students on Puyallup campus

Understanding Prior Learning Credit

Prior Learning is the knowledge and skills gained through work and life experience. Military training, formal and informal education, training from in-state and out-of-state institutions including foreign institutions, private sector work experience, as well as other life experiences, are all examples of prior learning that might be creditable.

Credit for Prior Learning Options in Washington State

Military Transcript

Assessment of your military transcript for credit is free. Your military transcripts include records of training, and if that training closely matches classes in your program of study, the school might be able to give you credit for that work.

Standardized Tests

Many colleges offer standardized tests to test out of certain classes. Tests such as CLEP or DSST are 100% reimbursable through the VA. AP or IB may qualify for credit as well.

Challenge Exams

You also might see a class listed in your program for which there is no standardized test. If you feel you have knowledge to test out of this class, ask the school if they have or can create a challenge test to allow you to get credit for this class. Appropriate Microsoft or CompTIA certifications may be used to challenge courses.

Portfolio Review

If you have a body of experience and training that you feel might qualify you for additional college credit not covered by the options above, you might consider a Portfolio Review. Some colleges assist students in creating a Portfolio Review, helping them to submit a detailed portfolio of work for possible credit. Depending on the college, this might allow you to earn credit for previous work experience.