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Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

What is Credit for Prior Learning?

Credit for Prior Learning (sometimes called Prior Learning Assessment) is a set of policies and processes for awarding university credit for the knowledge and skills that students bring with them when they first enroll at UW Oshkosh. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is a process for evaluating and rewarding appropriate credit for learning that takes place outside of a college or university setting. This sets it apart from Transfer Credit, in which students transfer credits awarded at another college or university.

CPL can result in the awarding of university credit for learning that takes place

  • within the workplace.
  • through military experience and training.
  • through non-credit education or training.


CPL is not awarded for EXPERIENCE but for college-level LEARNING gauged by an assessment of the knowledge, skills, and competencies resulting from the student’s prior learning experience.

Common Types of Credit for Prior Learning

  1. Advanced Placement – credit awarded based on the student’s score on an Advanced Placement test taken in high school.
  2. Departmental Exams – credit awarded based on a predetermined score on an exam administered by an academic department at UW Oshkosh.
  3. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Exam – credit awarded based on a predetermined score on a nationally recognized CLEP exam.
  4. Portfolio – student develops a portfolio that details knowledge and/or skills gained through work experience and/or any other experience source outside of college or university coursework.
  5. Military Service Experience and Training – credit granted for military training and experience, as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE).
  6. Other ACE Credit Evaluations – In addition to credit recommendations for military training and experience, the American Council on Education (ACE) also provides recommendations for university credit for a variety of other training opportunities offered by the government, non-profit organizations and private companies. Students can search the ACE National Guide here (https://www.acenet.edu/National-Guide/Pages/Seeking-Credit.aspx) to see if any of their previous education or training carries ACE recommendations for credit.
  7. Other training and licensure programs, often administered by a corporation, an industry trade group, or a state or federal agency.

Credit for Prior Learning Policies at UW Oshkosh

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