Prior Learning Assessment

Earn Credit for Your Out-of-Classroom Learning & Experience!

You can earn prior learning assessment credit for any course offered at CCD providing that the course is part of your program of study and you can demonstrate the college-level learning required. You can review the course curriculum descriptions online. Please speak to our Career & Transfer Center to be sure that your PLA course option will transfer to your future school of choice.

Prior learning includes learning acquired from work and life experiences such as:

  • Correspondence and extension courses
  • Individual study and reading
  • Civic, community and volunteer work
  • Participation in formal courses and in-service training through your business or community
  • Military Credit
  • Industry licensure or certification

Get Started

You can begin by visiting the PLA dashboard online to record the learning you have done. An advisor will contact you to make an appointment after you have completed this form.

Prior Learning (PLA) credit may be awarded if the following criteria have been met:

  • You have been admitted and are a student at CCD
  • You have declared a degree or certificate
  • Your prior learning is at the college level (we will help you work through this)

PLA credit may only be awarded for courses and credits required in your declared degree or certificate.

  • PLA credit cannot be used to satisfy the CCD residency requirements, which state that students must complete 25 percent of their credits at CCD.
  • PLA credit cannot duplicate any previously awarded credit.
  • PLA credit is not included as part of your semester enrollment for the purposes of financial aid, veteran benefits or any other purpose predicated on total hours of enrollment for a given semester.

PLA credit is specifically noted on the transcript as such and is considered transfer coursework (and not Institutional coursework):

  • PLA credit is not calculated into your grade point average (GPA).
  • PLA credit noted on your transcript will have a grade of ‘PLA’.

1. Standardized Tests

You may earn college credit through certain standardized testing. Upon receiving a satisfactory score, you may earn college credit.

Read the Testing Center's information on placement tests at CCD.

CCD awards PLA Credit for:

  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • CLEP
  • DSST
  • UExcel tests

2. Challenge Examinations

We offer challenge examinations for these courses. Email the faculty member associated with the courses below to discuss how you can begin the process to take the exam.

3. Published Guides

Published guides contain credit recommendations made by reputable third-party organizations for certain training and/or credentials. Approved published guides include the American Council on Education (ACE), National Guide to College Credit for Workplace Training, the ACE Military Guide, and the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS).

Begin by filling out this form online, and then an advisor will contact you to make an appointment.

4. Portfolio

Knowledge and skills acquired through work and lifelong learning can be documented using a portfolio process. This allows you the flexibility to explain your knowledge and skills and provide a history of how this should translate in to college credit.

First, check out our Credit Predictor to determine how many credits you can earn by completing a portfolio.

Research shows that students who gain credit through prior learning assessment have a greater chance of completing their program, so we hope you check it out.

  • For CIS/CNG courses other than CIS118 listed in the catalog can be done with a portfolio, or with a valid copy of industry certification. Please contact Jesse Brannen

5. Joint Services Transcript/Defense Language Proficiency Test

Send transcripts to the Office of Registration and Records (ORR) to be evaluated. You can also submit a transcript in a sealed envelope from the issuing entity to ORR at the following location/address:

Auraria Campus
Confluence Building, Room 114
800 Curtis Street
Denver, CO 80204

Mailing Address
Campus Box 201
P.O. Box 173363
Denver, CO 80217

Questions? Please contact ORR at 303.556.2420 or

If you have stopped attending college, the Alternative Credit Project (ACP) provides a pool of online courses that Community College of Denver (CCD) will accept towards your degree. Learn more about this option to transfer to CCD with previously earned credit.