Credit for Prior Learning Assessment Presented As Transfer Credit on Official Transcripts

Statement of Policy

Excelsior College awards credit for learning that current and prospective students have obtained through non-traditional sources, including but not limited to non-accredited educational programs, workplace training, professional development activities, certifications, examinations, and portfolio assessment. This policy applies to such credit that appear on an official transcript from regionally accredited schools meeting the criteria of the Recognition of Accredited Institutions Policy and non-regionally accredited schools meeting the criteria of Policy 134 Transferring Credit from Non-Regionally Accredited Schools.

This policy is not in reference to noncredit programs, which must follow the process outlined in the Assessment of Training and Credentials for Credit Policy. Learning experiences evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) or the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), which are covered by Policy 024 -Non-Collegiate Sources of Credit. Military credit posted to a transcript from a regionally accredited institution is accepted as outlined in Policy 046 Military Credit Awarded by Regionally Accredited Colleges. Also, not included are designated proficiency exams covered by the following policies: Proficiency Examinations, Accepting Examination Programs for Credit, Credits for Teaching, Portfolio Assessment, Approved Assessment of Prior Learning Programs, and Review of Military Education and Training Courses and Programs Offered at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC).

The principle underpinning Prior Learning Assessment at Excelsior College is, “what you know is more important than where or how you learned it.” This principle mirrors Excelsior College’s founding philosophy and governs all processes for PLA at the College, which adhere to high federal, state, and accreditation standards. The evaluation of prior learning follows a systematize and consistent process while being student-centered and efficient. The PLA process at Excelsior College is coordinated by the Center for the Assessment of Post-Traditional Instruction, Training, and Learning (CAPITAL).

Students submitting official transcripts from eligible institutions listing credits for prior learning will be considered under this policy. The Director of PLA (CAPITAL), in coordination with a staff member from the Transcript Analysis Center, will conduct a thorough evaluation and approval of the institutions’ prior learning assessment process. Exception to this policy are credits for military training. Students’ requests for transfer of military training credits are coordinated by the Center for Military and Veterans Education as delineated in the Military Credit by Regionally Accredited Colleges Policy.

Excelsior College will not accept transfer credit based on prior learning assessment if it is determined that the originating college has not provided sufficient information to justify applying that credit to the student’s degree program or to permit Excelsior College to classify the credit. Excelsior College may accept transfer credit based on prior learning assessment if supporting documentation provided by the originating school is deemed acceptable according to current federal, state and accreditation standards.

To be considered acceptable credit for prior learning must be transcribed as course analogs with specific course titles included. The credits on the issuing college’s transcript are acceptable if listed as “P”,”CR,” or letter grades.

The College does not accept block credit, with an exception made for the acceptance of block credit for Law Enforcement prior learning. When law enforcement block credit is awarded for prior learning and the student presents additional course work in criminal justice, then the academic evaluator must obtain all relevant syllabi and program materials to ensure that the course work is not duplicative. It is not necessary to implement this policy if the law enforcement academy is listed in the originating college’s catalog as awarding degree applicable credit. Credit from law enforcement academies that are listed in block credit will not be applied toward Criminal Justice degree programs.


(Procedure is not included in the SPH)

When the academic evaluator identifies credit for prior learning when reviewing a student’s transcript, the following steps are taken.

  1. The academic evaluator will determine if the assessed credit for the experience has been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE), the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) or CAPITAL.
    1. If so, the academic evaluator will request the student submit the official documentation for the ACE or NCCRS learning experience as outlined in Policy 024 Non-Collegiate Sources of Credit or the official documentation for the CAPITAL evaluation associated for that evaluation.
    2. If not, the academic evaluator will check with Extra-Institutional Learning (EIL) database to research past evaluation decisions and determine if credit can be awarded.
  2. If there is no record of a past evaluation or the prior evaluation was “limited”, the academic evaluator will commence the review process by obtaining the information and documentation required by the Credit for Prior Learning Request form and will submit the information to the Director of PLA (CAPITAL) for a review.
  3. Upon review, the Director of CAPITAL will communicate the final decision to the academic evaluator.
  4. The academic evaluator will appropriately update the student’s academic record and store the final decision and supporting documentation in the EIL database.

Implementation Schedule

This policy applies to all students who enrolled after April 1988. The procedure applies to any requests for any transcribed credit for prior learning, no matter when the student enrolled.