Credit for Prior Learning
In order to comply with legislative action, Senate Bill 5917 and Senate Bill 5410, the following changes were made to Academic Credit for Prior Learning by the mandated dates:
- Students no longer have to have an academic record at Clark before credits can be awarded. (this formerly appeared under Additional Academic Credit for Prior Learing Policy Information)
- The policy has been expanded to award as many direct credits as reasonably possible and is aligned with State Board recommendations. Additionally credit is now awarded for approved Cambridge International exams.
Legislation passed by the state of Washington requires Clark College to collaborate with the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges in supporting the state goals for credit for prior learning. Clark College is committed to fostering an educated and skilled workforce, which is essential for economic prosperity and meaningful work for the citizens in Clark’s service area. Further, Clark College is dedicated to awarding credit for applicable learning experiences that can help more students complete their training and degree programs sooner by evaluating an individual’s existing knowledge and competencies for college credit.
Academic Credit for Prior Learning, as defined by the Washington State Legislature, is the “knowledge and skills gained through work and life experience; through military training and experience; and through formal and informal education and training from in-state and out-of-state institutions including foreign institutions.” (RCW 28B.77.230). For purposes of this policy, does not include regular credit-bearing courses from regionally accredited institutions of higher education, normally accepted for transfer credit.
Currently, students at Clark may utilize the following types of Prior Learning Assessment through the Academic Credit for Prior Learning (ACPL) Program:
Challenge examinations are sufficiently comprehensive to determine that the student has the same knowledge and skills as those students who enroll in, and successfully complete, the course. Faculty or departments will create these assessments. The assessments can be written, oral, practical demonstration, or some combination thereof.
Students who believe that previous experience has provided them with the competencies essential for passing a course may request to challenge that course. A course challenge process may be used when:
- There is a specific Clark College course for which the student believes that the learning outcomes can be met;
- The course can be challenged (some courses may not be challengeable).
Students wishing to challenge a course may not be currently enrolled in, or previously attempted, the course they wish to challenge, nor may students challenge courses if they have completed a course with a higher degree of difficulty. The successful challenge will appear on the student's transcript within the quarter earned; there will be no transcript entry for an unsuccessful challenge.
For a current list of challengeable courses please contact the Credential Evaluations Office: email@example.com
Knowledge and skills acquired outside the institution and objectively verified through third-party certifications, industry-recognized testing/training, and crosswalks. This category also includes Joint Services Transcripts and American Council on Education (ACE).
Credit may be awarded for documented experiential learning outside the college upon the recommendation of appropriately qualified teaching faculty. Documentation may be in the form of, but not limited to, a licensure or certification document, that demonstrates that learning outcomes have been accomplished.
For a current list of recognized Certification Crosswalks please contact the Credential Evaluations Office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clark College meets the requirements of RCW 28B.10.057 by awarding academic credit for military training. The academic credit awarded for prior military training is granted only for training that is applicable to the student’s degree or certificate requirements. Credits will be conferred based on ACE credit recommendations, in consultation with academic departments. It is recommended that students consult with the Veteran’s Affairs Office to discuss funding implications related to applying military credits to their degree or certificate plan.
The individual must be enrolled in Clark College and have successfully completed any military training course or program as part of the military service that is:
- Recommended for credit by a national higher education association that provides credit recommendations for military training programs;
- Included in the individual’s military transcript issued by any branch of the armed services;
- Documented military training or experience that is substantially equivalent to any course or program offered by the institution of higher education.
For more information regarding our military policy please visit the Military Experience page or contact the Credential Evaluations Office.
Credit by Testing (Includes Cambridge "A" Leval Exam)
Standardized exams provide credit opportunities to students who have already acquired specific knowledge and skills that they would otherwise be acquiring in a college course. This category will be noted on transcripts as awarded for prior learning and includes Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and Cambridge “A” Level Exam.
Cambridge International (CI) Credit
Clark College will grant a minimum elective credit for each Cambridge International Examination for A-level exam with a passing grade of B or above for approved examinations. Credit will be awarded on the basis of official Cambridge International Examination results, not transcript notation. Duplicate credit for the same subject taken on different exams will not be granted. No grades are posted for A-level exams
For more information please contact the Credential Evaluations Office: email@example.com.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Clark College grants non-traditional credit for completion of the College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. AP is a cooperative educational endeavor between secondary schools and colleges and universities. The program provides motivated high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in a high school setting. AP courses are taught by high school teachers, following course guidelines developed and published by the College Board. Students who participate in the program gain college-level skills and also earn college credit.
For the list of AP examinations and their direct equivalencies, please visit the Advanced Placement page.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Clark College grants non-traditional credit for completion of International Baccalaureate examinations. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a rigorous, pre-college course of study for high school students, designed to prepare students for liberal arts education at the college level. The term "international" reflects the availability of the program in several countries.
For more information on IB credits, please visit the International Baccalaureate page.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Clark College awards credit for successful CLEP examinations. An up to date list of subjects and required scores can be found by going to the CLEP page. To be considered for credit, a student must pass the examination with a score of 50 or higher.
For a current list of accepted CLEP exams please visit the CLEP page or contact the Credential Evaluations Office.
Additional Academic Credit for Prior Learning Policy Information
The following restrictions also apply to the awarding of prior learning credits:
Academic Credit for Prior Learning (ACPL) may be awarded for documented experiential learning outside the College upon the recommendation of appropriately qualified teaching faculty. Appropriately qualified faculty hold credentials substantiating their experience, training and degrees commensurate with their designated career and professional areas and disciplines. Documentation may be in the form of, but not limited to, a licensure or certification document, a transcript or a portfolio project that demonstrates that learning outcomes have been accomplished. Experiential learning outside the College may include volunteer and community involvement experiences, military service, cooperative education, work experience, business and industry certifications, and other applicable life experiences.
Credits may only be determined and awarded upon the recommendation of appropriately qualified teaching faculty to ensure that the learning experiences fall within the regular applicable course outcomes of the College.
No more than 25% of degree or certificate requirements can be satisfied by Prior experiential learning credit.
No more than forty-five (45) credits of Academic Credit for Prior Learning can be applied to the Associate of Arts, Associate in Science Tracks 1 & 2, and Bachelor of Applied Science Degrees. No more than sixty (60) credits of Academic Credit for Prior Learning can be applied to Career and Technical Education degrees and certificates.
Prior learning credits will be recorded with an “S” grade.
A non-refundable fee per credit must be paid for prior learning assessments.
Academic Credit for Prior Learning processes, procedures and associated fees will be communicated to potential students through publication on the Clark College Website and in the College catalog.
Clark College will track data on the number of students awarded academic credit for prior learning including, but not limited to: the number of credits awarded, types of assessment methods used, and associated costs to the students. This data, as well as other required information, will be submitted to the Washington Student Achievement Council as required.
Documentation for all Academic Credit for Prior Learning Assessments will be kept in accordance with the Washington Student Achievement Council and state archiving requirements.
For more information regarding the Academic Credit for Prior Learning Program contact the Credential Evaluations Office at (360) 992-2805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.