The ACE National Guide FAQ


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Understanding how your prior learning can be leveraged to advance your career or education can be difficult. ​ACE's College Credit Recommendation​ Service (CREDIT®) offers a host of resources to assist, including the ACE National Guide. Here you will find answers to some of the most frequ​ently asked questions.​


What is the ACE National Guide?

The ACE National Guide is a compilation of college credit recommendations of courses and examinations that CREDIT has evaluated. As a resource for higher education, it provides a link between workplace learning and higher education.

What is a digital badge?

A digital badge is a visual, validated indicator of accomplishment, skill, or qualification that can be earned in many learning environments. Our collaboration with Credly allows organizations participating in ACE's College Credit Recommendation Service to issue digital credentials in addition to academic transcripts, making it easier for working professionals to receive credit for workplace training and share evidence of their achievements online.

How do I request an official transcript?

Beginning in October 2020, training providers will issue digital badges on Credly’s Acclaim platform. Once your training is complete, your organization will issue a digital badge and you should receive an email with a link to claim your badge. You will also have access to free digital academic transcripts in the Acclaim platform, which you may request to have securely sent to the college or ​​university of your choice. Organizations are transitioning now; please check our Transcript Registry for more information. If your provider has not migrated to Acclaim yet, you can still order transcripts for a fee through the current registry.

How do I find out if my training has earned CREDIT recommendations?

CREDIT recommendations for extracurricular learning are listed in the National Guide alongside their active organizations who provided the training. You may use the search features to determine if your organization and training experience are listed. If you served in a branch of the military, be sure to also check whether ACE has evaluated your military training by visiting the Military Guide.

How are CREDIT recommendations used?

​CREDIT recommendations are used primarily to obtain college credit at accredited universities and colleges across the nation. It is also possible to use the recommendations and endorsed digital badges for entry into new areas for employment, job​ advancement, salary increases, and documentation for personal or job performance assessment. Each college or employer has its own policies for what kinds of prior learning it accepts for credit, so we encourage students to reach out to programs you want to attend to find out if they accept ACE recommendations.

Do I automatically earn college credit when I successfully complete a course or examination that has been reviewed by ACE?

No. Successful completion of such a course or examination results in actual course credit only when the recommendation is accepted toward a degree or certificate at a postsecondary institution. If you have already taken one of the courses or examinations, or plan to take one, you should contact the admissions office at the college you plan to attend to determine the acceptability of the course for academic credit.

How much credit is each course or examination worth?

We review each course or examination individually and publish the resulting college credit recommendation in the National Guide. Generally, our recommendations are offered in whole numbers from one to 12 semester hours for each experience based on the depth, breadth, and scope of the experience. Each college or university may accept part or all of the recommended credits. Admissions officials and registrars will evaluate your ACE transcript to determine the number of credits they will accept at their institution when you apply for a program of study.

If my organization is not listed in the National Guide, how can I get documentation for my training?

Many organizations offer their own completion certificate, badge, or other credential for successful completion of training. You should contact your provider directly to determine what documentation is available. Only courses and exams listed in the National Guide will carry an ACE endorsement. If you would like your organization’s training evaluated by ACE, please contact your provider and request that they review our information for participating organizations.

What should I do if a college or university rejects credit recommendations for a course or examination taken?

First, find out the reason for the rejection. Is it because the course content does not align with the curriculum and you have no room left for elective credit in your degree? Or have you already reached the limit of transfer credits that the college will accept? If the answer is yes, it is unlikely there will be an option.

However, if the rejection is the result of a departmental or institutional policy not to accept any non-collegiate credit, you might want to consider writing a carefully crafted letter of appeal to the academic dean or provost at the college.

In addition, you should contact us so that we can provide the recipient of your transcript with additional information on the course and examination review process. You may contact our office through email at or by writing to:

College Credit Recommendation Service
American Council on Education
One Dupont Circle NW
Washington, DC 20036