The Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program provides the opportunity for eligible B.A. students to be awarded academic credits for demonstrating that their knowledge gained outside the classroom matches the learning objectives of one or more courses in their academic program. CPL offers B.A. students three pathways to earn credit awards for their prior learning, which can save them both time and money.

Many adult learners at SLU have significant employment experience, union responsibilities, positions of leadership in the public sector, and/or have non-credit training and certifications. The CPL program guides students through the process of demonstrating and documenting their outside learning to seek the award of college credit for CPL course equivalencies.

Program Requirements


Steve Greenfeld, Ph.D.
CPL Lead

Prior Learning Assessment by Examination

Students have the opportunity to seek academic credit for their prior learning for certain courses and requirements by completing standardized examinations such as CLEP or DSST. Students should always consult their advisor before registering to take any exam to ensure that it fulfills the requirement for a course they need and for which they do not already have academic credit. Minimum passing scores for standardized tests have already been established, and SLU will only grant credit if these scores are achieved. The academic department may also require that students passing the exams further demonstrate a specific learning outcome level. Learn more about earning credit through standardized examinations

Prior Learning Assessment by Non-Collegiate Learning

Credit for non-collegiate learning can be awarded for college-level learning acquired through training, certification, licensure, and/or non-credit coursework if students provide evidence that demonstrates how this non-collegiate learning matches the learning outcomes of a course(s) requirements in the academic plan. Some training programs qualify for a pre-determined amount of academic credits through the American Council on Education (ACE) or the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCR). Consideration of other non-collegial learning is based on the 10 standards of the Consortium for the Assessment of College Equivalence (CACE). Learn more about earning credit through demonstrating non-collegiate learning

Prior Learning Assessment by Portfolio

The Learning Portfolio is an organized collection of evidence that demonstrates the student’s proficiency in the learning outcomes of a course needed in the academic plan. Learning Portfolios are submitted electronically and are evaluated by a trained faculty member with expertise in the course subject. Students who opt for the Portfolio CPL option work directly with the CPL Lead and the Learning Hub and will participate in a one-time Portfolio preparation workshop, seminar, or course, when offered, that includes submission of the first Portfolio. Learn more about earning credit with the portfolio method