Credit for Prior Learning

Berkeley College recognizes that knowledge acquired outside the classroom may be extremely valuable. Through the Credit for Prior Learning process, you may be able to shorten your path to a degree by receiving academic credit reflecting that knowledge. This can save you time and money as you earn your degree and validate the importance of your accomplishments.

What Is Prior Learning?

Prior learning is documented college-level learning acquired through previous study or through non-classroom experiences. Credit may be granted in recognition of what you have learned through those valuable experiences. Prior learning credit may be awarded for passing results on nationally administered tests or on Berkeley College Challenge Exams, for military or police training, or through portfolio credit for life experience. Only documented, college-level learning assessed by faculty will be awarded college credit. Credit is granted for learning from experience, not for experience alone.

The College grants credit for passing scores on national standardized examinations including:

  • The College grants partial or full credit for military training and police academy training.
    • Military service/training (Contact the Berkeley College Office of Military and Veterans Affairs for further information.)
    • Police academy training: To be awarded Berkeley College credit toward degree requirements in its Justice Studies programs, students must submit evidence of satisfactory completion of training at an accredited police academy, including but not limited to the New Jersey State Police Academy, New Jersey Police Training Commission, New York City Department Police Academy, Pennsylvania ACT 120 and the Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Academy.
  • (Proof of current employment in law enforcement for a minimum of three months required.)

    Matriculated students may choose to take a Berkeley College Challenge Exam to demonstrate mastery of any course not previously taken and that is required by as part of a degree program.

    Portfolio Assessment

    Many adults have acquired learning outside of the classroom simply from life experience through work, volunteer activities, and online study. In some cases, that learning is college level and can earn college credit. In that case, students may develop a portfolio to document learning that took place in settings other than a formal classroom.

    Berkeley College has partnered with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning’s (CAEL) Learning Counts to help you prepare learning portfolios that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. CAEL/LearningCounts will assess your completed portfolio to determine whether credit may be awarded toward a Berkeley College degree. Watch the video to learn more.

    Prior Learning Credit Predictor

    To learn more about the prior learning credit process, begin by completing the CAEL/LearningCounts Prior Learning Credit Predictor. Bring the Predictor results to your Admissions representative who will forward to an Academic Advisor.