Outside Credit

Determining whether an online resource is a course (and not just a tool).

  • There are a lot of great resources on the internet that can support student learning, but sometimes it can be hard to tell whether the resource is a course or if it is just a tool to support learning. Here are some criteria for determining whether a resource you have found will qualify as a course:

    • Is the resource tied to an accredited school?  Many individuals and organizations have built excellent tools that can support learning, but if the resources are not tied to accredited schools, they cannot qualify for an Outside Credit course. 
      • Sometimes exceptions are made for PE, Music, Art, or World Language courses, because the organizations teaching these courses may not be accredited in the same way. In these cases, however, the instructors have earned appropriate credentials to teach in their field. Students will be awarded pass/ fail grades if they take a course like this. 
    • Is the course taught by a human instructor?  If you have a question, will you be able to seek help from a human? Will it be the same person each time? Many online resources have chat bots available to answer simple questions, but you should be able to talk to a teacher when more support is needed.   
    • Is specific feedback given on the student's work?  A lot of tools will tell you when an answer is right or wrong, but a teacher will be able to recognize what might be tripping a student up. A teacher can provide personalized feedback that will increase the student's understanding of the concept or improve their use of the skill.   
    • Does the course have assignments, tests, and a clear completion point?  Some tools will allow you to take/ retake assessments as many times as needed to master the content. A course will have sequential assignments that are graded along the way and a final exam of some sort.    

Pre-Approved Courses

  • University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF): The FNSBSD has pre-approved some UAF courses for high school credit. These course titles and/or numbers may change each semester; check out the pre-approved UAF course list for the most up-to-date information.


    DoDEA Virtual High School:  The district has also pre-approved courses through the DoDEA Virtual High School.  These courses are available to high school students whose parents are active duty military at Eielson Air Force Base or Fort Wainwright.  For more information, visit the DoDEA school website at www.dodea.edu/dvs/dvhs.cfm and check out the pre-approved DoDEA virtual course list


    How to submit an Outside Credit Request for pre-approved courses:

    1. Fill out the Outside Credit request form located at https://forms.gle/bwctTEZC2hQ3Ms9AA
    2. Register for the course.  For courses on the pre-approved list, students may register immediately after filling out the Outside Credit form and do not have to wait for confirmation from the district that their request has been approved.
    3. After the course is completed, turn in your transcript with the final grade to the school counselor. 

All Other Outside Credit Requests

  • If a student is interested in taking a course that is not on the pre-approved UAF or DoDEA Virtual course lists, they must follow the instructions listed below.


    How to submit an Outside Credit request for a course that is not pre-approved:

    1. Fill out the online request form at https://forms.gle/bwctTEZC2hQ3Ms9AA
    2. When filling out the form, provide a link to the course syllabus or give the syllabus to your school counselor. The syllabus should include topics covered in the course, materials used, assignments required, grading policy, and instructor’s name and credentials.  The syllabus may also be emailed to TeachingAndLearning@k12northstar.org.
    3. You must wait to register for the course until after you receive confirmation from the FNSBSD that the Outside Credit request is approved.  Once approved, you may register for the course.
    4. After the course is completed, turn in your transcript with the final grade to your school counselor.  (If a PE, music, art, or world language course is taken at an unaccredited institution, instead of a transcript the instructor needs to provide a letter stating the student passed the class.)  If an activity log was a condition placed on the course during approval, then it will need to be signed by the instructor or parent and turned into the school as well.

Contact Information

Additional Information

  • Per Administrative Regulation 984.3, students interested in earning high school credit for an Outside Credit course must get approval prior to registering for the course.  Any Outside Credit requests submitted after the completion of the semester in which the request is for will not be accepted.  The exception (under AR 984.3) is that students who have taken college credit prior to high school (e.g. in middle school) are expected to submit their applications for high school credit consideration prior to the end of the first semester of their high school career.

    If there were extenuating circumstances that prevented you from submitting an Outside Credit request on time,  these requests need to be submitted within one semester after the completion of the course and will require the approval of the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning.
    Students entering 9th grade:  Students who have completed 8th grade in the FNSBSD and are enrolled in a district high school for the fall semester may take Outside Credit courses during the summer to count towards high school credit.  They must fill out the Outside Credit request form prior to registering for the course.

    Eligibility for Student Activities:  Non-traditional credit will only be counted towards eligibility when completed and recorded on the student's transcript.  The student is advised to see their counselor for more information.  

    Alaska Performance Scholarship Eligibility:  Non-traditional credit may be submitted for APS eligibility consideration.  Courses used for APS must meet the requirements for rigor established by the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development.  Some Outside Credit courses may be approved for APS.  For more information, contact your school counselor.

    High School Grades - Course Retakes:  Non-traditional courses and courses taken outside the school district are not considered course retakes for the purpose of computing GPA and do not replace previously earned grades.

    NCAA:  If NCAA eligibility is a goal of the student or parent/guardian, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to check if a specific course and vendor is NCAA approved. 

    College Credit Conversion to High School Credit:  College courses will be computed using a 4.0 General Course grade point scale.  The determination of academic college course credit versus high school credit is as follows:

    • 1-2 university credit hours    =   0.25 high school credit
    • 3-4 university credit hours   =   0.5 high school credit
    • 5-6 university credit hours   =   1.0 high school credit

    University of Alaska Fairbanks courses pertaining to music and vocational education may be eligible for more credit than reflected above.

    Outside Credit Hour Conversion (Physical Education, Music, Art, and World Languages):  

    • 0 - 37 hours in class    =   0 high school credit
    • 38 - 71 hours in class  =   0.25 high school credit
    • 72+ hours in class       =   0.5 high school credit