Cerro Coso Community College

Credit for Prior Learning

What is Credit for Prior Learning?

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is college credit awarded for validated college-level skills and knowledge gained outside of a college classroom. Students’ knowledge and skills might be gained through experiences such as:

  • Military training
  • Industry training
  • State/federal government training
  • Apprenticeships, internships, work-based learning, or other industry-based experiential learning
  • Validated volunteer and civic activities (e.g. Peace Corps)

This CPL definition does not include knowledge and skills already assessed and awarded credit through formal education at regionally accredited in-state and out-of-state institutions.

How can CPL help me?

CPL can help you save time and money on your educational path. Students can now get credit for a course instead of just waiving a prerequisite.

Who qualifies for CPL?

Students who hold industry credentials and certifications are graduates of service academies were trained for military occupations, or have work experience that can be demonstrated through an exam or portfolio review may qualify for credit for prior learning.

In addition,

  • You must be in good standing at Cerro Coso Community College
  • You must have previously earned credit or noncredit from Cerro Coso Community College or be currently registered for a course at the college
  • You must have an education plan on file
  • You must not currently be enrolled in the course you are seeking CPL for
  • If seeing credit by examination, you must be registered at the college and not currently enrolled in or received credit for a more advanced course in the same subject (may be waived by department)

How do I demonstrate that I have prior learning?

Each CPL eligible course will have different methods of assessment. These methods include:

  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on an Advanced Placement (AP) examination
  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on a high-level International Baccalaureate (IB) examination
  • Achievement of a satisfactory score on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • Evaluation of military service Joint Service Transcripts (JST)
  • Achievement of an examination administered by other agencies approved by the District
  • Evaluation of industry-recognized credential documentation
  • Evaluation of student-created portfolios
  • Satisfactory completion of an institutional examination, known as Credit by Examination, administered by the college in lieu of completion of an active course listed in the current college catalog

What courses at Cerro Coso Community College are currently eligible for Credit for Prior Learning?

Check out our CPL Course List in the left menu.

Does CPL cost anything?

There is no cost for CPL, except for the Credit by Exam assessment method. Credit earned through the other assessment methods listed above is free to the student.

The Credit by Exam (CBE) cost is current tuition rates per unit for in-state, out-of-state, or international students depending on your student status.

For more information contact, send an email to counseling_forms@cerrocoso.edu with “Credit for Prior Learning” in the subject line, or call the Cerro Coso Community College counseling number at 760-384-6219 and ask for a credit for prior learning counseling appointment.

What if I have experience in a discipline or industry that is not listed?

Email counseling_forms@cerrocoso.edu with “Credit for Prior Learning” in the subject line, or call the Cerro Coso Community College counseling number at 760-384-6219 and ask for a credit for prior learning counseling appointment.

What else should I know?

  • Credits acquired by examination are not applicable for meeting unit load requirements for Selective Service deferment or Veterans or Social Security benefits
  • Credits acquired by examination cannot be counted in determining the 12 semester hours of credit in residence required for an Associate degree.

What is my next step to find out more about CPL and see if I qualify?

For students interested in CPL, send an email to counseling_forms@cerrocoso.edu “Credit for Prior Learning” in the subject line, or call the Cerro Coso Community College counseling number at 760-384-6219 and ask for a credit for prior learning counseling appointment.

For faculty and staff interested in learning more about CPL and potential opportunities for students within your disciplines, contact your educational administrator.