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​​Credit for Prior Learning at Norco College

What is Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) or Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)? ​


Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) refers to a process used by institutions to award academic credit for a student's knowledge and expertise acquired through life and professional experience, as long as the student's knowledge and skills are determined to be equivalent to college-level learning.

Prior Learning Assessment or (PLA) is a term used to describe learning gained outside a traditional academic environment.​


Military Service Credit

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Military service credit can be earned based on learning obtained through courses you completed and military occupations held during your service. Norco College evaluates military training and experience in partnership with the American Council on Education (ACE) to maximize your military experience and shorten the time and resources required to earn an associate degree or certificate.

Military coursework and/or occupations will be evaluated according to the ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services​.
Veteran students may begin the process of opting in for CPL using their JST by contacting the Veterans Resource Center.

Joint Services Transcripts (JST) - When veterans leave the Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy, they can obtain a record of their training, known as the Joint Services Transcript. Active duty, reserve, and veterans can now access their transcripts through Joint Services Transcript (JST) Account Registration.

CC​AF Transcripts​ - Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) provides transcripts for Air Force veterans.

Veterans R​​esource ​Center


Military Articulation Platform (MAP)
Military Credit Resources


Student-Created Portfolio Assessment

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  • Students interested in Credit for Prior Learning using a student-created portfolio shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate department chair or faculty designee. The student meets with the department chair or faculty discipline designee to receive further instructions for student-created portfolio assessment. See College Catalog for details.
  • For further information, contact the Counseling office​.


Industry Recognized Credentials

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  • Students interested in Credit for Prior Learning using industry recognized credential(s) shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate department chair or faculty designee. The student meets with the department chair or faculty discipline designee to receive further instructions for student-created portfolio assessment. See College Catalog for details.
  • For further information, contact the Counseling office​.​


AP/ IB/ CLEP

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Advanced Placement Exam (AP)


Riverside Community College District recognizes the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. Students will be granted credit for Advanced Placement examinations with a score of 3, 4 or 5 in specified subject areas. Advanced Placement subject credit is granted for the fulfillment of Riverside Community College District programs only. Other colleges or universities may have different policies concerning Advanced Placement. Therefore, the transfer institution will reevaluate the Advanced Placement scores based upon their own college policies. Students who have successfully completed AP exams with scores of 3, 4 or 5 may earn credit towards GE and graduation requirements, IGETC, and CSU GE Breadth Certifications. Please refer to the RCCD AP Credit Chart for specific information on how AP credits are applied to each of these categories. Official AP Scores must be sent to the Admissions and Records office for official evaluation.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit


Students who have successfully completed IB exams with scores of 5, 6 or 7 may earn credit towards RCC GE and graduation requirements, IGETC, and CSU GE Breadth Certifications. For CSU GE and IGETC certifications, IB unit and area credit is awarded as approved by the CSU and UC systems. A score of 4 on certain exams may be acceptable for CSU GE only. Check with a counselor for more information. Please refer to the RCCD IB Credit Chart for specific information on how IB credits are applied to each of these categories.

Credit for College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)


Credit is not allowed if coursework in the subject area has been completed or AP credit has previously been granted. CLEP exams may be used to certify CSU requirements as indicated by the CSU system. They will not be used to certify IGETC requirements, at this time. Students planning to transfer should check the policy on CLEP in the catalog of the college to which they will transfer. To apply for CLEP credit the student must have completed 12 units in residency at Riverside Community College District. An official transcript is required. For further information, contact the Counseling office.

RCCD General Education/CSU-GE Credit for CLEP Tests
Students may earn credit for College–Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests. CLEP credit can be used to meet CSU-GE and RCCD general education (GE). UC does not award units for CLEP credit. Students must have the College Board send CLEP results to the Admissions Office for use on the A.A. or CSU-GE patterns. Course credit and units granted at Norco College may differ from course credit and units granted by another college or transfer institution.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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  • What is Credit for Prior Learning or CPL?
    • Credit for Prior Learning or CPL is credit awarded for skills and knowledge gained outside of a traditional classroom. Many of our students come to us with years of life, work, and military training and experience. You can save time and money as you pursue your degree by earning credit for prior learning.

  • How do I get started? 
    • To begin the Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) process, you should first review the CPL website to learn as much as possible about the different CPL methods and which might apply to you.

  • How much credit am I allowed to earn through CPL?
    • A maximum of 30 units may be granted in total from one or more of the following: CLEP, military training, AP, IB, or Credit for Extra Institutional Learning, which may include student-created portfolios, industry credentials and experience, to be determined by faculty in the district-wide discipline.
    • In order to receive an A.A./A.S. degree, a student must complete 12 units in residence at one of the colleges within the Riverside Community College District. 
    • 50% of the coursework for any certificate pattern must be completed at any of the colleges within Riverside Community College District, with 1 course completed from the college awarding the certificate. A grade of “C” or better is required for each course.

  • How can CPL help me? 
    • CPL can help you save time and money on your educational path. Students can now get credit for a course instead of just waiving a prerequisite.

  • How do I demonstrate that I have prior learning?
    • ​​Each CPL eligible course will have different methods of assessment. These methods include:
    • ​Military Transcript
    • ​Credit by Exam
    • ​Portfolio Review
    • ​Industry Certification/Accreditation or License
    • ​​AP, IB, CLEP