December 6, 2012 by Holly Cassano

My School May Lose Their Accreditation. Can I Transfer My Credits Before This Happens?

Dear Reader,

Yes, it is absolutely possible to transfer your credits as long as you keep a few things in mind when you do so.

The caveat to this, which you must remember, is that each school has its own policy for transference of credits. If you earned credits at a school that is nationally accredited (career/technical types), those credits may not transfer in their entirety or at all to a regionally accredited school, so checking in advance of a transfer is highly suggested, so you don’t lose your already earned credits and end up losing time and money.

Another thing to consider is that the majority of quality-driven institutions put some form of cap on the number of credits that you can transfer from school to school. It is a widely known fact that accredited four-year colleges generally will accept 90 credits in transfer from accredited community colleges (equates to two years of school) for a student seeking to complete their bachelor’s degree, which requires 180 credits in total. The transfer of credits is seamless because community colleges and four-year colleges often have transfer agreements.

Outside of a transfer agreement such as this, the courses must be deemed equivalent by the receiving school in order to qualify for transfer. So it is important to remember that if you are a student who has completed three-fourths of your degree, you must certify with the school you wish to transfer to the exact number of credits they will accept from your present school, or you may risk having to repeat part of your earned credits at the new school in order to have enough credits to graduate from an accredited school.

There are two agencies that specifically accredit medical coding and health information management programs:

• American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

• American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

Regional Accreditation

You can also qualify for medical coding certification if you attend a school that has received institutional accreditation by one of the six regional accrediting agencies.

• Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)

• New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

• North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NASC)

• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

• Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC)

• Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Remember, choosing an accredited school for medical billing and coding will save you time and tuition at the end of the day. When you are enrolled in an accredited program, it is in essence conveying to others a stamp of approval by the industry. It is a statement by that school that it subscribes to and believes in a standard set of basic criteria for its curriculum and holds program integrity at the core of its foundation.

However, if your school wasn’t accredited, you may not be able to transfer all your credits to your new school. In order for a school to maintain its accreditation status, it must be able to show educational quality and that it is striving to make improvements over time.

Happy Coding!


Follow Holly on Twitter @hollycassano

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