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Prior Learning for Credit

Earn college credit for what you have learned.

Prior Learning Assessment for Credit is a great way to get college credit for your life experience. Save money, save time.

PLA (Prior Learning Assessment for Credit) is a valuable way to get credit toward your degree. If you are interested in getting credit for previous life experience you will need to:

  • Declare a degree or certificate
  • Demonstrate learning which is equivalent to a course needed to meet your goal
  • Continue to work closely with an advisor to determine what courses you need to complete your degree. We don't want you to earn more credit than you need or duplicate any previously-earned credit.

We use established, researched, and validated methods of assessment.

All PLA fees are submitted in the Records Online Payment webpage

Prior Learning Assessment – Fee Matrix

PLA Type

Processing Fee:


Per Credit Hour Awarded:


Proctoring Fee:


No Fees

Challenge Exam





Joint Services Transcript





MOU Certification/Licensure





Non-MOU Certification/Licensure










*Active-Duty Military & Veteran Students: All PLA associated fees are waived except for the proctoring fee*


Ways to Receive Credit for Prior Learning:


Pass a national exam (i.e. CLEP/DSST) or a Challenge Exam (developed by PPCC faculty) to earn credit for a course that satisfies a degree requirement.

National Exam Steps:
1. Consult with the Testing Center on the most current testing matrix to determine which exams are equivalent to a course and the minimum score needed to pass. We do not accept all exam titles.
2. To register to take a CLEP/DSST exam, go to the Testing Center.
3. If you already passed an exam, send us an official transcript (see address below).
Exam Sites Here: CLEP DSST UExcel (Excelsior) AP Exam IB Exam

Pikes Peak Community College Attn: Records Office/ Box C8/ 5675 S. Academy Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Questions? Email:

Challenge Exams:

Challenge Exams are institutional exams developed by faculty. They assess a student’s mastery of the competencies required for the CCNS course being challenged. Challenge exams are typically the equivalent of a comprehensive final exam and may include a skills demonstration. These exams are distinct from Portfolios in that they only require an exam and demonstration and do not require the student to document work or other learning experience. These exams (when passed) also count as institutional credit and towards the HLC residency requirement.

A student must pass with a “C” grade or better. The only exception to this is that some technical or licensure accrediting bodies may require a “B” grade or better for certification. Exams can be administered by either the PPCC Testing Center, the Faculty member, or an approved proctoring site.

If you would like to complete a Challenge Exam, please fill out the PLA Student Agreement Form for Challenge Exams



Create a portfolio of documents that describe your learning, request course credit, and provide supporting documentation. Your portfolio is evaluated by a faculty member who is a subject-matter expert. See the PLA Portfolio Student Handbook for guidance. 

Portfolio Steps:

1. Identify the courses in your degree plan that you would like to petition for credit. Search for the course description and competencies on the Common Course Numbering System
2. Meet with a faculty member in the identified subject to determine what artifacts would be needed to prove competency.
3. Assemble your portfolio.
4. Turn the portfolio in to Enrollment Services along with the Portfolio Student Agreement Form for payment and review. Students should submit copies of their documentation. Keep the originals.
5. Watch your student email account for the results.


Questions? Email 

Workplace Training/Certificate (Published Guides)

American Council on Education (ACE) ACE National Guide
National College Credit Recommendation Service NCCRS

Use a Published Guide (ACE/NCCRS) to request credit for workplace training and certifications. The courses are evaluated by teams of national subject-matter experts who write a credit recommendation. PPCC subject-matter faculty will review the ACE/NCCRS recommendations to determine if there is a course equivalent.

Published Guide Steps:
1. Determine if your training has been evaluated (go to ACE or NCCRS) and may help to satisfy one of your degree plan requirements.
2. Contact for your next steps.

Some workplace training, certificates and licensures have been previously evaluated so there is an established credit equivalency. Use the PLA Student Agreement Form for Industry Certification/Workplace Training to submit documentation for PLA credit. If your workplace training certificates and licensures are not included on the MOU PLA agreement then please submit the PLA Student Agreement-Non MOU Industry Certification or Professional Licensure form.

Military Transcripts

Have your Joint Services Transcript (JST) or Community College of the Air Force Transcript (CCAF) evaluated. The American Council on Education's (ACE) Military Guide provides college credit recommendations for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Active Duty


1. Set up your tuition assistance (TA) through GoArmyEd. If you’re not using TA, email to request a JST evaluation.
2. Enroll in 6+ credit hours with PPCC.
3. Verify that your GoArmyEd and PPCC degrees match.
4. Order official transcripts from any previous colleges you have attended  ​​​​​​

Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard

1. Email to request a JST evaluation. You do not need to order your JST.
2. Watch your student email account for the results.

Air Force

1. Order your CCAF transcript sent to PPCC.
2. Watch your student email account for the results.



1. Submit your VA Benefits Certification Form
2. Separated Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard: Watch your student email account for the results of your JST evaluation. Turnaround timeframe is one semester. You do not need to order your JST.
3. Separated Air Force: Order an official copy of your Community College of the Air Force transcript sent to PPCC.

* Not using military education benefits? Email to request a JST evaluation. You do not need to order your JST.

Questions? Email or

We value all of your service. All of your learning is valuable. However, some of your learning from military service (occupation and training), when evaluated, may or may not be the equivalent of 1) a college-level course and 2) a course required on your declared degree or certificate. If you decide to change your course of study, your transcripts may need to be re-evaluated.

Student Agreement Forms & Handout

Handout: PLA-C At-A-Glance 

For more information about Prior Learning Assessment, please review the Prior Learning Assessment Credit Manual.