What is Credit for Prior Learning?

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is college credit awarded for validated college-level skills and knowledge gained outside of a college classroom. Students’ knowledge and skills might be gained through experiences such as:

  • Military training
  • Industry training
  • State/federal government training
  • Apprenticeships, internships, work-based learning, or other industry-based experiential learning
  • Validated volunteer and civic activities (e.g. Peace Corps)

This CPL definition does not include knowledge and skills already assessed and awarded credit through formal education at regionally accredited in-state and out-of-state institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How can Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) help me?
CPL can help you save time and money on your educational path. Students can now get credit for a course instead of just waiving a prerequisite.
Who qualifies for CPL?
Students who hold industry credentials and certifications are graduates of service academies were trained for military occupations, or have work experience that can be demonstrated through an exam or portfolio review may qualify for credit for prior learning
How do I demonstrate that I have prior learning?

Each CPL eligible course will have different methods of assessment. These methods include:

  • Military Transcript
  • Credit by Exam
  • Portfolio Review
  • Industry Certification/Accreditation or License
  • AP, IB, CLEP
What courses in the Peralta Community College District are currently eligible for Credit for Prior Learning?

Check out our CPL Course List!

If you have prior learning experience that you feel would qualify for CPL, but you don't see the discipline or course in our list, please email cpl@peralta.edu

We are still building our CPL database and will reach out to our faculty on your behalf to see if CPL is a good fit!

Does CPL cost anything?

There is no cost for CPL, except for the Credit By Exam assessment method. Credit earned through the other assessments methods listed above are free to the student.

The Credit By Exam (CBE) cost is current tuition rates per unit for in-state, out-of-state, or international students depending on your student status. Click here to see the current Tuition and Fees. 

So for example, if the CBE course is a 4-unit course, and you are an in-state resident, you will pay the in-state "enrollment" rate x 4 units.

If you are an out-of-state or international student, you will pay the "enrollment" rate plus the "tuition" rate x 4 units.

NOTE: This CBE cost is not covered by the Peralta Promise. Units acquired via examination might not be applicable to meeting such unit load requirements as Selective Service deferment, Veteran’s Benefits, or Social Security Benefits.

For more information, contact Heather Sisneros at cpl@peralta.edu.

What if I have experience in a discipline or industry that is not listed above that I think I might qualify as CPL?

Contact Heather Sisneros CPL Lead at hsisneros@peralta.edu

What is my next step to find out more about CPL and see if I qualify?

For students interested in CPL, contact Heather Sisneros at hsisneros@peralta.edu

For faculty and staff interested in learning more about CPL and potential opportunities for students within your disciplines, contact Heather Sisneros District CPL Faculty Lead, at hsisneros@peralta.edu.

Military students - follow the steps on your local college’s Veterans Services website to send your official military transcripts to Peralta. You may also contact Terrance Greene, CPL Military Lead, at tgreene@peralta.edu

Berkeley City College Veteran Resource Center

College of Alameda Veteran Resource Center

Laney College Veteran Resource Center 

Merritt College Veterans Services 


How do I apply for CPL using the CPL Petition Form?

To begin, contact Heather Sisneros, our District CPL Faculty Lead, at hsisneros@peralta.edu to set up a meeting with a counselor.

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