Taking Courses Elsewhere: A look into the opportunities for taking classes outside of Eastern University

By: Jayme Fisher

For those of you who don’t know, students have an opportunity to take courses at other institutions. You may be wondering why you would ever do this, but sometimes, there could be a class you really need/want to take, but Eastern doesn’t offer it. 

For example, Cabrini offers a class called “Video Production,” which gives students a hands-on opportunity to craft and design film productions and utilize software like Adobe Premiere. I wanted to take this course because Eastern’s video production did not teach Premiere. So, I reached out to the Registrar and my advisor to get the process started. However, this process gives the illusion of being difficult and confusing.  So, let’s break down the ins and outs of taking a course at another university. 

There are two different “categories” for taking courses at another university.  The first category is Taking a Course Elsewhere, which means the class needs to be taken at an accredited university and can be completed at any time. The second category is the Affiliate Program, which allows full-time undergraduate students (at least 12 Eastern credits) to take a course at Cabrini University, Rosemont College or Valley Forge Military College. 

Starting with Taking a Course Elsewhere, Annie Webb, the freshman and transfer specialist in the Registrar’s office, says, “Students can take courses at any accredited university.”  

For example, if there is a class offered at another institution near a student’s home, students can sign up to take it. However, Webb emphasized that it is important to get the class approved through the Registrar prior to registering for the class. 

To get the class approved, Webb says, “Students should start with the Permission to Take Coursework Elsewhere form which explains the process for approval. Then they can look at colleges or universities that are close to their homes or institutions that offer online courses. Students would search the other school’s course offerings on that school’s website to determine if there’s a course that looks interesting or might satisfy a general education or major course requirement at Eastern. Then, the student would complete the Coursework Elsewhere form, being sure to include the course description so that we can properly evaluate the course. Once we receive the form in the Registrar’s office we will reach out to the student to let them know if their request was approved or not and inform them how the course would be transferred once it’s completed.”

As a tip, Webb said, “Students should work with their academic advisors to determine if another course would satisfy a major requirement.”  

Turning to the affiliate program, full-time traditional undergraduate students are eligible to take courses at affiliated colleges like Cabrini University. 

Senior Assistant for the Registrar Bria Minister said, “Full-time traditional undergraduate students registered for at least 12 Eastern University credits may request one course per semester at no additional tuition (fees for course materials may be assessed by the host college). The courses taken and grades earned are reported on the student’s Eastern University grade report and academic transcript. Grades are calculated into the session and cumulative grade-point average according to Eastern’s quality point schedule. Students follow Eastern’s registration and drop/add procedures but are subject to the academic calendars, policies and regulations of the host institution. Transportation arrangements are the responsibility of the student.” 

Signing up for taking a course at an affiliated institution is different from taking a course elsewhere. Instead, students fill out the “Affiliate Registration Form” and send it to the Registrar. 

If students are interested in learning more or taking a course outside of Eastern, then they can contact the Registrar to get the process moving. The process may seem like it is difficult to navigate, but your advisor and the Registrar are valuable resources for students to utilize. 

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