Credit for Prior Learning
UW-Parkside's Credit for Prior Learning program sets you on a quicker path to degree completion, and at less personal cost!
The Center for Adult and Returning Students recognizes that your learning extends beyond the classroom, and we value the diverse perspectives that our adult and nontraditional learners bring to our institution. Our Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program can help you to earn credit for college-level learning accomplished in the workplace, in the military, through volunteer and service work, and elsewhere.
Do I qualify for CPL?
CPL may be a great fit if:
- You are currently enrolled at UW-Parkside
- You have extensive experience (4-5 years) in an area that aligns with a course in the UWP catalog
- You have at least one semester remaining before graduation
See UW-Parkside’s complete Credit for Prior Learning Policy.
A CPL Portfolio is a detailed written reflection (typically 10-15 pages) that demonstrates how your experiential learning aligns with the learning outcomes of a course in the UW-Parkside catalog. CPL Portfolios are developed and assessed by faculty, and all portfolio opportunities are coordinated by the Center for Adult and Returning Students.
A fee of $150 will be assessed for each CPL Portfolio completed.
If you have identified a course or courses that you are interested in challenging via CPL Portfolio, please contact the Center for Adult and Returning Students for additional information and support.
A Challenge Exam is a comprehensive exam that allows you to demonstrate how your experiential learning fulfills the learning outcomes of a specific course in the UW-Parkside catalog. Challenge exams are developed and assessed by faculty, and all exam opportunities are coordinated by the Center for Adult and Returning Students.
A fee of $150 will be assessed for each Challenge Exam taken.
If you have identified a course or courses that you are interested in challenging via exam, please contact the Center for Adult and Returning Students for additional information and support.
Proficiency Exams are developed and administered by nationally recognized boards, and UW-Parkside reviews and accepts test results with sufficiently high scores for college credit.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The CLEP is a national standardized testing program that offers exams in subject areas such as history and social sciences, composition and literature, science and mathematics and business. CLEP testing can be particularly valuable for those who are or have been in the military.
Further information about the CLEP test including a complete list of available tests, testing center locations, and costs is available at clep.collegeboard.org/started
DSST exams are recommended for credit by the American Council on Education (ACE) and are available for 38 different areas. These exams are typically funded for active-duty military and their spouses but can be completed by adult learners, homeschooled students, and military veterans.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Advanced Placement exams typically are offered in high school, after completing an AP class. The Advancement Placement Program run by the College Board offers exams in 26 different fields.
Further information about AP testing including a complete list of tests, testing center locations, and costs is available at apstudent.collegeboard.org/takingtheexam/exam-policies
If you took an AP class and exam, you may be eligible for college credit. Check the list of approved courses and required minimum scores and send your AP exam scores to the Office of Admissions before the start of your first term.
Language testing and retroactive credit provide opportunities for you to receive credit for foreign language skills you have acquired through formal classwork or life experience.
If you know Spanish, French, or German, either as a heritage or native speaker or based on previous experience learning the language, you can take the University of Wisconsin System language placement test to place into the equivalent of third semester (intermediate level) or higher.
If you are proficient in a language not taught at Parkside, you can demonstrate your language skill for credit through certification by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), which administers Language Testing International. In order to qualify for credit at Parkside, you must be certified at the intermediate level or higher. Contact us for information about arranging for an exam proctor.
Retroactive Credit for Foreign Language Requirement
If you are a degree-seeking student and test into and complete a semester or more of an intermediate level or higher language class, you can apply for retroactive credits for the lower level foreign language classes you tested out of. You may earn up to 16 retroactive credits: four credits for each of the first four semesters of language study.
You are eligible to apply if
- You have completed the previous language course work in a United States high school.
- You enroll in the college course into which you place.
- You complete the course into which you place with a grade of B- or better.
In order to be granted retroactive credit, you must submit an application to the Office of the Registrar at the end of the semester in which you complete the higher-level language course. Find the Application for Retroactive Foreign Language Credits here.
Parkside will accept retroactive credit for foreign language if it was granted by another UW System institution and is documented on your transcript from that institution.
Military Training and Service
UW-Parkside is proud to recognize the learning accomplished during military service and encourages all active duty and Veteran students to submit their Joint Services Transcript (JST) for transfer review.
Parkside takes the American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations when evaluating your JST. In cases where the ACE recommendation does not align for credit, a Challenge Exam or CPL Portfolio may help you to earn credit.
Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcripts are accepted as transfer credit from a regionally accredited institution. Please submit your CCAF transcript for transfer review with your application. Click here for more information about how to order a CCAF transcript.