Get College Credit for What You Know

Earn Credit for Your Work Experience! Or, Test Out of Any Class!

You can earn college credit for any course offered at CCD. Examples include:

  • Individual study and reading
  • Classes and training outside of college
  • Work experience
  • Military Credit
  • Industry licensure or certification
  • Community and volunteer programs

Review Your Options

1. Standardized Tests

CCD awards college credit for passing these exams:

Click on the correct link above to order your official transcript. Request that your official transcript is sent either electronically to transcripts@ccd.edu (fastest), or ask for a sealed copy to be mailed to CCD. Or, you may hand-deliver a sealed, unopened copy to the Office of Registration and Records. 

Hand-deliver to Auraria Campus:
Confluence Building, Room 114
800 Curtis Street
Denver, CO 80204

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

How to Earn PLA Credit with a CLEP Exam

  1. Go to clep.collegeboard.org/
  2. Select Exam Topic. If further info is needed about which test is needed and what score must be earned for CCD credit, view https://clep.collegeboard.org/college-credit-policy/community-college-of-denver
  3. Purchase your test and pay the $89 CLEP exam fee on the College Board website.
  4. Contact the testing center to schedule a proctored exam ($35 fee) or schedule online at https://www2.registerblast.com/ccd/Exam/List at least 24 hours in advance of the desired testing time and day.
  5. After the test is completed, the Testing Center forwards the test score to the Transcript Specialist who enters PLA credit and emails you, the student, that the credit is now visible on your transcript.

Read the Testing Center's information on taking your test at CCD. 

2. Challenge Exams and Portfolio Reviews

What if your course does not have a CLEP or other standardized test? What if it's a skill-based class that can't be measured by a written test?

  • A Challenge Exam is a test developed by the academic department that will allow you to demonstrate what you've learned of the course material.
  • A Portfolio Assessment allows you to flexibly demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and history in ways that a written test cannot. For example, some courses require creative work, the performance of a skill, or other course content that cannot be fully evaluated by a written exam.
  • When attempting to request work experience for PLA credit, this would be a form of Portfolio Assessment. 
  • Each academic department decides whether they will offer Challenge Exams or Portfolio Assessments for a particular course. 

To get started, email the Department Chair for the class you wish to challenge, and request a meeting (in person, via phone, or video chat). Department Chairs are listed in this Directory

Search by Program. Choose the Program that most closely matches the name of your course. (For example, if you are working on a Psychology degree but are challenging History 250, you would meet with the History Department Chair.)

The fee for a challenge exam or portfolio assessment is $60 per credit. Scholarships may be available (visit the Financial Aid office for details).

3. Work Experience

If you learned on the job, and have been performing the skills that are taught in a course, your work experience may count as the equivalent of having taken the course. Typically, Career and Technical Education Courses are a good fit for work experience credit. 

To get started, email the Department Chair for the class you wish to challenge, and request a meeting (in person, via phone, or video chat). Department Chairs are listed in this Directory

Choose the Program that most closely matches the name of your course. 

The fee for reviewing and verifying your work history, including contacting your references, is $60 per credit. Scholarships may be available (visit the Financial Aid office for details).

4. Industry Certifications and Trainings Outside a College Setting

CCD and the Colorado Community College System have lists of industry credentials and non-college trainings that are considered direct equivalents for certain classes. 

If you find a course you've taken or that you have obtained a certification that is recommended for college credit, send your official transcript for that course OR a legible copy of the credential (certificate) to CCD's Office of Registration and Records. There is no fee for credits earned by providing documentation of your credentials or equivalent training if it is on any of the above pre-approved crosswalks or guides.  

Hand-deliver to Auraria Campus (transcripts must be unopened, sealed in original envelope):
Confluence Building, Room 114
800 Curtis Street
Denver, CO 80204

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

5. Military Joint Services Transcript/Defense Language Proficiency Test

Send military 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:

Hand-Deliver Sealed Transcript on Auraria Campus:
Confluence Building, Room 114
800 Curtis Street
Denver, CO 80204

Mailing Address:
Community College of Denver
Office of Registration and Records
Campus Box 201
P.O. Box 173363
Denver, CO 80217

Questions? Please contact ORR at 303.556.2420 or CCD.ORR@ccd.edu.

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 financial aid, veteran benefits, or any other purpose predicated on total hours of enrollment for a given semester.
  • Students can ask for PLA for any course we offer, for up to 75% of the credits in their program

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’.

Department Chairs:

  • Please use this PLA Challenge/Portfolio Attempt Request (Formstack will be linked here- not yet available) when meeting for the first time with a student to discuss Challenge Exams or Portfolio Assessments.
  • The form is to be completed by the Department Chair.
  • Use the PLA Challenge/Portfolio Score Report to enter the score. 

“I think I might be eligible for credit but not sure what subjects and have general questions” 

  • Meet with your Academic Advisor. They will review this website with you, discuss your situation, and help you determine your next step. 

“I have a credential or test score that is on the CCD website as an equivalent to a course. What should I do?” 

  • Bring/email credential or official sealed transcript to Registrar’s office and credit is awarded (PLA Credit Award form completed by staff) 

“I have a credential, transcript, or test score that is not on the CCD Website and I’m not sure if it’s equivalent to a course. Who should I talk to?” 

  • Contact the Department Chair for the subject that best fits. They can help you determine what course is the most appropriate fit, and whether an additional assessment is needed (for a fee) or if the credential is accepted outright for credit (no fee).  

“I have the knowledge and skills and can demonstrate them to show equivalency to finishing the course. What kind of assessment can I do?” 

  • First, find out if a CLEP test is possible. Purchase the test on the CLEP website, register for the proctoring at CCD, and take the test. 

  • If no CLEP is available for your course, contact the correct Department Chair. The Chair will let you know if it’s a challenge exam or portfolio review. Fill out the PLA Attempt application together, pay for the attempt, complete the exam or review 

“My extensive work experience plainly demonstrates my mastery of the material for one or more career or technical ed courses. I have multiple references and evidence of my work, which provide greater evidence of my skills than a written examination could demonstrate. Who do I talk to?” 

  • Contact the Department Chair for the subject that best fits. They can help you determine what course is the most appropriate fit, and whether an additional assessment is needed (for a fee) or if the credential is accepted outright for credit (no fee).