Academic Credit for Prior Learning

Earn credit for knowledge gained outside of the classroom

What is Academic Credit for Prior Learning?

At CBC, we consider prior learning to be the knowledge and skills you gain through work and life experiences. Things like military service, career experience, and formal and informal education could earn you college credit.


Students outside


Types of Academic Credit for Prior Learning

Experiential Learning credits link prior experiences to the theories, data and skills within a specific discipline. Assessment of prior experiential learning for credit is the responsibility of the faculty. Each department that offers credit for prior experiential learning establishes specific evaluation methods.

The Eligible course list was last updated on February 5, 2024. 

Request credit    Eligible courses

You may request a Course Challenge if you have established a transcript record at CBC and believe that your previous experience has provided you with the competencies essential for passing a course. The Course Challenge may only be completed during the term in which the course is being offered. If you are enrolled in a course for which you wish to challenge, the Course Challenge process must be completed within the first week of the course. Individual departments determine which, if any, of the courses offered may be challenged.

Things to consider:

  • Student must pass the course challenge examination at a 2.0 minimum grade.
  • Credit(s) will be recorded on the transcript with a decimal grade.
  • No grade less than a 2.0 GPA will be recorded on the transcript.

The Eligible course list was last updated on February 5, 2024. 

Request to challenge    Eligible courses

CBC recognizes learning acquired in the military by accepting the credit recommendations of the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. In addition, a student may earn credits awarded by institutions listed in the ACE National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Program and the Directory of the National Program on Non-collegiate Sponsored Instruction, as long as the courses are at the college level.

Only those courses actually listed in these directories which have been approved for a specific period of time and which correspond to the actual time the student completed the course will be acceptable as college credit. Other non-collegiate training will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Credits will be evaluated only from official transcripts requested by the student from the American Council on Education’s Registry of Credit Recommendations from the organization that provided the training. Military credits will be evaluated only from official military documents.  Official military transcripts must be received by the end of the student's second quarter.

A maximum of three Physical Education credits will be awarded for physical conditioning and all other military credit is limited to a 15-credit maximum in the restricted electives for the Associate in Arts and Sciences degree.


A score of 50 in a subject examination may earn credit for a specific course and credit. Submit score reports to the Student Records office for evaluation.


A score of 500 may earn credit for a specific course and credit. Submit score reports to the Student Records office for evaluation.



Eligibility & Restrictions

You have to be currently enrolled at CBC and have established an academic record before credits will be awarded. This means that you must first earn credits at CBC before you can be awarded credits for prior learning.

You must have an academic record of at least 15 credits with a 2.0 GPA or better.
  • Credits may only be awarded if the learning experiences fall within the courses CBC offers.
  • Prior learning credits cannot duplicate credits already awarded.
  • One-fourth of the total credits required for a CBC Associate in Arts and Sciences degree, Associate in Science-Transfer degree, Associate in Applied Science degree or certificate may be earned through the prior learning process.
  • Prior learning credits do not count toward the minimum residency requirement.
  • With the exception of course challenge, for which a decimal grade is awarded, credits for prior learning will be recorded with a “P” grade.
  • A non-refundable fee per each credit must be paid for the experiential learning and course challenge assessment.


Students walking around CBC's Pasco campus