Credit for prior learning (CPL) is credit awarded for validated college-level skills and knowledge gained outside a college classroom—it’s a strategy to grant students credit for what they already know and can do. Across the nation, individual institutions and systems of higher education are implementing comprehensive CPL practices to help working adults reskill and achieve quality credentials that increase their economic mobility.

Check out the CPL Materials and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Credit for Prior Learning defined in Title 5?

On September 16, 2019, the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges approved a revision to Title 5, Section 55050 that redesigns how students at California Community Colleges receive credit for prior learning. The new regulation aims to make the process more consistent and equitable for students who come to community colleges with college-level skills and knowledge acquired in a variety of non-classroom settings.

What are some of the benefits of Credit for Prior Learning?

Research suggests that CPL benefits students and colleges by increasing completion and closing achievement gaps. In California, this means CPL can help the system achieve the goals outlined in the Vision for Success and increase college funding through improving measures on the Student Centered Funding Formula metrics.

What is the Peralta Community College District policy on Credit for Prior Learning?

Policy AP4235 Credit for Prior Learning is a great resource to learn more about the different methods of assessment that Palomar accepts for Credit for Prior Learning.

  • AP - Advanced Placement
  • IB - International Baccalaureate
  • CLEP - College Level Examination Program
  • Military Service/Training
  • Industry Recognized Credentials
  • Student-Centered Portfolio Assessment
  • Credit by Examination from Within the District
Is there a cost to students for Credit for Prior Learning?

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. NOTE: This CBE cost is not covered by the Peralta Promise. Units acquired by examination might not be applicable to meeting such unit load requirements as Selective Service deferment, Veteran’s Benefits, or Social Security Benefits. Advise students to contact CPL Lead Heather Sisneros at to set up a CPL Counseling appointment. 

Title 5:  (CCR, tit. 5, § 55050 (i)) A district may charge a student a fee for administering an examination pursuant to this section, provided 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 (CCR, tit. 5, § 55050 (i)). [The use of the term “examination” draws a distinction between Credit by Examination and other methods of prior learning assessments. While districts may charge a fee for examinations, districts should keep student equity in mind when determining fees and ensure earning CPL does not place an undue financial burden on students or limit access to CPL].

What steps do I need to take to make my course CPL eligible?

Congrats on taking the first step to making your course CPL eligible, and helping your students earn credit for the knowledge and skills they may have gained through experiences such as military training, industry training, state/federal government training, volunteer and civic activities (e.g. Peace Corps), apprenticeships, internships, work-based learning or other industry-based experiential learning!

Please review the website and resources to familiarize yourself with CPL. Once you are ready to make your course eligible for CPL, follow the Faculty CPL Eligibility checklist.
What does a sample Portfolio Assessment Rubric look like?

Create a portfolio rubric with this template:  PC CPL RUBRIC final

Who do I contact for more information?

Contact the District CPL Faculty Lead, Heather Sisneros, at or the District CPL Military Liason, Terrance Greene, at