institutions speaks for itself, and we invite you to talk with other students to hear about their experiences at PHC.

Accreditation is the highest seal of approval that an American college can earn: it tells other colleges, prospective employers, and graduate schools that a college meets rigorous academic standards. PHC is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), which is recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and a private, non-governmental institutional membership organization called the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Just as institutions voluntarily seek accreditation, accrediting agencies may also choose to seek “recognition,” a process to determine the capability of an accrediting agency to assure the academic quality of institutions and programs.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is the coordinating body for higher education in Virginia. This body “serves as a catalyst to promote greater access, quality, affordability and accountability throughout the system.” SCHEV has evaluated PHC and its academic programs and has certified the college to operate and award degrees.

To learn more about the organizations that accredit, recognize, and certify PHC, take a moment to look at these web sites:

  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)
    • TRACS’ website contains a list of its accredited member institutions.
  • U.S. Department of Education (USDE)
    • The USDE’s accreditation website contains the following:
      • Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. PHC is listed among other accredited colleges throughout the United States.  
      • List of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies. The list includes TRACS, the agency that accredits PHC.
  • Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
    • This chart lists the accrediting agencies recognized by CHEA, the U.S. Department of Education, or both.  
    • This document, entitled “A Statement to the Community: Transfer and the Public Interest,” discusses the transfer process and decision-making. A shorter “fact sheet” version is available here. 
  • State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)
    • SCHEV maintains a list of Private and Out-of-State Institutions certified to operate in Virginia.

If you have further questions regarding the transferability of PHC Distance Learning credits, please contact Mr. Daniel Burns, the Admissions Counselor for Distance Learning, at 540.338.8760.