Prior Learning Assessment

So you’re not approaching college as a recent high school graduate — but guess what? You’ll be in good company here, since nearly half of our students are over 25 and bring a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to the classroom.More importantly, you may be able to earn credits for college-level learning you’ve acquired outside of the traditional college setting. Through our prior learning assessment, we can determine together if it makes sense for you to get certain courses waived through testing or earn credits for courses where you can demonstrate you already know the material. The benefits of a Prior Learning Assessment can be great.

  • Save time by avoiding unnecessary repetition of material already mastered
  • Save money due to the lesser number of required courses to finish a program
  • Have higher rate of accomplishing their desired education goals

Non-Credit Course Equivalent

Types of Prior Learning Assessments

Course-Based Transfer for the Skilled Trades

Apprenticeships are training that qualify for prior learning assessment and allow for accelerated degree completion opportunities, recognizing that not all learning takes place in a traditional classroom.  Professional skills, knowledge, and abilities gained through industry credentials can be validated through competency-based assessment, and then transcribed as course equivalencies.  The College has been engaged in prior learning assessment (advanced standing) from its inception and, most recently, as the TAACCCT 2 grant lead in development of CCFastTrack, the community college statewide platform for prior learning assessment, and open education resource (OER) entrepreneurial skills training course,   

This course-based transfer provides academic pathways for skilled trades.  Apprentices, who successfully complete a US Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program, can earn up to 24 credits at the College towards a Management (AAS) degree. 
The course-based transfer credit applies equally to any student that:

  • completes a Registered Apprenticeship Program  recognized by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Apprentice and
  • shows proof of competency/completion of the registered apprenticeship program via a Journeyman’s Card or similar credential.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

You may receive college credit if you have achieved at least a mean (average) score on any College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams. You can earn up to a maximum of 50 percent of the course requirements for an associate’s degree, but you still must complete at least 30 credit hours at the College to receive your degree. Montgomery County Community College is an official CLEP testing center. Learn more about CLEP at Montgomery County Community College.

Advanced Placement (AP)

If you took college-level courses in high school or gained educational experience from other sources, you may be able to take Advanced Placement (AP) exams and receive AP credit to count towards your Montgomery County Community College degree. AP scores of 3 or higher are eligible for credit, and here is a link to the exams we accept.

National Evaluations

American Council on Education (ACE)

ACE assesses non-collegiate instructional programs to provide credit recommendations. If you participated in a course through an organization that was evaluated by ACE, you can request a copy of your transcript from that organization. If those credit recommendations are equivalent to a course(s) in your MCCC program, you may be eligible for credit(s).


Military personnel are eligible to have their military experience and training evaluated for transfer credit by submitting a DD 214 and military transcript. Credit may be awarded for military training that has been evaluated by the American Council on Education and assigned a recommended credit value when the training is directly related to the student’s program of study.

Students Occupationally and Academically Ready (SOAR)

SOAR prepares students for college and careers in high priority occupations. Students who have participated in an approved SOAR program through their high school’s Career and Technical Education Program may receive credit for skills learned towards their certificate or degree. Visit to see how your high school credits may be accepted by Montgomery County Community College, and click on the SOAR logo for additional information. SOAR

Local Training

Non-Credit to Credit/Industry Certifications

Did you know that many Industry Certifications earned through non-credit courses can create a pathway to additional certificates or a degree? For example, Cisco CCNA, Network +, and Microsoft are just a few of the many other certifications link to a more advanced course of study, saving the student time and money towards their degree.In addition, by continuing on the pathway to a certificate or degree program, your training responds to the expectation of the workplace. Each milestone achieved in education adds to career advancement and learning potential.

Through our Prior Learning Assessment program, faculty members knowledgeable in specific subject areas evaluate non-traditional learning experiences to see how they compare to the objectives of existing academic credit courses and help decide whether they can be considered for college credit. For example, if you have experience as a supervisor in an industrial manufacturing firm, we will ask you to demonstrate what you have learned about production problem solving, cost-effectiveness, supervision and labor problems, and how that learning can be related to the objectives of a college course. To be eligible for possible college credit, your prior learning experience must.

  • Be equivalent to quality college-level learning.
  • Be publicly verifiable through objective measurements. You must be able to demonstrate to qualified evaluators that you possess the appropriate skills and/or knowledge.
  • Be grounded in both theory and practice. College credit will not be awarded for mere application of a manual skill or a narrowly prescribed routine or procedure; you must have a demonstrated knowledge base of a specific subject matter and understand why you do what you do.
  • Have general application outside of the specific situation in which you acquired the experience and indicate your knowledge of basic principles of the subject area.
Credit by Examination

Depending on the subject you’re interested in, you may be able to receive college credit by taking a special exam, which costs the same amount as one credit at the current College tuition rate. Be aware that you still must complete at least 30 traditional credit hours at the College to receive a degree. To apply, contact your advisor about that particular subject.


Certain programs at the College may enable you to create a portfolio to demonstrate that what you know is equivalent to what you would have learned in a comparable College course. The written component of the portfolio provides a vehicle for the student to highlight their personal experience and to support that their knowledge equates to the course they are challenging.

Credit by Transferring

If you’re transferring here from another college or university, we may accept some or all of your transfer credits as long as we determine that you have performed equivalent coursework at an accredited postsecondary institution.

Dual Enrollment/Dual Credits

If you earned dual high school and college credits by successfully completing a course through us as a dual enrollment student, those credits should already be part of your academic record. If you earned dual credits elsewhere, you’ll need to request that the postsecondary institution where you earned the credits send us your official transcript for review so that we can determine whether we will accept the credits for transfer.

  • Review our areas of study to see if any of the program courses cover concepts you may have mastered through prior learning or experience.
  • Find out what you need to do to qualify for prior learning credit.
  • Apply for admittance if you are not already a Montgomery County Community College student.
  • Complete and submit a prior learning questionnaire so we can help you identify what credits you may be eligible for.
  • Meet with an advisor at one of our Student Success Centers (locations and hours shown below) to confirm prior learning credits and determine which program and/or courses are right for you.

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Central Campus in Blue Bell
Mary Beth Bryers
Coordinator of Prior Learning Assessment and Adult Learners
Student Success Center
College Hall
Phone: 215-641-6319
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West Campus in Pottstown
Student Success Center
South Hall, Room 151
Phone: 610-718-1906
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Fax: 610-718-1837