Credit for Prior Learning is defined as academic credit awarded to a registered student upon demonstration of knowledge equivalent to that gained through completing a college course. A student must be currently enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester credit hours, or have completed a minimum of 20 semester credit hours at Tri-C and be in good academic standing (maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA) before applying for Credit for Prior Learning. A student may obtain a maximum of 30 semester credit hours through one, or a combination of, the recognized options for Credit for Prior Learning. Awarded Credit for Prior Learning will not affect a student’s grade point average or quality points and will not substitute for the required 20 semester credit hours of residency needed for Tri-C graduation. Standardized methods of evaluation are used to measure a student’s demonstrated knowledge of a subject area. If equivalent knowledge is demonstrated upon completion of the evaluation, the student will be awarded the same semester credit hours as that designated for the course. The student should see a counselor for any additional requirements.

Prior Learning Options

Recognized options under which Credit for Prior Learning may be awarded:

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The CLEP includes subject-specific exams in a variety of areas. Tri-C will award comparable academic credit to students for earning designated scores on the CLEP subject area examinations. Official CLEP transcripts must be submitted to the Tri-C Enrollment Center with a letter requesting the posting of CLEP credit. Learn more about Tri-C's CLEP aligned courses and designated CLEP exam scores for comparable academic credit to be awarded. Learn more about taking CLEP exams at a Tri-C location. Learn more about other testing sites and exam options at the CLEP website.

DANTES Subject Standardized Tests

DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support) is a group of standardized tests originally developed for the voluntary education programs of the United States Armed Forces. The tests have now been made available for civilian use. These civilian tests are administered through Educational Testing Services.

American Council on Education (ACE)

ACE makes policy recommendations and facilitates credit award decisions for alternative educational experiences, offering guidance to colleges and universities on how to evaluate and award credit for these experiences. Examples:

  • Military Training Credit
    Credit for Prior Learning can be awarded for education a student received while a member of the United States Armed Forces.
    • Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAG) The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) and Cuyahoga Community College are committed to the acceptance and awarding of college credit for training and experience in the United States Armed Forces or National Guard.  ODHE's Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network (OATN) has begun the process of developing MTAGs to streamline and systemize the awarding of credit for military training, experience, and coursework.  Military training and experience must be evaluated and approved by the American Council on Education (ACE) or a regional accrediting body, such as the Higher Learning Commission, to be included in Ohio’s statewide transfer guarantee for military training/experience. Learn more about ODHE's aligned military credit.
    • Learn more about ACE’s “Transfer Guide: Understanding Your Military Transcript and ACE Credit Recommendations”.
  • Standardized Training and Certification Programs
    Credit for Prior Learning can also be awarded for numerous standardized training and certification programs. Learn more through ACE’s “National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training”.

Credit by Exam (CBE)

There are many courses offered at Tri-C for which Credit for Prior Learning may be awarded by a student’s taking and passing a comprehensive exam on the course subject. CBE for a particular course may be taken only once. For more information on CBE, schedule an appointment with a counselor.

Bypass Credit

Bypass Credit may be awarded for learning attained through documented, valid academic and/or equivalent work experience, including professional certification/licensing and completion of formal training programs. Formal training programs include, but are not limited to, hospital-based and corporate education where requisite knowledge, skills, and competencies are documented. For more information on Bypass Credit, schedule an appointment with a counselor.