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TWU to participate in American Council on Education’s Alternative Credit Project to increase access to higher education for nontraditional learners


DENTON — Texas Woman’s University is among the 25 colleges and universities in the U.S. — and the only university in Texas — joining an alternative credit consortium formed by the American Council on Education and announced today (Dec. 15, 2014).

According to the ACE press release, the project will create a more flexible pathway toward a college degree for millions of nontraditional learners.

“Access to education for nontraditional learners has long been part of TWU’s mission, and we are pleased to partner with the ACE on this innovative initiative that will allow more students to achieve a college education,” TWU Chancellor and President Dr. Carine M. Feyten said.

By participating in this pilot project, TWU has agreed to accept all or most of the transfer credit sought by students who successfully complete courses that are part of a selected pool of about 100 low-cost or no-cost lower division general education online courses. TWU also will help identify the sources, criteria and quality of the courses.

“As expectations of higher education continue to evolve, TWU’s commitment to accommodating the varied needs and abilities of students, while maintaining quality, dovetail perfectly with this project and only solidifies our service to these learners who are so critical to the university and to the workforce,” said TWU Provost Dr. Robert Neely.

Participating institutions have agreed to provide data to ACE regarding the amount of credit their institution accepts, as well as progress and success rates of students transferring in courses through this project.

This initiative is made possible by the generous support of a $1.89 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Its initial focus will be on the more than 31 million adults who have completed some postsecondary coursework but lack a degree or credential. Many of these students represent first-generation, low-income students, so findings from this investment likely will apply to younger students from this population as well.

“Like ACE, TWU has a long history of commitment to high quality instruction in online formats. The development of guidelines for low-cost, online options for students that provide the quality and rigor required for application of academic credit, is a critical and timely endeavor,” said Dr. Barbara Lerner, TWU associate provost for undergraduate studies and academic partnerships.
“TWU is pleased to participate with university peers in this important project.”

In the ACE press release, the council’s President Molly Corbett Broad said, “The institutions serving in this pilot project will play a valuable role in helping enhance the work we have been doing for many years in developing quality mechanisms for determining the credit worthiness of education, training and life experiences outside of a formal higher education classroom setting.

“We very much appreciate this generous investment and the commitment it represents to the effort to provide a more flexible and cost-efficient way to increase the number of Americans able to gain a college degree or credential.”

As an additional part of the effort, ACE will expand its current work in the area of college credit recommendations by developing a quality framework and guidelines for issuing recommendations for digital micro-credentials, competency-based programs, and non-degree certificate programs.

More details about the ACE Alternative Credit Project and the complete list of participating colleges and universities can be found at


About ACE
Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

About TWU
Founded in 1901, TWU is the nation’s largest university primarily for women and is a public university with an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students on campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. TWU offers more than 140 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in the liberal arts, nursing, health sciences, business, the sciences and education. For more information, visit or follow TWU on Twitter @TWUNews.

Media Contact:

Amanda Simpson
Director of Media Relations

page updated 5/9/2016 4:58 PM