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Credit for Prior Learning

Learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom. It happens through work experience, certifications and licenses you may have for your job. Through speaking another language, pursuing a passion or taking on a caregiver role. At Salt Lake Community College, we meet students where they are in life – and we provide them a pathway to earn college credit for what they already know. If you’ve ever looked at a course syllabus and thought “I can teach this class,” you may be eligible for Credit for Prior Learning.

What is Credit for Prior Learning?

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is college-level learning that has occurred outside of a traditional academic environment. Salt Lake Community College grants students Credit for Prior Learning pending a successful evaluation of their knowledge in alignment with course learning outcomes.

Students admitted and enrolled in courses are eligible to have learning assessed for credit at SLCC. In order to be awarded, CPL must meet the following institutional requirements:

  • Credit for prior learning shall only be awarded for approved, lower-division credit-based courses.
  • Credit for prior learning shall be assessed only for courses approved in current curriculum.
  • Credit for prior learning shall not duplicate previously earned credit.
  • Credit for prior learning shall be recorded on the student’s SLCC transcript as “Credit for Prior Learning.”
  • Credit for prior learning will not count toward full-time status for scholarship purposes nor is CPL eligible for financial aid purposes.
  • Credit for prior learning will count toward the maximum time frame to graduation for federal financial aid purposes.
  • Credit for prior learning is different than college credit transferred to SLCC.


Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Opportunities at SLCC

Industry and Workplace Experience

Certain licenses and evaluated workforce training may qualify for SLCC credit for prior learning (CPL) when aligned with current course offerings. These are developed by faculty who have examined training materials for commonly recurring experiential learning within their area of instruction. When these have been established, other students who present valid documentation of the same experiential learning will receive prior learning credits related to the same course.

Students can complete POST academy training at the SLCC Law Enforcement Academy earning credit for CJ 1910 Special Function Officer and/or CJ 1920 Law Enforcement Officer. Prior Learning credit can be awarded to those who completed their training at another academy and are certified as a Utah Peace Officer.
Students can complete EMT and/or AEMT training at the SLCC Institute of Public Safety earning credit for HSEM 2300 Emergency Medical Technician and/or HSEM 2350 Advanced EMT. Prior Learning credit can be awarded to those who completed their training with another provider and are licensed by the State of Utah.

Credit by Examination

Have you taken a test that qualifies you for SLCC credit, or are you looking to take one? SLCC offers a wide variety of classes and elective credits that can be awarded from your test scores.

SLCC requires official copies of test score results to be processed. Those can be sent to us directly from the test administrator’s website.

Advanced Placement (AP):
SLCC College Board Code: 4864

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
SLCC College Board Code: 4864

International Baccalaureate (IB)

DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
Phone: 1.877.471.9860

Other Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Opportunities

To receive CPL, former military personnel must meet with an academic advisor to discuss applicability of credit to program requirements, possible financial aid implications, and other factors that may impact attainment of the student's educational goals. Military transcripts are required for CPL.

Reach out to our Veterans Services office to begin the process.

Because many students learn language outside the classroom, SLCC’s experiential language credit option allows students to demonstrate language proficiencies and, depending on the respective assessment score, receive college credit.

Math Competency Initiative legislation from 2015 stipulates that institutions in the Utah System of Higher Education will award credit for college-level math competency to students who earn an American College Test (ACT) math score of 26 or higher and for a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) math section score of 660 or higher. At SLCC, we use these scores to fulfill the Quantitative Literacy portion of the General Education program. This will show on a transcript as “ACT/SAT QL Credit, satisfied by ACT/SATQL – Qualifying ACT/SAT score – ACT/SAT for QL”.

Do you have certifications, licensures, or work experience that fit the learning outcomes of a course in your degree program? Whether it’s an OSHA 30 card, an LPN, or 3 years of bakery experience, SLCC knows that what you learned before coming here counts. The Credit for Prior Learning department will be happy to work with you to see if your prior learning can count for SLCC courses.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Process Guides

Why is Credit for Prior Learning important to SLCC student success?

CPL saves students both time and money, and it is an evidence-based practice which increases graduation rates. The Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL) and the Lumina Foundation authored the Fueling the Race to Postsecondary Success study (n = 62,475 students) in 2010. They found that students who completed CPL were 2.5 times more likely to graduate than students who did not, and Latino students were 8 times more likely to graduate when they completed CPL. A subsequent 2020 CAEL and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) PLA Boost study (n = 232,000 students) found that adult students who completed CPL saved an average of nine to 14 months in completing their degree, and CPL students saved between $1,500 and $10,200 in expenses.

Training for Internal CPL Stakeholders