Credit for Prior Learning Credit for Prior Learning

The Yosemite Community College District (YCCD), in accordance with  YCCD Board Policy 4235 , will grant credit for prior learning (CPL) experiences for students who satisfactorily pass an authorized assessment. Authorized assessments may include the evaluation of approved external standardized examinations, Joint Services Transcripts, student-created portfolios, industry-recognized credential documentation, and credit by examination.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Options

YCCD allows a student to demonstrate competence in and earn credit for a YCCD course or curricular requirement with evidence of:  

  • A satisfactory score* on an Advanced Placement (AP) examination. YCCD Board Policy 4236: Advanced Placement (AP) Credit governs the awarding of AP credit.
  • A satisfactory score* on a district-approved high-level International Baccalaureate (IB) examination. Students will receive credit when: 
    • Official IB transcripts are on file at the college.
    • The student achieved a minimum acceptable score on the IB examination as recommended by the District’s IB equivalency guide.
  • A satisfactory score* on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Students requesting Credit for Prior Learning using the College Level Examination Program shall receive credit for completing a satisfactory score on a District-approved College Level Examination Program under the following circumstances:
    • Official CLEP transcripts are on file  at the college.
    • The student achieved a minimum acceptable score on the CLEP examination as recommended by the District’s CLEP Equivalency Guide.
  • A satisfactory evaluation of Joint Service Transcripts (JST). 
  • A satisfactory completion of an examination administered by other agencies approved by the District. 
  • Approval of industry-recognized credential documentation in accordance with standards set by the department. 
  • Approval of a student-created portfolio in accordance with a rubric for the course or courses  developed by the department. 
  • Satisfactory completion of an institutional examination, known as Credit by Examination, administered by the college in lieu of completion of an active course listed in the current college catalog. 

* Satisfactory minimum scores for standardized, external examinations, including AP, IB, and CLEP, should conform to the thresholds established by the current California State University Systemwide Credit for External Examinations guidelines. Determining how to apply credit from such exams towards local degree requirements occurs at the college-level. 

Eligibility for CPL

  • The student must have a current application on file and be in good standing in the District. A student is in good standing when the cumulative college grade point average is 2.0 or better, and the student has completed fewer than 50% of the overall units attempted with grades of “W,” “I,” 34 “NP,” and “NC.”
  • Current students must have an education plan on file.
  • Credit will only be granted for a course currently offered at Columbia College as evidenced by the current college catalog

Limitations on CPL

  • The student cannot be currently enrolled in the course sought for Credit for Prior Learning.
  • The student is not currently enrolled in nor has not received credit for a more advanced course in the same subject.
  • Credits acquired by CPL cannot be not used to satisfy unit load requirements for the Selective Service deferment, Veterans, or Social Security benefits.
  • Credits acquired by examination cannot be used to satisfy the 12 semester hours of credit "in-residence" required for an Associate degree for Columbia College.

Fees for CPL

Students will not be charged for the receipt of Credit for Prior Learning, except when prior learning is assessed through the colleges’ Credit by Examination  processes. Fees for credit awarded through Credit by Examination shall not exceed per-unit current tuition rates  for in-state, out-of-state, or international students.

Transferability of CPL Credit

Students planning to transfer should be aware that any CPL credit granted by Columbia College will also be subject to evaluation by the transfer institution. The District cannot guarantee that CPL granted by the District will also be granted by the transfer institution. Applicability of CPL credits toward the baccalaureate degree is ultimately determined by the transfer institution.

Grading Policy for CPL

  • Grading shall be according to the regular grading system in accordance with YCCD Board Policy 4230Grading and Academic Record Symbols.
  • Courses shall be graded using the college's grading system established by Title 5 and published in the respective college catalog
  • Students shall be offered a “Pass/No Pass” option if that option is ordinarily available for the course.
  • Students shall be given the opportunity to accept, decline, or appeal the grade assigned by the  faculty. Any change of grade shall follow YCCD Board Policy 4231: Grade Changes.

CPL on the Student's Transcript

The student’s academic record shall be clearly annotated to reflect that credit was earned by assessment of prior learning.

