Credit for Prior Learning

You may earn college credit for your non-college or experience-based learning attained outside of accredited postsecondary education institutions.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) includes learning acquired from work and life experiences such as:

  • Correspondence and extension courses
  • Individual study and reading
  • Civic, community and volunteer work
  • Participation in formal courses and in-service training sponsored by associations, business, government and industry.

CPL is not awarded for experience but for college-level learning, which entails knowledge, skills and competencies. ACC may award up to 50% of credit requirements toward a degree or certificate (a maximum of 25% may be used for Portfolio method) for prior learning.

  • ACC only awards CPL credit to courses listed in the ACC Catalog.
  • CPL credits do not have grade letters.
  • Students must be enrolled in at least one credit hour.
  • CPL credits are not eligible for financial aid or veterans' education assistance.
  • CPL may not be applied to courses in the core general education curriculum for the purpose of determining whether the core curriculum has been completed and the transcript should be stamped "core program completed.

Fifty percent of degree requirements may be earned through a combination of the following:

1. National standardized placement tests

You may earn college credit through certain standardized testing. Upon receiving a satisfactory score, you may earn college credit. Detailed list of tests and acceptable scores. For more assistance on what types of exams Arapahoe Community College accepts, please contact Eric Rogers ar eric.rogers@arapahoe.edu or 303.797.5630.

To schedule an exam and/or for fee information, please contact the ACC Testing Center at 303.797.5993.

If you have taken one of the standardized exams listed below at another location, order an official transcript/score report and have it sent to ACC for evaluation: Arapahoe Community College, Attention Admissions and Records, Campus Box 14, 5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, P.O. Box 9002, Littleton, CO 80160.

  • CLEP Exams:

    Get college credit for knowledge you already have!

    CLEP (The College-Level Examination Program) gives students of any age the chance to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of exams in undergraduate college courses. 2,900 colleges grant credit and/or advanced standing for CLEP exams.

    You may take a CLEP exam at ACC. Fee information

  •  Dantes (DSST) Exams:

    Dantes gives students the opportunity to test for college credit similar to CLEP. Dantes exams may be taken at ACC. Fee information

  • Excelsior College Exams (Formerly Regents College Exams):

    To have your scores evaluated for possible transfer credit at ACC, please order an official transcript/score report and have it sent to ACC for evaluation: Arapahoe Community College, Attention Admissions and Records, Campus Box 14, 5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, P.O. Box 9002, Littleton, CO 80160.

  • AP (Advanced Placement) Exams:

    AP exams are taken while you’re enrolled in High School. To have your scores evaluated for possible transfer credit at ACC, please order an official transcript/score report and have it sent to ACC for evaluation: Arapahoe Community College, Attention Admissions and Records, Campus Box 14, 5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, P.O. Box 9002, Littleton, CO 80160.

  • IB (International Baccalaureate) Exams:

    IB exams are taken while you’re enrolled in High School. To have your scores evaluated for possible transfer credit at ACC, please order an official transcript/score report and have it sent to ACC for evaluation: Arapahoe Community College, Attention Admissions and Records, Campus Box 14, 5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, P.O. Box 9002, Littleton, CO 80160.

Other nationally recognized testing, training, licensing or certification programs may be used to assess levels of knowledge, skills and competencies. You must submit official scores (institutional copy) from the national standardized placement test to the Admissions and Records Office.

2. Institutional Challenge Examinations such as objective tests, essays and oral, hands-on or simulated demonstrations will be used to evaluate the competency of students in specific courses. Institutional examinations are the equivalent of the comprehensive final examination for the courses challenged. ICE's are not available for every course. Check with department chair for availability.

3. Experience in the Armed Forces programs may transfer as credit after evaluation through published guides.

4. Portfolio Assessment awards CPL credits using work and life experiences substantiated through a formal portfolio. The portfolio must demonstrate learning with a theoretical and applied component, be college level, applicable and equivalent to a specific course in your certificate or degree