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Earning Credit for What You Already Know

How to Earn College Credit for What You Already Know

Earn Credit for What
You Know

See if You Can Earn Credit for What You Already Know »

Take our self-assessment to learn if you are a good match for earning credit for college-level knowledge you have acquired outside the classroom through prior learning assessment.
Testing (TECEP®)
This is the University’s own credit-by-exam program. Students can earn credit by taking a final exam without taking a course. The University also accepts credit earned from other testing programs, such as CLEP and DSST.
Portfolio Assessment
Many adult students are surprised to find that they come to Thomas Edison State University with knowledge in multiple subject areas that they can apply toward their undergraduate degrees. There are several options for developing a portfolio that can help you earn college credit. The best way is to take PLA-100 (Introduction to Prior Learning Assessment) and PLA-200 (Introduction to Portfolio Assessment), in which students learn about the options for getting their learning assessed, as well as how to develop a portfolio for undergraduate credit.
Graduate Level Prior Learning Assessment (Grad PLA)
Graduate level prior learning assessment allows graduate students the opportunity to earn graduate credit for graduate level knowledge acquired through work, through corporate, military or industry training, through workforce development programs, in-depth professional research and other learning experiences.
Licenses & Certifications
Students may earn credit if they possess one of more than 60 licenses and certifications in a wide range of fields, from aviation and healthcare to law enforcement and business. Licenses and/or certifications must be current and valid.
Military Training
Students with military experience may earn credit, depending on the military training documented in Joint Service Transcripts (JST), transcripts from the Community College of the Air Force and the Coast Guard Institute or, for service members who left the military before 1986, a DD-214 form.
Professional Training
Students may earn credit for professional training programs they have completed that have been evaluated by the University's Office for Assessment of Professional and Workplace Learning, a member of the Consortium for the Assessment of College Equivalency (CACE), the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service or the National College Credit Recommendation Service.
Open Course Option
This option enables students to take open, online courses offered by the Saylor Foundation at no cost and then apply what they learned in those open courses by successfully completing a portfolio assessment, TECEP® exam or other credit-by-exam program aligned with the open course.

At Thomas Edison State University, what matters is that you possess that college-level knowledge – no matter how you acquired it.

Learn more about earning credit at Thomas Edison State University

Is PLA Right for You?

Take our self-assessment »

Transfer Your Credit

Have you attended college before? If so, you may be able to transfer credits earned at other regionally accredited colleges or universities. The University also offers a variety of other ways to earn credit – all designed around the needs of adult learners, like you.

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