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Credit for Prior Learning

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Delaware State University understands that learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom and offers credit recognition for learning that has occurred outside of the traditional academic environment.

What is Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) or Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a term used for various methods that colleges and universities use to evaluate and formally recognize learning that has occurred outside of the traditional academic environment. It is used to grant college credit, certification, or advanced standing toward further education or training.

Prior Learning Benefits You!

  • Saves Time - You will complete your degree faster.
  • Saves Money -  Credits awarded through the Prior Learning assessment are evaluated for a fee that is lower than the cost of tuition
  • Greater Success - Adult learners who do PLA are more likely to graduate.
  • Gain understanding - The Portfolio process helps you understand the many ways you have acquired learning through your full or part-time jobs and community and volunteer activities outside the classroom.
  • Value knowledge - Earning credit through Prior Learning programs helps you find value in lifelong experiential learning.

Ways to Earn College Credit

  • Credit by Examination - The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a credit by examination program offering 30-plus exams that can be taken to earn credits. Additional information about CLEP
  • Certifications, Trainings, Licenses
  • DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support).
  • Military Credits - Active Duty and military can transfer documented learning.  Other military courses and specialized occupational specializations can be reviewed for transfer into all academic programs. The community college of the Air Force transcripts are reviewed as accredited degrees. 
  • Portfolio Assessment - You can earn credit for your accomplishments by creating a portfolio through the PLA process. A portfolio is a written presentation that you build and submit to earn credit for the knowledge you have acquired, that is equivalent to what would be taught in a course.
    • Delaware State University offers a course to guide you through this process: LIBS 400 - Prior Learning Assessment. This is a three-credit course that focuses on creating a portfolio that describes and documents your prior learning. You will learn how to submit your portfolio for assessment to a Subject Matter Expert who is skilled in the area being assessed.

How to Get Started

Click on the link below to take the questionnaire to see if Prior Learning Assessment is right for you.


Make an appointment with a member of our team to discuss your prior learning.