Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is a way for students to earn credit for previously acquired knowledge. CPL is commonly referred to as credit by exam or testing out of classes.

CPL is an alternative education or experience-based learning that is gained outside of a college or university. It can include knowledge acquired from work and life experiences, community and volunteer courses, individual study or reading; civic, community, and volunteer work, and participation in informal courses and trainings sponsored by agencies or businesses.


Currently Accepted Forms of CPL


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Will CPL credits transfer to other colleges?

A1: Different colleges apply varying policies on the acceptance of CPL. STLCC cannot guarantee the transferability of prior learning credit that has been awarded.

Q2: How do I earn CPL?

A2: Students must meet with an academic advisor or department chair/program coordinator in the same discipline they are seeking CPL to determine which of the following methods are used by the department for a particular course to establish CPL and course exemption.

Q3: Is there a cost involved?

A3: Under certain conditions, there may be a fee. Assessment of Prior Learning that requires significant attention from a faculty members, such as the direction and evaluation of a portfolio or the assessment of a skills demonstration, may warrant compensation for the faculty member. Faculty will initiate a “Self-Directed Learning” form to receive compensation for their work if this applies.

Q4: Does CPL meet the residency requirement for graduation?

A4: No. Although CPL is used to fulfill degree/certificate graduation requirements, it may not be applied toward a student’s residency requirement.

Q5: Will I receive grades for CPL?

A5: Although all work assessed for CPL must meet or exceed “C” level work, letter grades are not assigned. CPL is given the “grade” of “R”. “R” grades simply indicate that credit has been awarded. CPL will display on the transcript with the corresponding course and the “R”.

Q6: When can CPL be awarded?

A6: CPL can be awarded when at least one STLCC credit hour has been successfully completed and transcribed on the student’s records.

Q7: Will CPL increase my GPA?

A7: No. Since students are not given letter grades for CPL and rather credit, the GPA will not be affected.

Q8: Can I appeal a CPL decision?

A8: Yes. Please follow the Standard Appeal Procedure.

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