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For a Lifelong Learning of Adults ACADEMIC CREDIT BANK SYSTEM

How Does the Academic Credit Bank System Work?

In accordance with its mandate, the Academic Credit Bank System accredits a variety of educational programs, with the goal of guaranteeing open and flexible access to a good quality of continuing education. The ACBS also grants recognition to learner's diverse learning experiences, including prior course credits and various forms of learning.

Credits are acquired primarily from education and job training institues, through part-time enrollment, certificate acquisition, and passing bachelor's degree exam for self-education or courses for exam exemption.

Accreditation of Educational Programs?

Nonformal educational institutes are formally evaluated and, if successful, given approval as a ACBS- accredited institute offering programs and courses, which can be counted as university or college equivalent credits. These institutes are evaluated on the basis of instructors, facilities and curricula:

  • Instructors must possess at least the same qualifications as a full-time professor at a junior college. There must be a sufficient number of instructors and the total teaching hours per instructor should not exceed 18 hours a week.
  • Classrooms should be larger than 1.0 ㎡ per student and additional facilities should include a laboratory, administrative office, counseling office, and library. Other provisions are applied by the plan of the Ministry of Education(MOE).
  • Offered programs must comply with the standardized curriculum for each subject, as defined by National Institute for Lifelong Learning(NILE).

Institutes Offering Accredited Education Programs are as follows:

  • Adult continuing education institutions or private education institutes as set forth in the Lifelong Education Law
  • Vocational education and training institutes as set forth in the Vocational EducationTraining Law
  • Centers for university extension programs affiliated with universities or colleges
  • Advanced technical training schools or special schools with relevant departments
  • Mass media agencies which fulfill an adult & continuing education function
  • Other continuing education facilities or vocational education training institutes recognized by the MOE including usiness affiliated universities or vocational training centers.

Standardized Curriculum

  • A standardized curriculum refers to a comprehensive learning plan which is customized for each subject . On the one hand, it provides instructors with specific guidelines for curriculum preparation, while on the other hand, it gives a detailed description of possible learning paths and educational goals and outcomes. The standardized curriculum is being jointly developed by the MOE and NILE, with the assistance of relevant professionals. It will be updated annually on the basis of social change, academic and technological development, and requests from teachers and students.
  • The standardized curriculum concretely addresses: educational objectives; subjects and required credits for general courses, major courses, and elective courses; graduation requirements for a bachelor's degree; and evaluation and quality control.

Student Application & Registration

Students who wish to receive a degree must apply for registration by completing a Student Registration Form and a Credit Approval Application Form. Each of these forms must be submitted to either NILE or a Provincial Office of Education. Once registered, each student accumulate credits, until the point of graduation.

The Academic Credit Bank System is equipped with a comprehensive information service system which enables learners across the nation to gain access to ACBS information and materials. This computer-based system provides learners with access to their personal record and ACBS credit history. Additional information on accredited courses and standardized curriculum is also provided.

Awarding of Degree

After completing the necessary credit requirements (140 credits for a bachelor's degree, 80 credits for a two-year associate diploma, and 120 credits for a three-year associate diploma), graduation candidates must submit a Degree Application to either NILE of their Provincial Offices of Education.

These applications are reviewed by the Screening Committee for Academic Credit Accreditation at NILE, and then forwarded to the MOE for final approval. Candidates can be awarded a degree by the MOE or they may receive a degree directly from a university or college by the Act on Recognition of Credit, etc. In the latter case, candidates must meet the specific degree requirements of the awarding institution (e.g., over 84 course credits for universities and over 48 course credits for two-year colleges, over 65 course credits for three-year colleges).

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