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 this interview with a MassBay student to learn more about CPL.
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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.
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 Marie Hahs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
College credit for prior leaning 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.
Credentialing — Military Service
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.
Credentialing — 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.
Articulation Agreement — Career and Technical High Schools
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: http://www.masscc.org/articulation.
Credit for Prior Learning may not be applicable to some MassBay programs. To learn more, email email@example.com or call 781-239-2775.