Credit for Prior Learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This will enable you to:
- Reduce your education costs
- Accelerate your program completion
- Transform previous learning into higher earnings
Credit-worthy learning experiences outside of the classroom often include:
- Employer or military training programs
- Professional development courses or workshops
- Volunteering/community service
- Independent study (i.e. reading a lot of books on a subject of interest)
Check out these interviews to learn more about MassBay Credit for Prior Learning!
Options for Earning Credit for Prior Learning
We encourage you to visit the Academic & Transfer Advising Center to discuss your background and learning goals. An Advising professional will then help match you with one or more of these Credit for Prior Learning opportunities:
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Credit for certain courses may be earned by scoring 50 or higher on the CLEP exam, which is administered by the College Board →. Students may have taken the exam prior to applying to MassBay, or during their time at MassBay.
- Advanced Placement (AP)
Credit for certain courses may be earned by scoring 3 or higher on the AP exam, which is administered by the College Board →. Students have generally taken the exam prior to applying to MassBay.
- A-Level Exams
Credit for certain courses may be earned by scoring D or higher on selected A-Level exams. Students have generally taken the exams prior to applying to MassBay. In order to receive credit, an official transcript documenting the exam grades must be submitted to the Office of Advising.
- International Baccalaureate (IB)
Credit for certain courses may be earned by scoring 4 or higher on the High Level IB Exam, which is administered by the International Baccalaureate. Students have generally taken the exam prior to applying to MassBay.
The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) helps service members and veterans pursue their educational goals and earn degrees or certifications both during and after their service. DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), administered by Prometric, allow students the opportunity to receive college credit for prior learning. The cost of these exams may be subsidized for active service members. For more information, contact Veteran & Military Services at email@example.com.
College credit for prior learning can be earned in some subject areas by passing a UEXCEL exam. UEXCEL is a credit by examination program offered in a computer-based format at many test centers. In order for credit to be granted, an official examination transcript report from UExcel showing the test results needs to be sent to MassBay.
- CHALLENGE EXAMS
Credit for certain courses may be earned by showing competency by passing a Departmental Challenge exam. MassBay currently offers Challenge Exams for Computers and Technology (CS 100) and Critical Thinking (CT 100). Students interested in taking the challenge exams should contact the Academic & Transfer Advising Center.
MassBay is committed to veterans seeking postsecondary educational opportunities. In accordance with the VALOR ACT, MassBay evaluates credit earned for military education, training, experience, or coursework using the same standards as those applied to coursework from accredited colleges and universities. Students receive accurate and complete academic counseling from the Veterans’ Coordinator in collaboration with the Academic & Transfer Advising Center. Visit our Veterans page for more information.
The Joint Services Transcript
The Joint Services Transcript (JST) provides veterans and active service members the opportunity to receive college credit for their relevant military experience. There is no cost for a MassBay evaluation of the official JST. For more information about the program, visit: https://jst.doded.mil/official.html.
Industry-Recognized Credentials & Certifications
Certain industry-recognized credentials and certifications that students have earned may also be eligible for college credit at MassBay. Students with credentials and certifications should consult with the Academic Division for their program of study for a review of potential college credit equivalency. Once an equivalency has been determined, a credentialing form will be submitted to the division and enrollment center for approval. There is a nominal fee for credentialing industry-recognized certifications. (refer to the credentialing form for more information).
A list of current credentials and certifications that are approved for college credit may be found under the “Accepted Credentials” link at: https://myexperiencecounts.mass.edu/home
Credit by Portfolio
Students with work or life experience that has led to college-level learning may also be eligible for college credit by portfolio assessment. Portfolio assessment is a way to document that your prior learning and knowledge is equivalent to that of what is taught in a college-level course, and therefore is eligible for college credit. Students develop a digital portfolio of narrative, documentation, and other relevant certifications to describe how the college-level learning outcomes have been met for a specific course. A faculty member with relevant expertise is then hired to evaluate the portfolio. There is a nominal fee for the evaluation of the student’s portfolio. The fee is non-refundable and is paid prior to evaluation, regardless of outcome. Please refer to the portfolio form for more information.
To get started, set up a student profile at: https://myexperiencecounts.mass.edu/home. A credit for prior learning specialist will connect you to the appropriate academic division and discuss the portfolio process with you.
Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy
Massachusetts Bay Community College (MBCC) supports and recognizes the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy, a part of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Equity Agenda.
What is the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy?
The State Seal of Biliteracy is an award provided by the State of Massachusetts that recognizes public high school graduates across the state who attain high levels of proficiency in a world language and English. The Seal recognizes having studied and attained proficiency in two languages by high school graduation. The State Seal of Biliteracy appears on the transcript or diploma of the graduating senior. The Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy acknowledges linguistic equity because all world languages are included. Dual language proficiency is evaluated via testing that measures reading comprehension, writing (to demonstrate knowledge of grammar), speaking (use of vocabulary), and listening and understanding spoken language.
What Type of Credit is Recognized at MassBay?
When applying the Seal for credits at MassBay, students will receive:
6 credits (2 semesters at 3 credits each) for the Seal of Biliteracy in a world language or the equivalent in humanities elective credit
Students must submit an official high school transcript with the Seal of Biliteracy to the Office of Admissions for evaluation:
High School Articulations
Graduates from the Commonwealth’s Career and Technical High Schools may be eligible for credit for prior learning through an articulation agreement between the Massachusetts Community Colleges and select Chapter 74 Approved Secondary Career/Vocational Technical Programs. Students in participating programs must present an official high school transcript documenting completion of the program to the Admissions Office. Credits are awarded as transfer credit. For more information about the program, visit: https://masscc.org/technical-high-schools-transfer-agreements.
In addition, students who have completed Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum at their high schools may be eligible for credit for prior learning through articulation agreements. Students must present an official high school transcript documenting completion of the program to the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Credit is currently available for qualifying students who complete the PLTW Computer Science curriculum at the following Massachusetts high schools: Drury, Middleborough, Milford, and Monument Mountain Regional.
For more information
Credit for Prior Learning may not be applicable to some MassBay programs. If you’re looking for more information or whether credit for prior learning is applicable to your program, contact the office best prepared to serve you.