Credit for Prior Learning

Skills and knowledge may be gained in ways other than formal classroom or lab learning – we get that. Many of our students come to us with years of life, work, and military experience. You can save time and money as you pursue your degree by earning credit for learning gained through that experience. Let us help you get the credit you deserve and get closer to graduation!
To be eligible to earn credit for prior learning, you must be officially enrolled in an NWTC degree, diploma, or certificate program. Plus, you will need to take a minimum of 25 percent of your core course requirements through NWTC.

Why earn credit for prior learning?

  • Save time. Across the nation, associate degree graduates with CPL have saved an average of between 1.5 and 4.5 months in earning their degree.*
  • Save money. Compare the cost: CPL course at NWTC- $50 or $90;  a three-credit NWTC course - $434.85  (2016-2017 program fees)
  • See success. While individual results vary, CPL students in general are more likely to graduate than students who do not earn CPL.*

Get started

  1. Find a CPL eligible course and view course outcomes.

  2. Schedule a CPL consultation.

  3. Apply and pay the CPL fee.

  4. Complete the assessment.


Credit for prior learning may be earned through these three ways:

Credit for Prior Learning Enrolled Process

Students enrolled in a course in which they would like to test out must follow the deadlines below for the term they are enrolled in the course. Students who successfully pass the credit for prior learning assessment by the dates specified will be withdrawn from a course, and may qualify for a tuition refund. As a withdrawal from a course may affect a student's financial aid reward, NWTC encourages students to meet with their academic advisor to discuss how credit for prior learning may alter their course load and find additional courses needed to retain their financial aid status.

Students seeking to test out of a course that has a portfolio or skills demonstration assessment should allot for the time associated with these assessments to meet the deadlines. For this reason, we advise students seeking credit for prior learning with portfolio or skills demonstration options begin the process at least eight weeks prior to the start of the term.

Spring 2018 Enrolled CPL Deadlines

  • Last date to request a CPL consultation: 01/30/2018
  • Last date to register and pay for CPL (if enrolled): 01/31/2018
  • Last date to complete CPL assessment (if enrolled): 02/02/2018
  • Instructor to submit grade by: 02/08/2018
  • If awarded, CPL to be posted to student transcript and student withdrawn from course by 02/09/2018
Please note no credit for prior learning test out option is available for J-term classes after the first day of class.

Student Stories

Casey Wanish