Prior Learning Assessment is a cost-effective and time saving approach to earning credits toward a college degree. The Vermont State Colleges offer students excellent and convenient options to request credit for college-level learning and experience gained through work and training, military or community service, online or individual study. This is an especially appealing option for adult learners and continuing educations students. No matter which option is right for you, you can save time and money and graduate earlier by having your prior learning assessed for credit!
The VSC Office of External Programs provides five prior learning assessment options:
- Credit by Exam: As a Vermont State Colleges student or member of the military, you can take C.L.E.P. or D.S.S.T. tests to receive three to six credits for specific subjects. Check www.clep.org or www.getcollegecredit.com for test subjects. Tests are administered at the prior learning assessment office in Montpelier. The testing fee is $135. Results are available immediately.
- Course Challenges: At the Community College of Vermont, you can obtain credits by demonstrating your mastery of the course objectives of a specific CCV course. You can complete the process within 60 days or faster. Advisor permission is required to apply for a course challenge. The cost is much less than tuition: the fee to challenge a three-credit course is $239 – equivalent to the cost of one credit.
- Assessment of Prior Learning (EDU 1240): This three-credit, semester-long course focuses on the creation of a portfolio that describes and documents your prior learning in a variety of academic subject areas. Credit requests are not limited. The course is available at CCV centers and as a hybrid/online class. You pay only the three credit course tuition and a one-time assessment fee of $300. The portfolio review is completed the following semester. Awarded credits are free!
- Focused Portfolio Development (EDU 1225): This one credit course helps you create a portfolio which describes and documents your prior learning in one specific academic subject area. The class meets six times. You may request up to 16 credits in one academic field. The course is available at CCV centers or online. You pay the one-credit tuition and a one-time $225 assessment fee. Focused portfolios are evaluated within 30 days. Awarded credits are free!
- Education and Training Evaluation Service: As a separate option, The Office of External Programs, by request, can evaluate organizational training programs for college credit equivalency. Interested organizations may contact the Office of External Programs for details on the cost and evaluation process of an E.T.E.S review. Students who wish to request an E.T.E.S. transcript should contact the organization where the training occurred and may email email@example.com if they do not have the contact information.
Still not sure which option is right for you? Take our PLA Questionnaire.
Ask a CCV Advisor, contact the Prior Learning Assessment Office at 802-828-4064 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or attend a free information session. Information sessions are frequently offered either at CCV academic centers or through webinars.
Alumni of the Assessment of Prior Learning or Focused Portfolio programs should use this special request form to transfer those credits earned.