Non-credit courses offer students the opportunity to engage in non-credit academic experiences by connecting their experiences inside and outside the classroom to disciplinary or professional competencies (e.g., NACE) through meaningful engagement and reflection.  Students are eligible to receive transcript-visible notation for these non-credit academic experiences.

Standards used for non-credit courses must also follow the non-credit course policy approved by Curriculum Council.

Grades for Non-Credit Courses

There is an evaluative measurement of completion for non-credit courses. Two grades are available for faculty to record:

SC = Successful completion

NSC = Non-successful completion

Instructors enter a grade for each student enrolled in their course and submit grades during the structured grading period for each term.

Academic Experiences

Each non-credit experience has unique required learning outcomes to be assessed by course instructors after at least 20 hours of coursework. Academic units can modify course descriptions for the syllabus but a standard course description (as listed below) will be added to the Catalog to ensure consistency across courses. 

Non-credit syllabi must meet the university's minimum syllabus requirements


Assessment of student learning by sponsoring faculty is mandatory in non-credit courses, tailored to the experience and the associated learning outcomes.

Suggested assessment practices for non-credit courses include:

  • Periodic evaluation of the non-credit experience from OSU mentor and community partners to provide the opportunity for frequent, ongoing, and constructive feedback on the specific project outcomes and expectations.
  • Periodic structured opportunities to reflect and self-assess that detail what students have learned at different stages of the non-credit experience. Possible reflection formats include electronic journal, discussion boards, videos, or oral formats.


  • Public demonstration of competence and learning through the non-credit experience via a poster presentation, website, blog, video, or other mechanism.
  • Creation of a culminating project (e.g., portfolio, community project, presentation) integrative of the non-credit experience and students’ academic discipline.
  • Regular documentation and reflection on progress, challenges, and accomplishments of the non-credit experience. Formats of reflection include, but are not limited to, lab notebooks, short essays, visual displays, blog posts, and journal entries.

Process for Creating Non-credit Courses

Step 1: Submit a new course proposal using CIM

Step 2: Select type of course as 'non-credit' and liaison as 'liaison not required'

Step 3: Copy and paste the standard course description (below) into the course description field. The description in the Catalog is specific to the non-credit experience, not the course. The description in the syllabus should be specific to the course

Step 4: Start workflow on the proposal once all required fields are complete

Step 5: A Curriculum Coordinator in the Curriculum Management office reviews the syllabus to ensure it meets minimum requirements

Step 6: The Catalog Coordinator in the Office of the Registrar (OtR) reviews the proposal to ensure it meets the guidelines outlined in the non-credit course policy

Step 7: The proposal is sent to the College Committee Approver (typically an Associate Dean) for approval

Step 8: The proposal is added to the Curriculum Council consent agenda

Step 9: Upon approval by Curriculum Council, the proposal is sent to the Office of the Registrar (OtR) for input into Banner

Step 10: The proposal originator is notified once the course has final approval and can then work with their Department Scheduler to schedule a class

Community-Engaged and Service Learning

Course Number: 001

Description: Engage in and critically reflect on a community engagement experience in order to gain a broader appreciation of the discipline, strengthen self-awareness, enhance a sense of civic responsibility and self-efficacy, and/or strengthen connections with communities.

Student Learning Outcomes

Service-Learning Competencies

As a result of this service-learning experience, students will be able to:

  • Apply and connect academic work and skills to community contexts, and community experiences to one's life and lived experiences

  • Analyze social issues (symptoms and systemic causes) and how actions and decisions will impact diverse stakeholders by utilizing critical and systems thinking

  • Summarize how to take advantage of the strengths of communities, center community wisdom and knowledge in community-based work

  • Identify personal civic values, commitments, and ways to take action on social causes with care and cultural humility

See Course Content Table


Course Number: 002

Description: Engage in a leadership experience in order to gain knowledge or skills that supports greater understanding of self and capacity to work with groups and effect community change.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe foundations of their own leadership capacity, including their values, beliefs, social identities/positionality, strengths/talents/assets, and/or social causes that are most important to them
  • Apply or practice relational leadership skills (e.g., communication, listening, empathy, perspective-taking and cultural humility, giving and receiving feedback, collaboration, and accountability) problem solving, and conflict management
  • Identify the complexities of leadership and explain the diverse range of interactions between self, groups, organizations, and the communities where they are situated in order to create change
  • Practice developing a vision, an action plan, or goal influencing a community or organization in alignment with change they hope to advance

See Course Content Table


Course Number: 003

Description: Engage in research activities appropriate to the discipline and through the research experience, acquire skills, techniques, and knowledge relevant to the field of study.

Student Learning Outcomes

Research Competencies

  • Work productively in a research environment as a member of a team
  • Demonstrate that skills have been gained in research methodologies and/or analysis techniques through a mentored experience
  • Reflect on one’s role in the research process and development of knowledge
  • Articulate the relevance of the research experience to coursework and professional future

See Course Content Table


Course Number: 004

Description: Engage in a hands-on learning experience that complements the theoretical knowledge acquired through academic coursework to foster personal and professional development.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of a student’s internship experience, they should have:

  • Illustrate how their OSU and related experiences connect to career readiness and career advancement skills
  • Apply life-long career development concepts* through the creation of career-relevant artifacts
  • Apply career development concepts to relevant artifacts* from engagement in a career-related experience or activity
  • Demonstrate how their internship experience clarified or altered their future career goals

See Course Content Table


Course Number: 005

Description: Create a culminating project appropriate to the discipline that integrates and applies knowledge and skills from throughout the academic program. In consultation with a faculty mentor, design the content of the capstone experience and the ways in which they reflect on their learning in the experience.

Student Learning Outcomes

Capstone Competencies

As a result of this capstone experience, students will be able to:

  • Identify connections across multiple fields of study or perspectives
  • Apply skills, theories, knowledge, or methodologies to new situations
  • Integrate content and form of communication
  • Self-assess as a learner

See Course Content Table

International Education/Education Away [to be inclusive of experiences in the US]

Course Number: 006

Description: Engage in an education abroad experience (whether internship, a single course, or a term-long experience) outside of the United States and its territories (or approved away site).

Student Learning Outcomes

Education Abroad Competencies

To receive a SC grade, students must:

  • Demonstrate intercultural competence through professional and personal interactions, increasing their ability to recognize and accommodate cultural differences, and engage in nuanced and meaningful discussions regarding culture
  • Articulate deepened knowledge of the education away site, inclusive of historical, cultural and environmental contexts
  • Grow in personal efficacy, confidence and independence by stepping out of their personal comfort zone and confronting the challenges of working or studying away
  • Reflect on their role as global citizen whose decisions and engagement can have an impact on the wellbeing of others and the planet

See Course Content Table

Course Content Table

Week          Topic

Learning Activities

Assessment Due