CPL for Military Service/Training

Students interested in CPL using Joint Service Transcripts shall receive credit as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) Directory and approved by the appropriate Columbia College discipline faculty under the following circumstances:

  • The student has completed the Credit for Prior Learning assessment petition.
  • Official transcripts are on file:
    • Joint Services Transcript (JST)
    • Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART)
    • Army and American Council on Education Registry Transcript Service (AARTS)
    • Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) Coast Guard Institute (CGI)
    • DANTES/USAFI
    • Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Transcripts (DLIFLC)
    • Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC)
    • DLPT Examinee Results 
    • DA Form 330 Language Proficiency Questionnaire
    • Verified copies of DD214 or DD295 military records
  • Credit course equivalency shall be determined by the appropriate program faculty designee.

Industry-Recognized Credentials

Students interested in using industry-recognized credential(s) to earn Credit for Prior Learning shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate program faculty designee in accordance with the following procedure:

  • The student shall complete the Credit for Prior Learning assessment petition.
  • Enrollment Services/Admissions & Records shall notate credit for industry-recognized credential(s) that have already been evaluated and approved by the appropriate program faculty designee. 
  • If an industry-recognized credential(s) has not yet been evaluated and approved by the appropriate faculty: 
    • The student will meet with the appropriate program faculty designee to receive further instructions for assessment of the industry-recognized credential(s). 
    • The student submits all industry-recognized credential documents to the appropriate  program faculty designee for assessment of prior learning. 
    • Should the appropriate program faculty designee determine the industry certification adequately measures mastery of the course content as set forth in the Course Outline of Record, the appropriate faculty shall sign the petition with the recorded grade, attach the industry-recognized credential(s), and forward the completed petition and supporting documents to Enrollment Services/Admissions & Records to be kept on file and recorded on the student transcript.

Student-Created Portfolio Assessment

Students interested in CPL using a student-created portfolio shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate program faculty designee in accordance with the following procedure:

  • The student will have completed the Credit for Prior Learning assessment petition.
  • A department-approved portfolio assessment rubric will be on file for the course.
  • The student will meet with the appropriate program faculty designee to receive further instructions for student-created portfolio assessment.
  • The student will submit all portfolio documents to the appropriate program faculty designee.
  • If the appropriate program faculty designee determines the student-created portfolio adequately evidences mastery of the course content as set forth in the Course Outline of Record, the  appropriate faculty shall sign the petition with the appropriate grade and forward it to Enrollment Services/Admissions & Records to be kept on file and recorded on the student transcript.

Credit by Examination from within the Yosemite Community College District

The appropriate program faculty designee shall determine whether or not a student requesting Credit by Examination is sufficiently well-prepared to warrant being given this opportunity. This determination is based upon a review of previous course work and/or experience. Students earn course credit through Credit by Examination are encouraged to informally discuss the matter with the appropriate program faculty designee and course instructor prior to initiating the formal process. All steps must be completed in the order listed or the Petition for Credit by Examination shall not be processed. The Petition for Credit by Examination must be completed prior to the end of the current semester or session. The District will award college course credit for successful completion of a Columbia College examination administered by the appropriate departmental faculty under the following circumstances: Credit by satisfactory completion of an examination administered by the College in lieu of completion of a course listed in the current Modesto Junior College or Columbia College Catalogs.

The Yosemite Community College District Credit by Examination Process

Students may demonstrate that they have met the mastery of the course content as set forth in the Course Outline of Record of a District course through learning in the work place, foreign language proficiency, or  some other process outside the conventional academic setting by receiving a passing grade on an examination administered by the appropriate instructional department/program. Credit by Examination may require demonstration of other skills, or the completion of assignments in addition to a formal examination.

Upon completion of an education plan, students interested in Credit for Prior Learning using Credit by Examination shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate program faculty designee  under the following circumstances:

Credit by Examination Procedure

  • The student shall complete the Credit for Prior Learning assessment petition.
  • The student shall meet with the appropriate program faculty designee for further instructions for Credit by Examination.
  • Should the program faculty designee determine that the Credit by Examination assessment evidences the student’s mastery of the course content as set forth in the Course Outline of Record, the appropriate faculty shall sign the petition with the recorded grade and forward to Enrollment Services/Admissions & Records to be kept on file and recorded on the student transcript.
  • The department/program must keep the student’s completed exam materials on file for three years.
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