Earn Credit for What You Already Know

Your industry certifications, military or other professional training and experience, and scores from high school exam programs may qualify you to get college credits before you start taking classes, or allow you to skip certain courses as you progress in your program.

Through a process called Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), students who are enrolled at CCA and have declared a program of study may choose to demonstrate knowledge and skills that match required course competencies and receive college credit for what they know, eliminating the need to take certain classes. Students may request PLA credit for any course listed in the CCA course catalog and will be awarded credit for demonstrating mastery (meet or exceed “C” level work, or “B” level work where required by industry for certification) of the learning outcomes for the course.   

 Different ways to pursue PLA include: 

  • Exams - Exam scores such as from Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, the College Level-Examination Program (CLEP) or a CCA-created exam may count for PLA credits.
  • Portfolio - A portfolio is a personalized set of materials you assemble to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and skills gained through work or community experience.
  • Military or Work-based Training - Boot camp, basic training, officer training school and other military training; training received through work, including apprenticeship programs, may be recognized for college credit.
  • Industry Certifications & Licenses - Current industry certifications and licenses such as OSHA and many in IT fields may be applied directly toward matching courses.

To learn more and explore your credit for prior learning options, visit the sections noted above as well as our frequently asked questions (FAQs). It is always a good idea to talk to your advisor about your academic plans, including transfer and how prior learning credits are handled by receiving institutions. You may also reach out the to department chair for the course for which you want to request credit for additional information and assistance with prior learning options. We are here to help!  

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