About Credit for Prior Learning

What Is Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)?
Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is a term used to describe the assessment of college level learning that is gained outside a traditional academic environment. It is learning and knowledge acquired by working, participating in employer training programs, serving in the military, studying independently, volunteering, doing community service, or studying open source courseware.

CPL enables students to enrich or accelerate their programs of study by eliminating duplication of learners’ educational efforts through the awarding of credit for prior learning. Course credit is awarded when content mastered through a prior experience is equivalent to the student learning outcomes of a SCC course. This equivalency is validated by academically sound and rigorous prior learning assessment methods.

South Central College values the diversity of students. This diversity includes the unique experiences, interests, and intellectual pursuits that lead to the acquisition of knowledge that may be at the college level. The purpose of this website is to outline procedures and explain the terms and conditions under which CPL is considered, accepted, documented and awarded at SCC. Credit is granted to degree-seeking students for verifiable college level learning, either knowledge or skills, acquired through life or work experience, not for the experience itself.

In developing your credit for prior learning request(s), you will work with the CPL Coordinator and program faculty to determine:

  • if the learning is college-level
  • if the learning is appropriate to the degree plan you are developing
  • how best to demonstrate your learning

How do I know if my knowledge is college-level?

  • The learning should be theoretical as well as practical.
  • You should be able to identify the principles involved in doing what you are able to do.
  • The learning should be equivalent to college-level work in terms of quality.
  • The learning should be identified as college-level when evaluated by an expert in the field. This means you should be able to convince an expert evaluator through description or demonstration that your knowledge or competence is at the college-level.
  • Complete the CPL self-assessment

How do I get started?

Admitted students who feel they have mastered the content of a college course may apply for Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) at any time.

  • Students should review the CPL information found on the CPL website to gain an overview of the process and to self-assess eligibility for CPL.
  • Students submit the following to the CPL Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:
    • CPL Assessment Request form
    • Current resume and/or brief summary that explains learning experiences (see Career and Counseling Center for resume assistance)