Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Reminder: Commercial and Residential Apprenticeship Grads Can Seek College Credits for Program

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

 The Details

     Our Commercial and Residential Electrical apprenticeship programs have received college credit recommendations from NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service). If you're an apprenticeship graduate looking to further your education with traditional college in a related field--or a current apprentice planning ahead for that--read on to learn more about this benefit and to determine if you are eligible for it. 
     This benefit provides graduates of the WECA commercial and residential electrical apprenticeship programs the ability to gain access to college credit for completion of either program by using credit recommendations set forth by NCCRS. While admissions and acceptance of transfer credit isn't guaranteed, more than 1,400 colleges and universities nationwide currently consider awarding credit based on NCCRS recommendations.
     NCCRS, founded in 1973 by the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York, strives to increase access to higher education through recognition of non-collegiate learning. Using an academic peer review model, NCCRS conducts independent, third-party evaluations of courses and examinations to determine their comparability to college-level learning. Courses and examinations that meet appropriate standards receive college credit recommendations which are listed within CCRS Online, a web directory maintained by NCCRS.
Learn more about NCCRS and view their college credit recommendations for WECA at: http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors.

Using This Benefit: A Guide for our Apprentices and Graduates 

Q: Who is eligible?
Any graduates of WECA's Commercial or Residential Electrical Apprenticeships since September of 2013. (NCCRS has granted eligibility going back five years, and evaluated WECA's programs in Autumn of 2018.)

Q: So WECA apprentice grads automatically have college credits?
No. NCCRS makes college credit recommendations. (From NCCRS:
A college credit recommendation is an academic advisement about the comparability of a learning experience to college-level instruction, such as undergraduate or graduate course work, the amount of credit that may be awarded, and areas where credit could apply. The credit recommendations are intended to guide college officials as they consider awarding credit to persons who have successfully completed NCCRS evaluated learning experiences. College credit recommendations are not actual college credit because the New York State Board of Regents does not award college credit. Through the results of the NCCRS evaluations, however, the Board of Regents encourages colleges and universities to consider accepting the credit recommendations.)

Q: How Does Acceptance of College Credit Recommendations work?

It is up to the college or university to choose whether to grant college credits, how many, and in what subjects, for completion of a WECA program. NCCRS recommends specific credit amounts and subjects. College and university admissions departments should reference NCCRS' WECA listing at http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors for specific recommendations. NCCRS recommends up to 66 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Commerical program, and up to 40 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Residential program. 

Q: How Do WECA Commercial and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship Graduates Use This Benefit?
A: Apprentices grads should:
1. Identify the college or university they wish to ask to accept a credit recommendation from NCCRS for work completed at WECA. (A list of colleges and universities who have previously participated with NCCRS is here: http://www.nationalccrs.org/colleges-universities. Seeing a college or university on this list is a promising sign that they will consider NCCRS' recommendation, but is not a guarantee. Further, just because a college or university is not yet shown on the list does not mean the apprentice grad shouldn't request that they consider the credit recommendation.)
2. Work with their admissions advisor at their college or university of choice to learn the process for seeking college credits for their WECA Commercial or Residential program completion. The college or university may refer to this as their PLA (prior learning assessment) process or policy. The applicant should share NCCRS' WECA credit recommendation 
http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors with the decision-makers at their college or university.
3. Request a transcript from WECA as requested by their college or university. Email apregistrar@goweca.com with transcript requests.
4. If the applicant encounters problems with their transfer credit request, they can submit a  Request for Assistance Form to NCCRS so that NCCRS can advocate on the applicant's behalf.

Q: What about Low Voltage Apprenticeship? Or the Electrician Trainee Program?
WECA plans to pursue college credit recommendations for its Low Voltage Apprenticeship program next year, so please stay tuned for more information on that. 

WECA is currently evaluating demand for college credit recommendations for its Electrician Trainee program.

Q: What if I still have questions?
A: Please call us at 1-877-444-9322 and we'll do our best to help you out.