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Administrative Procedure 370: Course Challenge

Course challenge is a provision that allows senior high school students who believe they have acquired the knowledge, skills and attitudes as defined by the Program of Studies for a given course (and are ready to demonstrate that achievement) to participate in a summative assessment/evaluation process, be given a final course mark and, if successful, credits in that course. The teacher of the subject area to be challenged, in conjunction with the principal, will make a determination as to whether or not a student should be allowed to challenge a course and will also determine the assessment method to be used should the challenge be accepted.

  1. Challenges will be considered if the student possesses one or more of the following criteria:
    1. A recommendation from the teacher of the prerequisite course;
    2. A 90% or higher mark in the prerequisite course;
    3. For purposes of this procudre, Grade 9 subjects may be considered as prerequisites for Grade 10 courses; and
    4. For courses that do not have a prerequisite, the school may wish to establish criteria for the writing of the challenge examination.
  2. Students registered in schools within Palliser School Division may challenge a course by the following procedure:
    1. Application
      The student must apply, in writing, to the principal using a form available from the school. The application must be submitted six (6) weeks prior to the final week of each semester. The application must state the targeted course and must include a recommendation from a qualified person, such as a previous or current teacher in the program area which is being challenged or some other qualified individual who can indicate that the student has the potential to be successful in the challenge. Students may not take the course and challenge it in the same semester.
    2. Interview
      The applicant shall have a formal interview, which will be an informal assessment of the course objectives. The interview will be with designated personnel to assess candidacy for the challenge.
    3. Portfolio
      The candidate may provide a portfolio demonstrating the full range of skills, knowledge and attitudes of the challenged course.
    4. Examination
      The candidate shall be required to write an examination to document competence at a predetermined time. Challenge examination writing should normally take place only during the designated examination periods in the school.
  3. Students who successfully challenge a course will receive a final mark and credits for the course, with the exception of Career and Technology Studies courses where a student may challenge only one module in order to gain a prerequisite for another course. Students will be eligible to proceed to the next sequential course in that program.
  4. Any specific course may be challenged by a student only once.
  5. Final results are automatically recorded and submitted to Alberta Education unless otherwise requested by the student.
  6. Special circumstances will be treated on an individual basis by the principal.
  7. For course challenges in diploma examination subjects, the challenge shall apply only to the school-awarded component of the blended mark.
  8. Notwithstanding the above, in dealing with challenges, the procedures and practices outlined in the Guide to Education, ECS to Grade 12, shall be followed.
  9. Individual high schools shall communicate to parents and students the availability of and procedures for course challenges.

Education Act
Guide to Education ECS to Grade 12