Credit for College-Level Learning

Here at Granite State College, we are committed to helping students earn college credit where credit is due. That’s why Granite State College students can transfer in credit towards their undergraduate degree – not only from previous college coursework, but also for other college-level knowledge demonstrated outside the traditional classroom.

This process is known as Prior Learning Assessment.

When you leverage prior learning, your degree is made up of not only traditional college credit, but also credit earned from other sources such as: career training programs, professional certification, military training, passing scores on equivalency testing, and more.


Types of Prior Learning

With prior learning assessment, Granite State College can award you credit for college-level knowledge you’ve already gained, so you can focus on new learning. Become familiar with each type of prior learning and request information to connect with an advisor to learn more.

1. College-level Coursework

This includes courses from past college transcripts from regionally accredited Colleges and Universities.


College Graduates.

Training Program.

2. Validated Training Programs

In many professional training programs, individuals learn concepts and are assessed similarly to college coursework—and many career credentials are approved for college credit.  .


3. Equivalency Testing

Passing scores on standardized tests could fulfill requirements for coursework, too. Examples include CLEP and DSST.

This option is recommended for students who were unable to apply credit from previous college coursework, validated training programs, or an experiential learning portfolio.


Laptop user.


Student Stuying.

4. Experiential Learning Portfolio

If you’re a seasoned professional, maybe you’ve already mastered college-level coursework concepts through your professional training or earned other credentials not accounted for by credit transfers or testing.


Frequently Asked Questions

View Our FAQ

Select questions are displayed above with each type of Prior Learning. For greater detail, please access our collection of Prior Learning FAQs.

View Prior Learning FAQ
 

Get Started

Begin the prior learning assessment process, complete our form and an advisor will reach out.

I would like to explore the following prior learning options:

Prior Learning: Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

I’m not sure that prior learning assessment is a good option for me. Is there someone I can talk to?

Yes, an academic advisor can help you determine the options that are right for you. New students can submit a request to connect with an advisor.

Is there a fee to be awarded preapproved PLA credit?

There is no fee to be awarded credit for training experiences or professional credentials that have been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) or the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS). Training experiences or professional credentials that Granite State College has evaluated carry a flat fee of $350. For up to one year after your admission to Granite State College, the flat fee covers the submission of multiple training experiences and credentials. After your first year of admission has passed, there will be a fee of $350. for each training experience or credential submitted.

When must I pay the PLA fee?

The PLA fee will be applied to your student account after the Admissions Office enters the credit on your transcript. Payment is due upon receipt of an invoice. Contact the Student Accounts Office for additional information.

Can I use my financial aid to cover the PLA fee?

Yes. Students may utilize any remaining loan eligibility for this school-related expense. You may need to complete an Award Revision Request, or other documentation, in order to have this reflected properly in your tuition payment. Contact Financial Aid  for more information.

I think I have college-level learning that could apply to my degree, but it doesn’t fit any of the categories in the Transfer Evaluation System. How can I get prior learning credit?

The Experiential Learning Portfolio options is available for college-level learning experiences that Granite State College has not preapproved for credit. Contact us to learn more.

How many credits can I earn from prior learning options?

Prior learning options within in an associate degree program may total up to 30 credits; for a bachelor’s program, up to 60 credits.

What kinds of documents will I need to submit?

In the case of training that has been evaluated as college-equivalent by the American Council on Education (ACE), you will need to join the ACE transcript registry service and order an official ACE transcript to be sent to Admissions.

For training that has been preapproved by another source, you will need to submit a request to the training provider to send either a transcript or a letter on letterhead documenting successful completion of the training.


College-level Coursework

What do I do if the prior college I attended did not have regional accreditation?

Granite State College has several options for awarding credit for learning acquired at colleges lacking regional accreditation. The appropriate option for seeking credit will depend on the type of program you did at the unaccredited college. Please check our Transfer Evaluation System to see if the program you completed has been preapproved for credit.

At my previous college, I completed an internship, which is listed on my transcript for 3 credits. I worked a lot of extra hours that aren’t reflected on my transcript. How can I get credit for these additional hours?

