3.01 Credit by Examination Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide students with academic credit for previous learning experiences when that student can demonstrate mastery of the material covered in a given course or courses. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) for advanced courses does not negate the requirement to meet requisite learning outcomes. Credit hours will be given identical to the number of credit hours normally assigned to that course at the College.

To be eligible to receive Credit for Prior Learning, students must meet all admission requirements for their program of study and be enrolled in a curriculum program to which the credit will directly apply. The College may only award curriculum credit that is directly applicable to a student’s declared program of study.

Credit for Prior Learning may not be used to fulfill program requirements that are mandatory institutional requirements, such as those required by external agencies. A student must meet a minimum of 21 semester credit hours within the degree program earned in residency at Central Piedmont and other program completion requirements, as specified in Policy 3.11 Program Completion.

If the student demonstrates mastery in the given course, a grade of "X" will be recorded on the transcript. The "X" grade earns no quality points, except for allowances for graded military credit as described in State Board Code 1D SBCCC 800.6.

I. Credit by Standardized Examination

Standardized Examinations such as CLEP, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, DANTES, and Cambridge International are approved assessments. Students who test at an appropriate level can be awarded academic credit for the curriculum course that is mapped to that assessment level. A list of approved assessments and the course equivalents can be found at the Credit for Prior Learning website.

II. Credit by Credential Certifications and Licenses

In cases where the learning outcomes of an industry or governmental board credential align with the learning outcomes of a curriculum course, a student may receive credit for the credential.

Credit may be given for documented and validated credentials. New credentials must be approved by the Academic Affairs Council, as proposed by subject-matter experts, and based upon content and outcomes. An application must be submitted. AAC will review the application for approval. If approved, the certification/credential will be added to the list. Examples of industry-recognized credentials include certifications from recognized third-party and vendor-specific sources. A crosswalk of the approved credentials is published each year in the College Catalog and on the Credit for Prior Learning website.

III. Credit for Articulated Coursework

Students may receive Credit for Prior Learning for academic coursework that has been assessed with documentation from previous experiences. This articulated coursework may come from approved, articulated high school courses and public safety training courses.

IV. Military Training and Education

The College shall award Credit for Prior Learning based on military education and training consistent with the standards adopted by the appropriate State of North Carolina Military Prior Learning Academic Panel.

V. Credit with Challenge Examination

Students who believe they have knowledge and skills which exceed the content taught in a given course may request an assessment from the respective department, in cases when standardized examinations do not exist. Methods to be used may include challenge examinations and assessments such as written exams, oral assessments, performances, and portfolios for life and work experiences. Challenge exams and assessments are subject to approval of the dean and administered by the Testing Center. Challenge exams need to be consistent by course. Portfolios will be evaluated by a committee. A student may only attempt an examination once. Students must pay an examination fee for challenge exams, which may vary based on assessment type. Developmental and supplemental courses and courses including clinical practice are not eligible for challenge exams. Career and College Promise students may participate in challenge exams to earn college credit but may not earn dual high school credit. The College shall award credit for the applicable course to a student who successfully earns a minimum passing grade on the challenge exam, based on the program requirements.

VI. Credit for Apprenticeships

In some instances, the college will consider eligibility for students to receive academic credit for non- credit learning experiences.


Changes approved by the Board of Trustees on May 6, 2020; March 8, 2023

Changes approved by Cabinet on April 16, 2012