Seattle Colleges recognizes several methods by which students may receive college credit outside of the traditional classroom, referred to as Prior Learning. The following options provide several avenues for students to get credit for the knowledge that they learned from working or taking industry exams on their own. A maximum of 25 percent of the required credits in any program of study may come from the credit for prior learning options. Prior Learning credit must be approved by the appropriate department chair, following initial approval and coordination by the designated departmental faculty member. Student must have an academic record at NSC and be in good financial standing with the college to qualify.
1. Prior Experiential Learning Portfolio
Faculty review and evaluate student portfolios and identify achievement of learning outcomes
2. Course Challenge
Comprehensive exams developed by faculty for a specific course
3. Extra-Institutional Learning
Industry-related certificates of completion of training
4. Credit by Testing
Standardized and commonly accepted higher education equivalency exams including CLEP, DANTES, and Cambridge International
Grading and Fees
Credit by Testing and Extra-Institutional Learning are not eligible for decimal grades. Students will be charged a flat rate of $100 per PLA for these assessments.
Prior Experiential Learning and Course Challenges must include a grading rubric and can be either S/U or decimal grade. Students will be charged a flat rate of $100 per PLA in addition to $40 per credit.
1. Student meets with designated faculty member or coordinator at the appropriate department to seek initial approval, discuss options, and review Prior Learning Assessment Application Form.
2. The designated faculty member/coordinator and the student fill out the preliminary information on the Prior Learning Assessment Application Form and sign.
3. Student brings the application form to the Cashier’s office to pay for nonrefundable Prior Learning Assessment fee. Assessment will not be completed until after proof of payment.
4. Student shows proof of payment from the Cashier’s Office to designated faculty member before assessment begins.
5. Faculty member assesses materials for Prior Learning. The evaluation process may take up to8 weeks.
6. Faculty member submits completed Assessment Form with final results, date, and signature to Division Dean for review.
7. Division Dean submits finalized PLA Assessment Form, signed and dated, directly to the Registrar in alignment with standard grade submission deadlines for each quarter.
8. The Registrar transcribes course to student’s transcripts. Credits earned will carry a grade, as assigned by faculty. A grade of “S” does not impact GPA.