Granite State College gives credit for internships based on how the sponsoring college transcripts them, so we can only award credit for what is actually on the student’s transcript. In addition, awarding credit for prior learning outside of college courses is based on skills and knowledge, rather than time.

How many credits does the College accept?

Associate degree programs accept a maximum of 44 credits in transfer. Bachelor’s degree programs accept a maximum of 90 credits in transfer.

For full detail, visit the Transfer Credit section of the Admission policies in our Catalog.


Validated Training

How do know if my training program has been evaluated and approved for College credit by the American Council on Education (ACE)?

Large sponsors of corporate training, such as Microsoft and McDonald’s, contract with ACE to evaluate the company’s curriculum and methods of performance evaluation to determine whether the skills and knowledge acquired by completing the training successfully are equivalent to college-level learning.

Granite State College follows the recommendations for college credit that come out of these training reviews and we organize this information in our Transfer Evaluation System.

To look up this information, follow these steps.

  1. Visit our Transfer Evaluation System (TES)

  2. Find the link to Access the TES Portal

  3. In the TES Portal under “institution search”, type “American Council on Education” and click on search.

    Alternatively, you could search for other colleges, universities, or providers of training programs.

  4. View the results.

    The first column indicates the training and/or courses you may have taken. The second column indicates the courses that align with this training at Granite State College. When you click on one of these selections, you may view more information.

How do I get credit for my work experience?

Degree credit is not awarded for work experience directly, but rather for college-equivalent skills and knowledge that have been acquired through work and other life experiences.

I’ve had a lot of workplace training. How do I know what I can get credit for?

Granite State College breaks the awarding of degree credit for workplace or volunteer training into two categories:

  1. Training that has been previously reviewed and preapproved for credit by the American Council on Education (ACE), the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), or Granite State College.

  2. Training that has not be previously evaluated and therefore requires a demonstration of learning by the student via standardized exams or portfolio assessment.

Our Transfer Evaluation System will provide you with information about training that has been preapproved for credit and just requires documentation of successful completion from the training sponsor.

I have a lot of certificates from workplace and volunteer training. Can I submit them for credit?

Granite State College treats documentation of workplace and volunteer training as official transcripts, so documentation needs to be sent directly from the training sponsor to Granite State College Undergraduate Admissions. In addition, the training will need to have been preapproved for credit and not duplicate credit awarded for the same learning outcomes.

I have training and/or professional credentialing from more than one source in the College’s Transfer Evaluation System. Can I get credit for both?

If you have prior learning that falls into more than one category, you are encouraged to submit documentation for all that you have. Credit may be awarded, based on whether or not it will meet outstanding degree requirements.

I have 10 years of experience on my resume. What’s that worth in college credit?

Work experience can be worth College credit; however, the credit is not awarded for general experiences. These experiences will need to go through an evaluation process in order to be assessed for college credit. This process may include providing documentation of such competencies will be your responsibility. Please view information about Experiential Learning Portfolios for more details.

I submitted a transcript for training from an organization in the College’s Transfer Evaluation System. Why did I receive credit for some of the training but not all of it?

Granite State College evaluates training experiences individually, so the ones you didn’t receive credit for have not been previously evaluated. We recommend that you look into standardized testing and/or portfolio assessment options to pursue additional credit.

I have taken courses with the FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offered by the Independent Study Program. Will Granite State College award credit for these courses?

Granite State College will award credit for FEMA EMI courses that have been evaluated and recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE). The EMI courses offered by the Independent Study Program (ISP) have not been evaluated by ACE, so Granite State College does not award credit for them. Portfolio assessment might be an appropriate option to pursue credit for what you learned from your self-study courses.

I have a lot of CEUs (Continuing Education Units). Can I get credit for them?

CEUs do not translate into college credit. However, they make very good supporting documentation for a training portfolio. See Experiential Learning Portfolio for more detail.

I have a lot of training and seminars that lasted a day or half a day. Can I get credit for them?

Short, seminar-type training experiences do not translate directly into college credit. However, if you acquired knowledge and skills from them that are college-equivalent, you can use the portfolio assessment option to request credit.

