Credit for What You Know

Credit for What You Know, also known as Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), is a tool that the Community College of Philadelphia uses to help students gain course credit for any experiences, skills or knowledge gained through classes, independent learning or through employment and/or training, including:

  • Workplace training
  • Military training and service
  • Independent study
  • Professional certifications
  • Examinations (national exams such as AP, IB, CLEP, DSST, Excelsior College, and UExcel exams;
    departmental examinations)
  • Civic activities
  • Volunteer services

Assessment Tools

With the help of some assessment tools, the College can evaluate a student’s knowledge and skills they have gained outside the classroom in exchange for appropriate credits. Students gain the benefits of advancing through their program of choice in less time and for less money. In choosing to prove skills and knowledge gained in exchange for credit, students also gain the benefit of awareness of their skills in being able to develop professionally and personally as well as in grasping that learning outside of the classroom has value to colleges and other educational institutions.

We offer the following tools to help get you started to see if you qualify for a prior learning assessment:

Credit Predictor

PLA Accelerator

Not sure if you can earn credit for prior learning? Take this 5-minute assessment for some general information. If it looks like prior learning assessment might be beneficial for you, you might be directed to take the PLA Accelerator.

Take Credit Predictor Quiz

This tool takes about 20-30 minutes to complete and allows you to provide more detailed information about your past experiences that may lead to college credit. Questions may pertain to certifications, foreign languages, course student learning outcomes, etc. Once you have completed the PLA Accelerator, an advisor will be in contact to discuss opportunities for prior learning credit.

Take PLA Accelerator

Ways to Earn College Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment for Veterans

Some of the training and instruction you received in the military may be eligible for college credit.

Refer to PLA for Veterans for more information

Technical Studies Program

Designed for students who seek a degree that recognizes work and experience as part of college learning.

Refer to the Technical Studies page for more information.

College-Level Exam Program

The College-Level Exam Program (CLEP) was created by the College Board to allow students to demonstrate college-level achievement through a series of exams in undergraduate content. All CLEP testing is computer-based and exams are available year-round.

Learn more about CLEP options.

Departmental Challenge Exam

There are many courses that you may challenge by taking a departmental challenge exam. Explore a complete listing of Community College of Philadelphia courses that may be challenged through Departmental Challenge Exams.

Learn more about Departmental Challenge Exams.

Advanced Placement

Students may receive credit for some courses by taking the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exam. Test scores are valid for five (5) years.

View accepted courses for college placement and/or credit.


Career and Technical Education (CTE)

High school students can earn college credit towards their program of study at Community College of Philadelphia. Students must meet with their guidance counselor to review requirements for earning college credit. Visit CollegeTransfer.Net for a listing of approved courses. Completed Students Occupationally and Academically Ready (SOAR) applications must be submitted by the Office of Career and Technical Education at the School District of Philadelphia to for processing.

Learn more about Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Evaluation of Noncredit or Alternative Learning

Professional trainings, experience and certifications may qualify you to earn college credit. Individual portfolios including résumés, transcripts and auditions may be required for assessment of college-level learning. For consideration of course credit, please follow the steps below.

  1. Review the course listing
  2. First-time students or if you have not attended the College within the past two years, complete an admissions application. All other students proceed to step 3.
  3. Email for document submission

*Note: All submissions will require a nonrefundable payment of $159 for evaluation. This fee is based on the tuition rate for one credit hour and is subject to change as rates increase. Payment does not guarantee course credit. Approved course credit will be applied to your academic record within 30 business days.