Prior Learning Assessment

Prior learning is the knowledge and skills gained through work and life experiences. Your experiences can be assessed for college credit.

Earn Credits for Life and Work Experience

This video gives a brief introduction to the Prior Learning from Experience program.

What we offer

Evergreen’s Prior Learning from Experience program

Evergreen values the experience adults bring to college. Adult students have the opportunity to earn academic credit for knowledge acquired through life and work experience through the Prior Learning from Experience (PLE) program.

What we accept

You can earn prior learning credit in several ways, including:

  • Certificated Learning
  • Credit by Examination: Advanced Placement, Cambridge Examinations, College Level Examination Program, and International Baccalaureate Organization
  • Experiential Learning
  • Military Training and the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)

If you have not already documented your work and life experiences, you might want to explore how to develop a portfolio that can be evaluated for credit through Evergreen’s Prior Learning from Experience (PLE) program.

For more information about Prior Learning Assessment, please contact the Office of Admissions.

Certificated learning

Evergreen awards credit for some learning that earns a certificate acknowledging participation and completion of a workshop, seminar, or training program. Complete a Certificated Learning Application form (PDF), available from the Office of Admissions, for each workshop, seminar or program you would like evaluated for credit. You will need to provide a pamphlet or course outline and/or a syllabus from the workshop

Credit by examination

Evergreen accepts credits earned through the Advanced Placement (AP) and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) on a subject-by-subject basis as long as they do not duplicate course work earned at a college or university or at Evergreen

  • AP—the minimum acceptable score is 3. Eight credits will be awarded for each acceptable exam. A maximum of 45 credits can be awarded for AP exams.
  • Cambridge Examination—the minimum acceptable score is E. Credit can be awarded for any AS- or A-level exam. Nine credits will be awarded for each acceptable exam. Credit cannot be awarded for the same exam taken at the AS- and A-level. If you have been awarded the Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), you will be awarded 45 credits. Please provide an official high school transcript that documents that the AICE was earned.
  • CLEP—the minimum acceptable score varies for each test. However, a score of 50 or better will result in transfer credit. Evergreen does not award credit for the English with Essay exam. A maximum of 45 credits can be awarded for CLEP tests.
  • IBO—the minimum acceptable score is 4 on any Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL) IB exam. Nine credits will be award for each acceptable HL exam. Five credits will be awarded for each acceptable SL exam. A maximum of 45 credits can be awarded for SL or HL exams. If you have been awarded the IB Diploma, you will be awarded 45 credits. Please provide an official high school transcript that documents that the IB Diploma was earned.

Experiential learning

Evergreen recognizes that learning can take place from life experience, not just for academic studies. If you have been awarded credit for prior life experiences from another college or university, your transcript and/or prior life document will be reviewed for transfer credit.

Military training

Some military training can generate transfer credit, based on recommendations from the American Council on Education (ACE). Students need to submit a combination of the following documents: DD214, DD295, training records, military certificates, etc. Transfer credit is not given for MOS, LDO, NWO, NER, CGR, CGW or MCE designations.

DANTES—lower- or upper-division credit can be awarded depending on the exam. A maximum of 45 credits can be awarded through DANTES exams.

Worth noting

Credit awarded by Evergreen through any Prior Learning Assessment program described here cannot duplicate course work completed at a college or university or at Evergreen. For example, if your English AP test score is the equivalent of English 101 and Evergreen awards you transfer credit for this AP test, you cannot repeat the equivalent course for college credit again.

Other transfer credit restrictions may apply. For example, the maximum number of lower division credit that Evergreen will award is 90 quarter hour credits. The Designated Transfer Degree at a Washington community college represents 90 credits and other Prior Learning sources cannot yield additional lower division credit.

Credits through examination are subject to these policies

  1. A maximum fo 135 quarter hour credits can be transferred from any one or combination of sources, including credit by exam. However, no more than 90 credits can be lower division, quarter hour credits, from any one or combination of sources, including credit by exam.
  2. All credit will be awarded as college-level, quarter hour credits and all credit awarded applies towards an Evergreen degree.
  3. Students must complete 45 of their last 90 credits at Evergreen in order to graduate.
  4. Credit will not be given for similar or duplicate exams and course work. For example, a student cannot receive credit for both the AP World History exam and a college world history course. Only one will be considered for transfer credit.
  5. Official exam score reports should be sent to the Office of Admissions for evaluation and award of credit. Exam scores documented on transcripts cannot be be substituted for an exam score report.