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What is Credit for Prior Learning?


Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) may be awarded for prior experience or prior learning only for individually identified courses with subject matter similar to that of the individual’s prior learning, and only for a course listed in the catalog of the community college.


  • District faculty who normally teach the course for which an individual seeks CPL, in conjunction with the corresponding department chair, retain sole discretion to determine whether, in general:

    • To consider requests for CPL for the course,
    • Whether to award CPL to the individual for the course,
    • The type(s) of assessment(s) that may be used,
    • The content of the assessment(s).

    The following methods of assessment may be used to award CPL:

    • AP, IB, CLEP
    • Joint Services Transcripts.
    • Portfolios.
    • Industry-recognized documentation.
    • Other standardized exams.
    • Satisfactory completion of approved noncredit course(s) with an equated credit course(s).
    • Credit by satisfactory completion of an examination or assessment administered by the College faculty in lieu of completing a course listed in the college catalog.
    • The faculty may accept an examination or assessment conducted by an institution other than College of the Canyons.


    On an annual basis, the Office of Instruction will ask that department chairs transmit a list of courses for which a department will consider awarding CPL through an assessment(s) other than AP, CLEP, or IB.

    To promote consistent, transparent, and equitable evaluation of an assessment submitted for CPL, each department must create and maintain in its files a rubric, evaluation instrument, or predefined standard, as appropriate for a given assessment, for each CPL-eligible course. The lack of such an instrument, however, shall not preclude an award of CPL in a particular case if equitable and appropriate.

  • To be eligible for CPL, an individual must:

    • Be registered at the college in at least one unit or noncredit course.
    • Be in good standing or have no standing.
    • Request CPL for a course listed in the District’s current course catalog.
    • Be eligible to take the particular course for which CPL is requested for
      credit in terms of any prerequisites and other enrollment requirements.
    • Have paid CPL fees prior to completing the assessment. Fees are nonrefundable.
    • Not be currently enrolled in the course for which they request CPL.
    • Not have requested CPL for the same course previously at the District
      (although the individual may enroll in the course in a future term for
      credit if the CPL assessment produced a substandard grade of D, F, or
    • Petitions for CPL in approved courses must be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office before fifty percent (50%) of the term is complete.


    Courses approved for CPL:  2023 - 2024 Academic Year

    Departments may consider an award of CPL for courses not appearing on this list. 
    • Art:  ART 125A and ART 140
    • Architecture:  all classes
    • Construction Management:  all classes
    • Construction Technology:  all classes
    • Culinary Arts:  CULARTS 050 and 055
    • Engineering:  ENGR 110 and 114
    • Fire Technology: FIRETC 101
    • Hotel & Restaurant Management:  HRMGT 150, 210, 220, 235, and 245 
    • Interior Design:  all classes
    • Land Surveying:  all classes
    • Modern Languages:  all courses in all language programs
    • Music:  all classes
    • Sign Language:  SIGN 101, 102 and 103
    • Water Systems Technology:  all classes

    Students may accept, decline, or appeal the decisions related to the

    award of CPL credit.

    • To appeal the grade, students must follow requirements described in the Grade Review Policy (BP 5533) and utilize the Grade Review Petition found on the Student Services website.
    • A student must decline or appeal the award of CPL credit before the District posts the grade to the student’s transcript.
    • Once the grade is posted to the student’s transcript, the student may no longer decline or appeal the grade.
    • To decline the CPL credit, the student must indicate as much on the Credit for Prior Learning form that must be sent to the Office of Admissions and Records.


    Units earned by CPL:

    • Shall not be considered as units completed in residence towards a certificate or degree.
    • Shall not be used for enrollment verification or reports to insurance companies or other similar agencies.
    • May count toward major or general education coursework for the associate degree or certificate or as elective units.
    • Are inapplicable toward satisfaction of such unit load requirements as Selective Service deferment, Veteran's or Social Security benefits and/or Financial Aid.
    • Shall be clearly annotated on the student's academic record to reflect that it was earned as CPL.
  • To receive CPL credit, a student must submit one of the following to the Office of Admissions
    and Records:

    • The Advanced Placement (AP) score through official high school transcript or from the College Board.
    • The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) official record.
    • The International Baccalaureate (IB) program official record.
    • The Joint Services Transcripts. Veteran students will be informed of the CPL policy.
    • For all other forms of assessment, the Credit for Prior Learning Form (“CPL Form”) will be used.
      • The CPL Form will be initiated by the student.
        1. The student will first meet with a counselor to determine if CPL aligns with their educational plan.
        2. After discussion with a counselor, the student will meet with a discipline faculty member. The faculty member will discuss the merits of CPL with the student and explain the assessment instrument used to determine course credit.
        3. If the student determines they want to move forward with CPL, the student must ensure that the faculty member who approved administration of the assessment informs Admissions and Records.
        4. CPL may only be awarded for a course listed in the District’s current course catalog.
        5. Petitions for CPL in approved courses must be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office before fifty percent (50%) of the term is complete.
        6. Admissions and Records will charge the student the CPL fee.
        7. The student must submit the CPL Form to the Student Business Office and pay for the CPL fee, equated to the enrollment fee per unit, prior to assessment.
        8. The student will then submit the CPL Form to the discipline faculty administering the assessment.
        9. Once the assessment is complete, the faculty member will inform the student of the grade earned.
        10. The student will indicate their acceptance, decline, or appeal on the CPL Form prior to its submission to the Admissions and Records office.
        11. The faculty will forward the final CPL Form to the Admissions and Records
    • CPL can help you save time and money on your educational path. Students can now get credit for a course instead of just waiving a prerequisite.
    • Each CPL eligible course will have different methods of assessment. These methods include:

      • Military Transcript
      • Credit by Exam
      • Portfolio Review
      • Industry Certification/Accreditation or License
      • AP, IB, CLEP
    • Check out our CPL Course List on the "For Students" section above

      If you have prior learning experience that you feel would qualify for CPL, but you don't see the discipline or course in our list, please email

    • There is no cost for CPL?????
    • Contact a CPL Counselor or set up a “CPL counseling appointment" by clicking here.
    • For students interested in CPL, please contact a CPL Counselor or set up a “CPL counseling appointment" by clicking here.

      Military/Veteran Students: Please follow the steps on the Veterans Resource Center Website to send your official military transcripts to College of the Canyons.

    • To be eligible, you must be registered at the college in at least one unit or noncredit course.

    • If you are a High School student and interested in High School Articulation Credit by Exam, please go to our XXXXX for more information on how to earn those credits.