Credit for Prior Learning

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Credit for Prior Learning

Prior learning refers to learning gained from a variety of sources outside the classroom. Students who can demonstrate equivalent college-level knowledge and skills may receive college credit for prior learning from experience and training such as:

  • Work Experience
  • Seminars/Workshops/Training
  • Non-Credit College Courses
  • Independent Study
  • Military Service
  • Community Activities
  • Hobbies
  • Volunteer Activities

Credit for Prior Learning is available to new, current and transfer students who:

  • have been admitted to Century College
  • plan to compete a degree, diploma or certificate at Century College
  • hold good academic standing

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) refers to various methods used to evaluate learning acquired outside the classroom for the purpose of assigning academic credit or advancing a student’s academic standing.  The assessment processes fall into four categories:

  • National Standardized Exams
  • Local Exams/Credit by Exam
  • Assessment of Non-college Programs
  • Portfolio Assessment

Final determination and awarding of credit for prior learning is completed by Century and documented on Century's transcript.

Some credit for prior learning achieved through college level alternatives or nontraditional education experiences are considered for transfer in to Century, according to Century policies, published national standard guidelines established by The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), American Council on Education (ACE) and other similar national organizations.

Several common credit for prior learning options include local and standardized exams and military training and education such as:

Credit by Exam

Local credit by exam is a process whereby you may receive credit for a Century College course in which you feel you already possess the required knowledge and/or experience. Century students may, at the discretion of Century faculty, earn credit for course-specific examinations chosen by Century faculty. Credit is granted on the basis of demonstrated proficiency of the course requirements by successfully passing an appropriate examination.

You are responsible for arranging credit by exam with Century's Credit for Prior Learning Specialist and must follow the required procedures for completing credit by exam and obtain signed authorization from the Credit for Prior Learning Specialist, course instructor and the Dean.

Century Credit by Exam Course Options

Some Century courses for which you may complete credit by exam and should contact the instructor for these courses include:

Emergency Medical Services:EMS 1010, 1015, 1017, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 1012, 2014; EMSB 1020, 1022
Firefighter: FRTA 1091, 1092, 1095
Health Sciences: HSCI 2020
Office Technology Medical: All Courses
Office Technology: OFFT 1001
Public Safety: PSAF 1020, 1031, 1032, 2045
Visual Communications Technologies: Various courses/arrange with VCT Instructor

For other possible exams, contact specific instructors of a course(s) you believe you can demonstrate equivalent college-level knowledge and skills.

Credit by exam for general education and/or Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) courses, includes the standardized exams, CLEP and DSST.

You should consult with the Credit for Prior Learning Specialist when considering credit by exam.

Portfolio Assessment

An individual portfolio is developed by students through the process of defining, documenting, measuring, evaluating and granting credit for learning acquired through experience. Century follows the guidelines for prior learning put in place by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).

Century students are encouraged to use Learning Counts through CAEL and talk with the Credit for Prior Learning Specialist about their online course which guides you through the portfolio development process.  A committee assesses the portfolio and determines the equivalent courses and credits. 

Students intending to transfer out from Century should check with the receiving institutions to verify the acceptance of standardized and Prior Learning Assessment.


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