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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:

  • student image
    • 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.

Prior Learning Options

Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement is administered by the College Board through which high school students complete designated college level courses in high schools and earn college credit by demonstrating a specified level of performance on AP exams. Students must have their official AP score report sent directly from the College Entrance Examination Board to Century's Transfer Student Services Office. An AP exam score of 3 or higher on a 5 point scale will be considered for transfer. A complete list of AP exams and how they transfer to Century is available through Transferology.

Career and Technical Education Credit (CTE)

Career and Technical Education Credit (CTE) (formerly Tech Prep) supports a partnership between Century College and Northeast Metro Career and Technical Center that provides high school students the opportunity to participate in programs that prepare them to advance into the postsecondary educational system and employment. By earning college credit in high school, students save time completing their degree or program and money on tuition and textbooks.

Career and Technical Education Credit taken in high school or through Northeast Metro Career and Technical Center substitute for a specific Century College course(s) identified through articulation agreements. Only those high school courses identified in the articulation agreements will be accepted as transfer to Century College and must be documented on a Northeast Metro Career and Technical Center transcript or high school transcript and a certificate of credit. Successful completion of designated courses where a grade of B or higher is earned transfer and may satisfy requirements or elective credits in some programs at Century College.

More information can be found on the Career and Technical Education Credit webpage.

Certified Professional Secretary (CPS)/Certified Administrative Professional (CAP)

Students who successfully completed the CPS or CAP exam in the past seven years and have earned ten Century College credits will receive a maximum of sixteen elective credits.

College Level Entrance Program (CLEP)

The College Level Examination Program is administered by the College Board through which students of any age have the opportunity to demonstrate college level achievement through a program of exams in undergraduate college courses. Students must have their official CLEP score report sent directly to Century's Transfer Student Services Office. A CLEP exam score of 50 or higher will be considered for transfer. A complete list of CLEP exams and how they transfer to Century is available through Transferology.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)

The DANTES program sponsors a wide range of examination programs to assist military service members in meeting their educational goals. Students must have their official DANTES score report sent directly to Century's Transfer Student Services Office. A complete list of DANTES exams and how they transfer to Century is available through Transferology.

DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST)

DSST offers a wide range of examinations. Students must have their official DSST score report sent directly to Century's Transfer Student Services Office. A complete list of DSST exams and how they transfer to Century is available through Transferology.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is a course of study for students age 16 to 19 that leads to examinations in various subjects. Students who participate in the full Diploma Programme are required to study and take examinations in six different academic subjects. An IB exam score of 4 or higher will be considered for transfer. A complete list of IB exams and how they transfer to Century is available through Transferology.

Military Credit

College level credit earned through military training and education will be considered for transfer. Service members should use the JST Service Transcript System to access their military records and submit their official military transcript directly to Century's Transfer Student Services Office. Military credit transfer for veterans and service members is available through the Veterans Education Transfer System (VETS).

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.