What is Credit for Prior Learning or CPL?
Credit for Prior Learning or CPL is college credit that can be awarded for skills and knowledge gained outside of a traditional classroom. Many of our students come to us with years of life, work, and military experience. You can save time and money as you pursue your degree by earning credit for learning gained through that experience.
Why earn credit for prior learning?
- Save time. Across the nation, associate degree graduates with CPL have saved an average of between 1.5 and 4.5 months in earning their degree.
- Save money. Compare the cost: CPL course at NWTC is $50 or $90; a three-credit NWTC course will cost over $400 in tuition, not including textbooks and other applicable fees.
- See success. While individual results vary, CPL students in general are more likely to graduate than students who do not earn CPL.
Who is eligible for CPL?
The best way to find out whether you will be eligible for CPL is to connect with NWTC Credit for Prior Learning advisor.
Simply fill out a consultation request form and our CPL advisor will get in touch with you. The consultation can take place in-person or over-the-phone.
You can also visit the eligibility requirements page.
How is experiential learning evaluated by NWTC?
Three methods (types of CPL assessment) are used by NWTC to evaluate experiential learning, learning gained outside the traditional classroom: credit by exam, portfolio, and skills demonstration.
Credit by Exam - $50 fee
Credit by Portfolio - $90 fee
Credit by Skills Demonstration - $90 fee
How can I test out of a class?
Depending on the CPL assessment available, you will be able to test out of a class by completing an exam (NWTC Credit by Exam or standardized national tests), a skills demonstration, or developing a portfolio.
If you are enrolled in a class and you think that you have the knowledge and skills to test-out of it, follow the CPL process for enrolled students.
What is a Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Portfolio?
A Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) portfolio is a method of assessing knowledge and skills that you already have that align to a specific course and course outcomes.
A CPL portfolio is completed online and submitted through Blackboard. You will have 4 weeks to complete a CPL portfolio and gather all required supporting documents (resume, certificates, letters from employer, sample of completed work, etc.). However, a well-structured and comprehensive portfolio might take more than 4 weeks to develop. For this reason, we advise students seeking credit for prior learning with portfolio option to begin the process at least eight weeks prior to the start of the term and paying the CPL portfolio fee.
NWTC credit by portfolio fee is $90.
How to get started with CPL portfolio?
- Find a CPL eligible course and view course outcomes.
- Schedule a CPL consultation.
- If you identified course has a portfolio option, meet with the CPL advisor and request a copy of the portfolio requirements.
- Review the requirements.
- Apply and pay the fee.
- Complete the assessment.
What is a Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Skills Demonstration?
A CPL skills demonstration is a method of assessing knowledge and skills that you already have that align to a specific course and course outcomes. During a skills demonstration you will be asked to perform a task demonstrating your knowledge and skills in a specific area.
NWTC Credit by Skills Demonstration fee is $90.
How much does Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) cost?
- Credit by Exam - $50
- Credit by Portfolio - $90
- Credit by Skills Demonstration - $90
Compare the cost: CPL course at NWTC- $50 or $90; a three-credit NWTC course - $447 (2017-2018 program fees)
Note, the CPL fee is non-refundable; If CPL is not awarded, the fee cannot be applied towards course tuition.