National Guide FAQ

​What is the National Guide?

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

Who is listed in the National Guide?

Many organizations in the United States conduct a wide range of high-quality educational programs for their employees or members, but only those who have requested our review and received our recommendation are listed in the National Guide.

What if a course or exam I completed isn’t listed in the National Guide?

Courses or organizations that are not listed in the National Guide may not have been evaluated by ACE. The National Guide is constantly being updated as new courses and examinations are evaluated.

What if my organization is listed, but the course or exam I took with that organization is not?

The organization hasn’t submitted it to ACE for review.

How do I locate a course?

You can conduct a search by course or exam title, keyword, or organization name.

What are the categories of credit recommendations? 

  • Vocational Certificate: This includes coursework normally found in year-long certificate or diploma programs that are designed to provide students with occupational skills. In many two-year institutions, this type of coursework also is found in curricula leading to associate degrees in technical programs. Course content is specialized, and the accompanying training emphasizes procedural rather than analytical skills.
  • Lower Division Baccalaureate/Associate Degree: This includes coursework found in programs leading to the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science degrees, and in introductory-level coursework normally found in baccalaureate programs. The emphasis is on learning basic principles that have broad, judgmental applications.
  • Upper Division Baccalaureate Degree: This includes coursework that’s usually completed during the last two years of a baccalaureate program. The courses generally involve specialization of a theoretical or analytical nature beyond the introductory level.
  • Graduate Degree: This includes coursework leading to a graduate degree. The courses tend to be oriented toward independent study, original research, critical analysis, and the scholarly and professional application of the specialized knowledge within a discipline.

​How are CREDIT recommendations used?

CREDIT recommendations are used primarily to obtain college credit or advanced college placement. It also may be possible to use the credit recommendations for entry into new areas for employment, job advancement, salary benefits, and personal assessment.

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

CREDIT recommendations for examinations and certifications are listed in the National Guide alongside their active organizations who provided the training. Inactive organizations that have been evaluated by CREDIT may also have earned ACE CREDIT recommendations, though they are not listed in the National Guide. If you served in a branch of the military, be sure to also check if ACE has evaluated your military training.

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 course 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.

If my organization is listed, how can I get documentation for my training?

You can access the ACE CREDIT Registry and Transcript Service for information.  Beginning in October, 2019, students who complete ACE-recommended courses and exams will be issued a badge on Acclaim and can order transcripts through that platform.

How much credit is each course or examination worth?

We review each course or examination individually and publish the resulting college credit recommendation in our National Guide. 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 an institution is listed as in the ACE Credit for Prior Learning Network, is it compelled to accept credit recommendations?

No. ACE makes credit recommendations. The ACE Credit for Prior Learning Network agree to consider our recommendations.

A college is not required to grant as much credit as is recommended by the evaluators, nor is a college limited to granting only that recommended amount of credit. Some institutions may choose to waive a particular course based on the recommendations instead of granting credit hours for your prior learning. Each institution, and, in many cases, each academic unit and department within each institution, sets its own policies for granting credit.

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

First, find out the reason for the rejection. Is it because the course content does not fit into 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 you can do much.

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 thought-out 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 letter with additional information on the course and examination review process. You may contact our office through e-mail at, by calling (202) 939-9434, or by writing to the College Credit Recommendation Service, American Council on Education, One Dupont Circle NW, Washington, DC 20036.​