For many years the Wilmette Institute, in a limited way, has helped its learners receive academic credit for its courses. Since 1999 at least eight learners (five undergraduate students and three graduate students) have arranged credit for at least thirteen Wilmette Institute courses through their institutions of higher education, some receiving credit for more than one course.
The following are a set of steps that you might take if you want to seek academic credit for a Wilmette Institute Course.
- Check the catalog of your college or university regarding transfer credit. Be sure to check to see if your college or university allows for independent study.
- Consult with your department head or advisor to determine if you have all policies regarding transfer credit.
- Determine the Wilmette Institute course you have taken that you would like to transfer in for credit. NOTE: The Institute produces a syllabus for each course, which is available on its website (http://wilmetteinstitute.org/) and by request (877-wilmette; firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Familiarize yourself with the standards of Quality Matters, (https://www.qualitymatters.org/) a leader in quality assurance for online education that has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning.
- Consult with Dr. Robert Stockman, Wilmette Institute Director, to learn about how this Wilmette Institute course complies with the standards of Quality Matters. He will work with you to make sure your work meets your school’s academic standards in terms of quantity and quality.
- Based on the requirements of your degree program and your consultation with Dr. Stockman, draft a brief, no more than 1 page, justification or rationale for why you feel this course fits in with your degree program. Does it fit as an elective or one of the required courses? Be sure to stress how this course fits in with the Quality Matters rubric.
- Discuss your rationale with faculty who you are comfortable with, Baha’i friends, fellow students, and family to make certain it is clear, logical and follows the policies of your college or university.
- Revise your rationale based on this input.
- Send a brief email to your department head or advisor indicating that you will call or stop in the office in three days to make an appointment to discuss your request to transfer in a Wilmette Institute course. Attach your rationale to this email so this person will have the time to read it before the meeting if he or she so desires.
- Three days after you have sent the email with your rationale attached, call or stop in the office of your department head or advisor to make an appointment to discuss your request.
- At the meeting, be sure you are well groomed and well dressed. You want to make the best possible impression of this person.
- At the meeting, present your rationale indicating that you have researched college policy, consulted with Dr. Robert Stockmen, college or university faculty, friends and family and feel your request complies with the transfer policy of your college or university.
- At the meeting, don’t argue with your department head or advisor or raise your voice but respectfully discuss your rationale as though you are talking with a peer. Be confident and not aggressive or arrogant.
- If you receive an answer that you feel does not comply with college or department policy, make a note of this. Carefully and tactfully ask if there is any appeal of this decision. At the end of the meeting, thank the person for his or her time and for listening to you.
- If you have received a positive response to your request, be sure to follow all procedures to assure that you will receive credit for this course.
- If you did not receive a positive response or you feel the decision does not comply with college or university policy as written in the catalog or department policy guides, carefully and respectfully draft a letter to this person indicating the policy of procedure you feel that may have been misinterpreted and ask for reconsideration of your request. Before you send this letter, consult with Dr. Robert Stockman for his advice.