Students may request to challenge a course offered by the col­lege if they have prior knowledge or ex­pe­ri­ence in the sub­ject area. To be eligible to chal­lenge a course, a ­stu­dent must:

  1. Currently be registered and in good standing;
  2. Currently be enrolled in at least one course other than the course being challenged;
  3. NOT be enrolled in the course being challenged;
  4. Not have completed nor enrolled in a more ad­vanced course;
  5. Have obtained approval of the challenge request from both the course professor and di­vi­sion dean;
  6. Not have challenged more than 15 units; and
  7. Complete at least one course other than the course being chal­lenged.

A course in which a student enrolls and receives a grade of “D,” “F,” “NC,” “NP,” or “I,” may not be chal­lenged at a later date, nor may a course be chal­lenged again to im­prove the grade. Units re­ceived through the challenge process do not count to­ward the 12 units in residence re­quired for the associate degree or the full-time en­roll­ment nec­es­sary for academic honors de­ter­mi­na­tion. Note: Some private institutions will not accept course credit earned through the challenge process.

To re­quest a chal­lenge, a stu­dent must file a Credit by Examination pe­ti­tion within the first four weeks of the se­mes­ter or the first week of the summer ses­sion. Reg­u­la­tions are stat­ed on the Credit by Examination pe­ti­tion. It is important to note that many courses are not avail­able for the challenge pro­cess.

Appropriate challenge fees must be paid when the petition is submitted. For California residents, this is equivalent to the enrollment fee. Nonresident and international students must also pay the appropriate nonresident student tuition. California College Promise Grant fee waivers do not cover challenge fees. Fees paid are non-refundable.

Reference: Sierra College Administrative Procedure 4235.