Can I get credit for attending a conference?

No, conference attendance does not translate into college credit. However, you have the option to demonstrate learning from a conference through portfolio assessment. You would need to demonstrate related learning from other sources in order to ensure that the learning you’re demonstrating is of sufficient breadth and depth to be equivalent to a college course.

Why can’t I get credit for a course just by showing you the textbook or syllabus?

Credit is awarded based on your demonstrating what you actually learned from the training experience or course. In other words, credit is awarded for what you know, not what you did.

I have a nursing certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Can I get credit for it?

Yes, Granite State College has evaluated a number of the certifications issued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Check our Transfer Evaluation System to see which certifications have been evaluated and what they are equivalent to. Please note that credit will not be awarded for the General Nursing Practice certification or the Medical-Surgical Nursing certification. Both duplicate RN training.

How will prior learning credit awarded for standardized testing or portfolio assessment affect my Granite State College Grade Point Average?

Credit awarded for standardized testing, such as CLEP or DSST, or portfolio assessment comes in as transfer credit with no grades assigned. It does not affect a student’s Granite State College GPA.


Equivalency Testing

I have taken standardized tests (CLEP/DSST/UExcel). How do I find out what scores Granite State College requires to award credit?

Granite State College awards credit for CLEP, DSST, and UExcel exams based on the recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) at a ‘C’ level. For details about the specific Granite State College courses or requirement that each CLEP and DSST will fulfill, please visit:

Are there are any kinds of standardized tests I can take to get credit for what I have learned for my job? The CLEP and DSST tests seem to be mostly for college courses.

Answer: Yes, Granite State College awards credit for tests offered by Nocti Business Solutions, based on the recommendations of the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS). These tests cover a range of occupational areas, including auto mechanics, plumbing, administrative assisting, and many others. Visit Nocti’s PLA Approved Tests for details.

How do I get credit for a course offered by Sophia Learning, Straighterline, Saylor, or study.com?

First, ensure that the course has been evaluated for credit by visiting the ACE National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training. Then, submit a request to the course provider to have your transcripts sent to Admissions for evaluation:

Granite State College
Undergraduate Admissions Office
25 Hall Street
Concord, NH 03301.

I see on StraighterLine’s website that there is a list of courses that are equivalent to Granite State College courses. Are these the only StraighterLine courses you will accept?

Some StraighterLine courses are not equivalent to specific Granite State College courses. We will still accept them if they have been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) and recommended for college credit.

I see two versions of the StraighterLine course I’m interested in. How do I know which one should I take?

StraighterLine offers two versions of its courses: professor-led and self-paced. Granite State College will accept either version, as long as you take and pass the proctored final exam.

How will prior learning credit awarded for standardized testing or portfolio assessment affect my Granite State College Grade Point Average?

Credit awarded for standardized testing, such as CLEP or DSST, or portfolio assessment comes in as transfer credit with no grades assigned. It does not affect a student’s Granite State College GPA.


Experiential Learning Portfolio

Can you do an Experiential Learning Portfolio for any course at Granite State College?

No. The following degree requirements are not eligible for portfolio assessment: Integrative Capstones, culminating teaching experiences,and field-based courses.

If I pay for CRIT 603, do I also pay the PLA fee?

If submitted within one year of completion of CRIT 603 Critical Inquiry in Prior Learning Assessment, no portfolio evaluation fees will apply.

If submitted after one year of completion of CRIT 603 Critical Inquiry in Prior Learning Assessment, an evaluation fee of $350 per course equivalent credit request will apply. See Tuition and Fees for most up-to-date details.

After taking CRIT 603, how long do I have to finalize my portfolio?

All credit requests must be submitted within three years of successful completion of CRIT 603 Critical Inquiry in Prior Learning Assessment. CRIT 603 Critical Inquiry in Prior Learning Assessment can be repeated no more than once after withdrawal or failure.

Can anyone submit an Experiential Learning Portfolio to Granite State College?

You must be a degree seeking student. Those within 16 credits of degree completion may not pursue this option.