Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is a process that enables learners to demonstrate what they have learned and translate that learning into college credit. LDCC awards credit for non-traditional learning based on results of national tests such as CLEP, AP, DANTES, and other extra-institutional examination programs; the institution’s faculty-developed credit by examinations; military training and industry-based certifications, and others as approved by the Vice Chancellor of Education and Student Services.

LDCC follows the LCTCS policy 1.023 LCTCS Policy on Credit for Prior Learning -

“The purpose of this policy is to establish means for awarding college credits to students who are enrolled in a degree or certificate program within the LCTCS through the use of evidence of experience already acquired that meets the course objectives. Students will receive credit for demonstrated mastery of learning objectives that are equivalent to the learning objectives of courses offered for credit. Such non-traditional means may include – but are not limited to –

  • CLEP, AP, DSST, credit for past learning and/or life experiences

  • Military training documented in the Joint Services Transcript or other official military records

  • Industry-based certifications

  • Portfolio assessment of college level learning acquired through work experiences

  • Non –academic instruction evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE)

  • State or National certification or licensure

  • Others as approved by the institution’s chief academic officer.”

Credit for Prior Learning Procedure

  • No more than 75% of the total hours applicable toward the attainment of a degree or certificate may be awarded through CPL. Graduates from LDCC curricula must complete a minimum of 25% of the semester hours required for the degree through instruction at LDCC.

  • CPL credits satisfy prerequisite requirements in the same manner that their course equivalencies do at the institution.

  • All CPL must be awarded before the semester prior to graduation.

  • A student may not apply for CPL for a course that they are currently enrolled in, for a course that they have previously taken with a failing grade, or for a course in which they have audited.

  • For credit for prior learning in which a grade is not awarded, a “CR” for credit is recorded on the student’s transcript.

  • LDCC accepts credit for prior learning credits that have been awarded by other regionally accredited institutions as per the college’s Transfer Credit Policy and Procedure. These credits have the same limitations in their use in meeting graduation requirements as do prior learning credits earned at LDCC and will be used in computing the total hours of credit for prior learning for which a student is eligible.

  • A student who intends to use credit for prior learning in a course in which a grade has not been awarded to meet degree requirements at another institution should check the requirements of the receiving institution.

  • Students who have taken a College Board Advanced Placement Credit Examination must have scored at least a 3 or 4 (dependent upon the credit they are seeking) to receive appropriate course credit. The student must request that an official transcript from the College Board be sent to the College Registrar. Advanced Placement scores are valid for 3 years from original test date. When advanced Placement Credit is considered for placement purposes, the placement decision is made by the Registrar.

  • Requisite criteria for evaluation for Professional Certification Credit are determined by the Division Chair in partnership with department faculty.

  • A student who has not earned college-level credit in a subject area may take a Placement Examination (CLEP, DSST, or AP) for courses offered by LDCC.

  • To apply for Placement Credit or Military Training and Experience Credit, the student must be eligible for admission to LDCC as a student.

  • Course credit hours earned by Advanced Placement, Military Training and Experience Credit, Professional Certification, or Credit by Exam are awarded and recorded by the Registrar’s office. Credit hours earned are assigned a “CR” grade for credit.  No quality points are earned and such credit does not enter into grade point average determination.

  • Enrolled students in good academic standing must be pursuing a LDCC credential to apply for Credit by Examination, or Professional Certification Credit.

  • A student may apply for Credit by Examination only one time for the same course.

  • To award a grade for Credit by Examination, the appropriate faculty in coordination with their Division Chairs will develop a matrix or rubric that clearly identifies the published course learning outcomes and techniques for assessing mastery at the 100, 90, 80, and 70% levels.  This rubric or matrix will be affirmed by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.

  • All work assessed by Credit by Examination must meet a minimum of “C” level proficiency for all the course learning outcomes and/or technical competencies. This “C” level must be determined by the faculty to maintain academic integrity and rigor.

Definitions of Types of Credit for Prior Learning Awarded by LDCC

Prior Learning Credit refers to college-level examinations delivered by a third-party vendor that allow students to receive college credits in certain courses. Types of Prior Learning Credit  accepted by the college are:

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) - CLEP assesses proficiency in general education through 33 tests in five subject areas including mathematics, writing, communications, and science.  Most CLEP examinations cover lower level and introductory knowledge in these subject areas.

  • DSST (DANTES) - DSST examinations test knowledge in both lower- and upper-level college material through 38 tests in six subject areas.

  • Advanced Placement (AP) - Advanced Placement (AP) exams are a series of examinations developed by the College Board for Advanced Placement High School classes in 19 subject areas. Students who have taken a College Board AP Credit Examination must have scored at least a 3 or 4 (dependent upon the credit they are seeking) to receive appropriate course credit.

  • Military Training and Experience Credit - Students who have achieved military education and training credit may apply for acceptance of these credits toward the appropriate degree. Students must be able to provide a Joint Service Transcript and DD Form 214. 

  • Professional Certification Credit (Industry Based Certification – IBC) - For courses in which professional certifications are utilized as an assessment tool, students may receive college credit for a course based on possessing such professional certifications.  To receive credit, the student must provide the college with the appropriate documentation to validate the IBC.  The IBC must have been received within the past 3 years.

  • National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) - Students who have earned a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) during the past three years may receive credit for SPPR 2991. To earn the NCRC, students must take and pass the three WorkKeys assessments–Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents. Students will need to submit a copy of the NCRC certificate or a copy of the official score reports for each part of the assessment.

Students desiring credit for course work in any of the above manners must request a Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) form from the Registrar’s office or print a CPL form from the website. The form can be located on the College website

Credit by Examination (CBE)

Credit by examination is available for select courses. A student with prior occupational or educational experience may earn credit for courses in certain LDCC courses which are in the student’s program. A challenge examination is given to students who wish to seek credit for a course through a procedure other than normal class instruction or transfer of credit from another post-secondary institution. Challenge examinations will be given only in exceptional situations when a student meets eligibility requirements. Not all courses are eligible for challenge exam. Students are encouraged to consider CLEP subject exams.

  • The Division Chair determines if credit for the course may be obtained by challenge examination, and notes decision on the Cedit for Prior Learning form.

  • If approved, the academic supervisor will notify the student. The student must confirm agreement of the prescribed challenge exam and pay a non-refundable examination/transcription fee.

  • Upon completion of the prescribed challenge exam, the material will be evaluated. 

  • The Division Chair will submit the Credit for Prior Learning form and testing documentation to the Registar’s office.

  • If the student successfully passes the exam, the credit will be posted to the student’s academic record.

Regulations governing the challenge examinations:

  • Challenge credit is available only to students admitted to and enrolled as a student at LDCC.

  • A student will not be permitted to take a challenge examination if the student has:

    • Audited course

    • Taken the course previously

    • Received credit for a higher course in a series or sequence

    • Previously challenged the course through challenge examination

  • A passing grade for a challenge will appear on the transcript as “CR” for pass credit. Credit earned through challenge examinations is not used in the computation of the student’s attempted hours, quality points, or cumulative grade point average, but may be counted as credit toward the degree for graduation.

  • Request for a challenge examination must be received by the end of the second week of the semester. Examination is taken after payment is received and completed by the end of the fourth week of the semester, unless otherwise approved by the Registrar.