III- 8.01 - UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF MARYLAND POLICY ON ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF EARNING ACADEMIC DEGREE CREDIT (Approved by the Board of Regents, February 18, 2005) To expand capacity, enhance the quality of the educational experience students receive, and to encourage timely progress toward a degree, the USM will encourage students to take advantage of alternative means of earning academic degree credit. Options available to students include: online courses; registration in special sessions; independent study or undergraduate research; study abroad; service learning; internships; credit by exam; and advanced placement credits. On average, first-time freshmen will complete at least 12 credits required for graduation outside of the traditional classroom experience as part of their undergraduate programs. Institutions that admit first-time freshmen shall report periodically on the average number of alternative credits completed by baccalaureate degree recipients. This policy is effective for first-time freshmen who matriculate in the Fall 2005 semester.