Credit for Prior Learning

Colorado Mountain College recognizes that learning can take place in environments outside the traditional classroom. To recognize this learning and to equate it with traditional classroom learning, we utilize the following methods of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA):

  • Standardized National Exams
  • Challenge Exams
  • Credit for Prior Learning - Portfolio

CMC will award credit when an assessment of prior learning corresponds to equivalent courses at CMC.

CMC expects students to explore, with their counselor/academic advisor, what type of method for seeking award of credit is appropriate in the following priority order:


CMC recognizes and accepts exam results for CLEP, AP, DSST (DANTES), Excelsior, and IB to award credit.


If you have existing knowledge of course content you can choose to take a challenge exam for awarded credit.

#3 portfolio

When prior learning cannot be measured by standardized testing or challenge exams the portfolio process can demonstrate your proficiency.

More Information about Credit for Prior Learning

In general, students seeking credit for prior learning must complete the standardized test, institutional challenge exam, and/or portfolio prior to completing 18 credits at CMC.

Up to 50% of coursework toward a degree or certificate can be awarded credit. However, awarded credit cannot be used toward meeting the minimum number of earned credits required to be taken at CMC:

Associate’s degree (15 credits)
Bachelor’s degree (30 credits)
certificates (10 credits)

For those certificates requiring a total of 10 credits or less, then all classes must be taken at Colorado Mountain College.