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Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) allows students to use skills they already have towards a college degree or certificate. Work, life, volunteer and military experience may be translated into credit, allowing you to take fewer classes and earn your degree faster. CPL eliminates redundancies for students who have already earned credentials or mastered skills required for their program of study. 

To be eligible for Credit for Prior Learning you must be a QCC student enrolled in an academic program.Save time and money and complete your degree faster by demonstrating what you already know. Let's get started! Fill out the application below or email careerservices [at] for more information.

Benefits of Credit for Prior Learning:

  • Use industry credentials to help complete your degree faster
  • Receive college credit for military, work, volunteer and life experience
  • Earn your degree faster

Credit for Prior Learning helps:

  • Working Professionals
  • Military Service Members
  • Career Changers
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • Public Safety & First Responders

Start Your Application Today

Types of CPL

Competency Exams

Competency exams are standardized tests offered at testing centers. The College recognizes the following competency exams.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Students may earn college credit for high school AP courses if they take and pass the exam by scoring three or higher on the AP exam, which is administered by the College Board. Download the AP Examinations Information Sheet.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Credit is awarded to students who achieve acceptable scores on the CLEP examinations. You are a good candidate for CLEP if you have acquired substantial knowledge in general education subjects, such as English, Math, History, or Psychology. Download the CLEP information sheet.

DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)

A nationally recognized exam, the DSST subject test is administered through Prometric and covers a wide range of technical business and academic subjects. DSST information sheet.

Challenge Examination

Challenge exams are developed and administered by QCC faculty. If you feel confident that you have mastery over the material, you may be able to challenge a course. Speak to a CPL Specialist to find out if this is an option for you.


Credentialing is the process of awarding academic credit for courses, trainings, workshops, and/or examinations taken outside accredited college programs. QCC students have earned college credit in academic areas including but not limited to; healthcare, automotive, hospitality, computer science, fire science, manufacturing, business, and engineering.

For additional information about Credit for Prior Learning, please email Laura Hunter at lhunter [at]


A portfolio contains a collection of documents and reflective writing that showcases the competencies, formal training, and general knowledge attained through prior work or general life experience. The portfolio is reviewed and evaluated by faculty who verify that the documentation represents learning that is at the college level.

For additional information about Credit for Prior Learning, please email Laura Hunter at lhunter [at]

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