Credit for Prior Learning

Alverno's Credit for Prior Learning program gives you the opportunity to earn credit towards your degree. This could help you save money and time, and shorten your time to graduation by not having to take some classes for which you already have the necessary knowledge. 

To earn credit for prior learning, you must be enrolled at Alverno. Also, you have to provide evidence that you have met learning outcomes for specific courses through comparable knowledge and experiences outside the classroom.

Previous courses and work sometimes qualify you to take an assessment in an effort to receive credit for a course or a series of courses. If you are notified of this eligibility, you may contact the Assessment & Outreach Center to complete the assessment. 

The following is a list of the current initial assessments available through the Credit for Prior Learning program:

  • CM-120 / GECM-135 Communication Seminar I
  • GEQL-160 Mathematical Connections
  • QL-122 / GEQL-130 Quantitative Literacy in the Modern World
  • QL-156 Mathematical Connections
  • SC-118 Science I 
  • SC-119 Foundations of Chemistry
  • SC-120 Foundations of Biology
  • SLC-100 Spanish Language Placement Assessment
  • SPI-100 Spanish/English Healthcare Interpretation Bilingual Proficiency Assessment

Brief Overview of CPL Process for Students

August, 2016

This process applies to Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) assessments that are not intended for initial class placement purposes. 

Start the CPL Process

1. Student learns about CPL process via: a. Assessment Center website and information sessions b. Faculty referral c. Admissions d. Advising e. Adult Evening Online program Orientation Session

2. Student completes the Student Interest Form that can be accessed on the Assessment Center website: If a faculty member has been in discussion with a student about a particular CPL assessment or portfolio, that faculty can choose to start the CPL process by completing a Faculty Referral Form.

3. Completed form should be submitted to the Assessment Center office or at

4. When the Assessment Center receives a completed Student Interest Form: a. A CPL coach will contact the student to gather more information such as a resume and/or list of courses the student thinks will fit her/his experience. b. The coach will ask faculty for a decision regarding eligibility of the student to pursue CPL.

Establish the Criteria and CPL Requirements 

5. If faculty agrees that the student should pursue CPL, faculty will determine the criteria for and the form of assessment that should be pursued by the student (e.g., portfolio assessment, course assessment, experiential essay, etc.).

6. Once faculty provide the requirements for the assessment, a CPL coach begins working more specifically with the student. (In a few special cases, faculty will work directly students.) The coach will meet with the student to: a. Explain the portfolio or assessment process b. Help the student create an action plan, including a timeline for submitting work c. Provide appropriate resources for the student d. Continue to assist the student, as needed, during the time the student is working to complete the assessment via the method determined by faculty

7. The student agrees to: a. Communicate proactively with the CPL coach on a consistent, professional basis b. Work with CPL coach to determine a written timeline U:\Assessmt\Credit for Prior Learning\Procedures & Timelines\Brief Overview of CPL Process for Students.docx c. Meet deadlines and expectations. If the timeline needs to be negotiated, the student promptly contacts the CPL coach to adjust the timeline d. Submit her work to the coach for review

Evaluate Student Work

8. Once the student has submitted her work for review, the CPL coach determines whether the work is in an appropriate form to be submitted for evaluation. If so, the coach submits the work (e.g., portfolio, experiential essay, etc.) to the faculty evaluator.

9. Faculty will: a. Assess student work to determine if the student has earned credits. (Faculty members also can request revisions.) b. Complete an Assessor Evaluation Form that contains outcomes, criteria, feedback, and results, and submit it to the Assessment Center with appropriate portions of student work, especially the experiential essay.

10. The CPL coach will communicate the results to the student and to the Registrar’s office 

Fees for Credit for Prior Learning:

$150 per portfolio submitted (a portfolio may address multiple courses; includes experiential essay)

$75 for internal performance assessment/experiential essay assessment

No fee Initial Credit for Prior Learning assessments used primarily for course placement purposes