Developing a Credit for Prior Learning Program

System-Wide Strategies for Program Creation, Operations, and Recruitment

Topics: Student Retention and Success, Prior Learning Assessment, Academic Affairs


Credit for prior learning programs help students complete degrees more quickly and for less money. This report addresses the challenges of scaling up a credit for prior learning program at the university system level, and explores the delineation of responsibilities between system staff and institutional staff.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. System-wide credit for prior learning policies standardize prior learning assessment methods and transcription; individual campuses maintain authority over credit approval.

    2. Systems mandate documentation of credit from faculty-assessed credit for prior learning as transfer credit on a student's transcript.

    3. Adult students in credit for prior learning programs graduate more frequently than students in traditional programs.

    3. Individual institutions centralize credit for prior learning program operations in an office within academic affairs.

Download the Report