Credit by Examination

(BP/AP4235 Credit for Prior Learning)

Students may demonstrate proficiency in a course eligible for Credit for Prior Learning and receive college credit through the approved alternative methods for awarding credit listed below:

  • Achievement of a score of 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement Examination administered by the College Entrance Examination Board.
  • Achievement of a score that qualifies for credit by examination in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
  • Evaluation of joint service transcript (JST) that considers the credit recommendations of the American Council on Education pursuant to Education Code 66025.71.
  • Evaluation of industry-recognized credential documentation.
  • Evaluation of student-created portfolios.
  • Credit by satisfactory completion of an examination administered by the college in lieu of completion of a course listed in the college catalog.
  • Achievement of an examination administered by other agencies approved by the college.
  • Assessment approved or conducted by proper authorities of the college.

Determination of Eligibility for Credit for Prior Learning:

  • The student must be currently registered in the college and in good standing.
  • The student must have previously earned credit or noncredit from the college or be currently registered in the college.
  • Current students must have an education plan on file.
  • The student is not currently enrolled in the course to be challenged.
  • Credit by Examination: The student is registered in the college and not currently enrolled in nor received credit for a more advanced course in the same subject (may be waived by discipline faculty). The determination to offer credit by examination rests solely on the discretion of the discipline faculty.

Credits acquired by examination shall not be counted in determining the 12 semester hours of credit in residence required for an associate's degree.

  • A fee may be charged for administering an examination provided that the fee does not exceed the enrollment fee which would be associated with enrollment in the course for which the student seeks credit by examination.
  • The student’s academic record shall be clearly annotated to reflect that credit was earned by assessment of prior learning.

Upon a student’s demonstration of sufficient mastery through an examination or assessment, an award of credit should be made, if possible, to:

  • California Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC),
  • California State University General Education (CSUGE) Breadth,
  • The college’s general education requirements or requirements for a student’s chose program, or
  • Electives for students who do not require additional general education or program credits to meet their goals.

Grading shall be according to the regular grading system approved by the governing board, except that students shall be offered a “pass-no pass” option if that option is ordinarily available for the course.

The SBCCD Board of Trustees will review the credit for prior learning policy every three years and report the findings to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office that include the following:

  • The number of students who received credit for prior learning,
  • The number of credits awarded per student,
  • Retention and persistence rates of students earning credit for prior learning,
  • Completion data (for certificate, degree, and transfer) for students earning credit for prior learning, and
  • Qualitative assessments by students of the policies and procedures.

An application for Credit-By-Examination is available in the Admissions and Records Office (AD/SS 100). In addition to paying an enrollment fee based on the number of units in the course that is being challenged, there is an additional $20 processing fee, which is applied to all credit-by-examination applications. (Note: all students, including those with the Board of Governor fee waivers, must pay the processing fee and enrollment fee based on units when applying for credit-by-examination.)

Once the application has been approved by the administrator and the necessary fees have been paid, the instructor may administer the examination and submit the grade earned. Grades will be consistent with the grading systems established by the college and will be submitted by the Division to the Admissions and Records Office by the end of the semester in which the examination is completed. The student’s transcript will contain a notation that indicates that the credit was earned by examination. Any grades earned through credit-by-examination will not be counted in determining the twelve (12) semester units of credit in residence required for graduation from the college. Upon completion, a notification will be sent to your Valley College email. Financial aid is not available for credit by examination.