What is a repeat class?
The NAIA considers a course a “repeat” when a student enrolls in and completes a course the student previously passed with a grade of “D” or better. A repeat course is most obvious when the student took the same course twice at one institution, and this is often noted accordingly on the transcript by the registrar.
However, when a student has taken similar courses at different institutions, the name and course numbers will differ, making it more difficult to determine if one should be considered a repeat of the other.
When looking at two such courses, the goal is to determine if the courses are sufficiently similar in both content and description by looking at the structure of the course, credits awarded, supplementary components, where the course is in the sequence, and if the course is for majors or non-majors. Use both institutions’ course catalogs and registrars as resources.
How do repeat courses factor into elgibility?
Repeated courses can have a considerable impact on a student’s eligibility. A course will be considered a repeat if the student has previously taken the course at any institution and passed it with a grade of “D” or better. This is true regardless of whether subsequent institutions accept the transfer credit, or if the student is required to retake the class for any reason whatsoever. Though the initial course may not count towards a degree or graduation, for purposes of NAIA eligibility it is seen as a successfully passed course and therefore any subsequent re-taking is a repeat.
Look at the particular eligibility rule in question to determine if there are any provisions that might exclude the course from being used to satisfy the rule.
12-Hour Enrollment Rule (Article V, Section C, Item 3)
One repeat course per term previously passed with a “D” may be used to satisfy the rule. A repeat course previously passed with a “C” or better may not be used to satisfy the rule.
24/36-Hour Rule (Article V, Section C, Item 6)
A repeat course previously passed with a “D” or better at any time may not be used to satisfy the rule.
Nine-Hour Rule (Article V, Section C, Item 5) and Progress Rule (Article V, Section C, Item 9)
Repeat courses are excluded from these calculations if the institution does not include on its transcript the credits earned in either the course’s initial or repeated attempt.
Example: A student took Biology 101 in Spring 2013 at a junior college, received a “D,” and earned three credit hours. Your institution does not accept any transfer credits hours if the student did not earn a “C” or higher, so the course is not accepted by your institution nor does it appear on your institution’s transcript in any way. The student has enrolled in Biology 101 again in Fall 2013 at your institution (assume the courses are identical).
The Fall 2013 course is considered a repeat because the student previously passed the class with a “D.” The repeat course can count towards the 12-Hour Enrollment Rule for Fall 2013, but will not count towards the 24/36-Hour Rule at any point. The Spring 2013 course will be counted towards the Progress Rule for Fall 2013. After initial identification on your campus, inclusion of either offering of the course for purposes of the Progress Rule will be determined by your institutional policy regarding total earned hours and transfer credits.
Independent Study and Activity Courses
Institutions frequently allow students to take independent study courses or activity courses (e.g. Varsity Baseball, Lifetime Sports) multiple times and receive credit up to a certain limit. Any such course the student takes for which the institution will award credit towards a degree is not considered a repeat.
Example: An institution may allow a student to take as many one-hour exercise activity classes as desired, but will not apply more than four hours of credit towards a degree. If a student takes five exercise classes, the first four courses will not be considered repeats, and may count towards NAIA eligibility rules if the courses meet the definition of institutional credit. The fifth course taken will be considered a repeat course.
Some institutions limit the number of courses in a given cluster for which a student will be awarded credit towards a degree. Even though the student may not retake the same course multiple times, only courses within the institution’s stated parameters will be considered non-repeats for NAIA purposes.
Example: An institution may allow a student to take as many one-hour courses within the Exercise Skills cluster as desired, but will not apply more than three hours of credit from courses within this cluster towards a degree. If a student takes four separate and distinct one-hour courses within this cluster, the first three courses will not be considered repeats, and may count towards NAIA eligibility rules if the courses meet the definition of institutional credit. The fourth course taken will be considered a repeat course.