Earn College Credit for Prior Learning

There are several ways to earn college credit for what you already know.

It's called "prior learning assessment", or PLA, and it can help shorten the amount of time it takes for you to earn a degree and save you money. Many colleges and universities award credit for prior military training, national exams, and professional training that have been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) for college credit. In addition, college courses you have already completed might also be eligible for credit at your new college or university. The function of this page is to help you identify and document that learning. This tool was developed for the VCN with the help of the American Council of Education (ACE), a leader in the PLA field. Also, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), provides LearningCounts.org an online tool to help you prepare a detailed portfolio in just 8 weeks.

Get Started

To begin the prior learning assessment process, click on one of the above tabs -- College Courses, Military Training, Professional Training, and National Exams - and enter the information requested. After you have completed entering all the information about your prior learning under the tab, move to the next tab. The result of completing this process will be a personalized Learning Inventory. To review your Learning Inventory, click on the Review Inventory tab.

To apply for credit for prior learning, you need to meet with an academic advisor. The college's admissions office can help you find the right person to meet with. Completing your VCN Learning Inventory will help you gather the information you need to bring along when you meet with that advisor. To see what a completed Learning Inventory looks like, click here.

Note: Remember that each college determines how your prior learning might apply to a specific degree program.

Prior Learning Tools