To be eligible to earn Credit for Prior Learning (CPL), a student must be fully admitted to South Central College and meet all the requirements of a SCC student in good standing. Students should talk with their academic advisor when unsure about CPL options in a particular program of study. Specific procedures have been outlined for each CPL method. The following general criteria and limitations apply to all CPL credit:


  • A student must be fully admitted to South Central College and meet all the requirements of a SCC student in good standing.
  • Students should consult with their academic advisor prior to seeking CPL.
  • CPL credit will be awarded only for demonstrated learning, equivalent in content to a SCC course. Faculty determine whether a student’s prior learning demonstrated the equivalency of the course based on meeting 75% of the learning outcomes.
  • CPL credits will be awarded only for college-level learning that balances theory and practical application.
  • CPL credit will not be awarded for experience. A student must differentiate what he/she learned from the experience and align it with the course learning outcomes.
  • Any fees associated with CPL credit will be paid in full before a CPL assessment is conducted.


If a student disagrees with the CPL evaluation outcome, an appeal process is available from the CPL Coordinator. The student must submit an appeal within six months of notification of the CPL assessment decision.

Application Materials
All material submitted for review of CPL will be considered the property of the College.

If the evaluation outcome is a denial of credit, the student may attempt a second time, upon approval of the faculty. Students are limited to two attempts at CPL per course. While CPL is typically pursued prior to enrolling in a course, upon non-successful completion of a course, CPL may be pursued.  If CPL credit is approved after non-successful course completion, it will be recorded on the transcript as a repeated course per SCC Repeating a Course policy.

CPL credits will not count toward the enrollment of a specific term, nor will credit be counted in determining part‐time or full‐time student enrollment status.

Faculty Discretion
Assessment of prior learning, including the course criteria, is the responsibility of credentialed faculty in the academic discipline of the course(s) or academic award. CPL assessment may be limited by availability of credentialed faculty, space, lab, and materials.

Financial Aid
Assessments completed by institution faculty and recorded as resident credits may qualify for financial aid, according to laws governing federal financial aid. Non-resident credits, like standardized exams, do not qualify for financial aid.

Grading/Grade Point Average:
Letter grades will be assigned by SCC credentialed faculty for each CPL credit course per SCC Grading and Grade Change Policy consistent with the current grading method of the course. Credit granted for Standardized Examinations will be recorded as a passing grade (P). CPL credits are not included in calculating a student’s GPA. 

Graduation Requirements
CPL credit will be awarded only for learning that matches the competencies of a current course in a student’s declared program of study. CPL may be applied toward courses in certificate, diploma and degree programs only for the purpose of satisfying graduation requirements.

Number of CPL credits
The maximum number of CPL credits awarded will be determined on a programmatic basis not to exceed two-thirds of the program award requirements. There is no limit to the total number of credits a student may earn through CPL so long as the total earned credits apply to their academic program and do not exceed the academic program credit limit.

CPL credits awarded through internal assessment, like challenge exams, will count for institutional residency and toward graduation residency requirements as found in Minnesota State Board Policy 3.36 and Procedure 3.36.1 Academic Programs. Credits earned through standardized exams are not resident credits and may not be used to satisfy resident credit requirements for graduation.

Credits shall be transcribed according to Minnesota State System Policy

South Central College does not guarantee that another college or university will accept CPL credit in transfer. Students planning to transfer to a college or university should contact the receiving institution to determine the acceptability of transferring CPL.

Transfer of CPL from another institution
South Central College will allow the transfer of credits earned through Prior Learning Assessment at another Minnesota State College or University institution so long as those credits correlate to a specific course that is required for the student’s program major, and given that the course in question is equivalent to a required South Central College course.