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Frequently Asked Questions about CPL

What options are there for Credit for Prior Learning?

There is one nationally recognized testing system available called CLEP. Also, available at UW Oshkosh is the Credit for Prior Learning portfolio. You can choose either of these options. Check with the UW Oshkosh Testing Services office to find out what tests are available. For the portfolio option, contact Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement at (920) 424-0234, or email

What is CLEP?

There are more than 20 exams UW Oshkosh currently accepts. Any high school or college student, or other person, who feels he/she has the required knowledge of these areas, may take these tests.

Tests are given at many colleges and universities, with students who successfully complete the exams requesting credit at the college level.  Credits accepted for CLEP exams at UW Oshkosh are listed at the back of the UW Oshkosh Undergraduate Bulletin, or online

Each college determines acceptable passing scores and course credit for that institution. We advise college students meet with their academic adviser prior to taking these exams.

Test dates are on selected Tuesdays each month. Upon receipt of your registration form and registration fee, Testing Services will contact you to reserve an exam appointment or to arrange an alternate testing date.

What Is Credit for Prior Learning through portfolio?

A learning portfolio is a formal written document that identifies the knowledge and skill acquired through non-formal learning, and provides evidence to support a request for credit.

Credit for Prior Learning is not granted for the experience itself, but for the verifiable learning outcomes which grew out of the experience. It should primarily be awarded to returning adult students (i.e., those students who have been out of school for a period of five years or more). This credit can be granted for demonstrated learning that results from life experiences (e.g., employment, volunteer work, community service, travel, military service).

The student's learning should relate to a particular field of study at UW Oshkosh, and reflect a balance of theoretical and practical learning appropriate to the subject matter. The learning which occurred as a result of these experiences must be validated in accordance with this policy to ensure it is equivalent to that acquired at the college level in terms of quality and outcomes.

What is a portfolio?

The portfolio is a formal written document that identifies the knowledge and skills acquired as a result of non-university learning experiences and provides evidence to support these claims.

Students wishing to apply for credit using the portfolio option must, with consent of instructor, enroll in Assessment of Prior Learning (Interdisciplinary Studies145). The course will help students analyze their learning through life experience and establish guidelines for portfolio construction.

How long does the portfolio take to complete?

Portfolio sections can take as much time as you like, as long as you are a student and are currently enrolled. They must be submitted after enrollment in INTRDSCP 145 and before your senior year.

Is there a limit to the number of credits that can be earned?

The University will grant a maximum of 24 credits for prior learning through portfolio assessment. Credit for Prior Learning may not be applied to courses in which a student has already earned a grade. Students will receive a pass or fail, no letter grade.

What are the requirements for Credit for Prior Learning by Portfolio?

To qualify for credit for prior learning by Portfolio, the student must:

    • Be enrolled as a student at UW Oshkosh

    • Be an undergraduate student in good standing

    • Enroll in INTRDSCP 145

    • Submit portfolio sections for each course that student is seeking credit for

    • Submit before senior year

How will the Credit for Prior Learning options save me time and money?

Taking the INTRDSP 145 class and doing the portfolio does save time when you look at the amount of actual class time for each class you are seeking credit for.

When you compare the cost per credit and the portfolio option, the portfolio option is more cost effective. You save time by reducing the number of classes you have to fit into your schedule.

How much does the Credit for Prior Learning Portfolio cost?

The cost for the portfolio is $95 per evaluation. Cost is subject to change, for current cost contact Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement at (920) 424-0234, or email

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