Get College Credit for Prior Learning: How to Qualify at DeVry

By DeVry University

When life abruptly changes, it can help to know that some things stay the same—including your ability to reach your education goals. In fact, there are multiple ways you can get college credit for the knowledge and skills you’ve developed outside of your previous coursework. Discover the benefits of prior learning credit and how you may be able to use your previous work experience, a completed exam or even time served in the military to get credit for prior learning at DeVry.

What is Prior Learning Credit?

Prior learning credit allows you to earn college-level credit for subjects and skills you've studied outside of a traditional classroom. It can be particularly helpful for transfer students, industry professionals with years of field experience or students who may wish to graduate sooner.

"At DeVry, we value your previous experiences and hard work – that's why our goal is to provide a comprehensive process to help incoming students get credit for prior learning," says Dr. Shantanu Bose, DeVry University Provost and Chief Academic Officer. "The application of prior learning credits can not only help reduce the length of your DeVry program so that you might earn your degree sooner, but it can also reduce the overall cost of your education."

Experiences That May Qualify for Prior Learning Credit.

Whether you're returning to school or progressing in your education, you can potentially get college credit for a variety of learning and professional experiences. As appropriate, DeVry awards credit for prior learning based on:

  • Previous education experience: Have you completed classes at another college or university? Leveraging your qualifying transfer credits is often the most common way that you can apply your prior learning experience to your DeVry program. DeVry maintains academic agreements with many two- and four-year colleges and universities to ensure that students can transfer credits when eligible.

  • Military coursework and training: Depending on your training, you may be able to get college credit for prior learning completed during your time in the military. DeVry evaluates military coursework and educational experiences based on American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations, so the specific military coursework that DeVry accepts for prior learning credit will vary on an individual basis. For examples of military courses that may qualify, check out the ACE Military Guide.

  • Professional certifications and training: Throughout your career or education, you may have completed certifications from companies and organizations like Microsoft, Cisco or CompTIA. Depending on your area of study and other restrictions, you may be able to get prior learning credit for earning these certifications.

  • Examinations: DeVry also offers potential prior learning credit based on certain qualifying national exams including the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and College Level Examination Program, as well as industry-specific tests such as the American Health Information Management Association Exam.

  • Professional knowledge: Sometimes you master skills by completing professional projects, creating your own website or other non-traditional methods of training. In these instances, you may benefit from completing a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), which allows you to get college credit for skills learned outside of class by demonstrating your knowledge in a portfolio. As part of the process, you must take a short online class with LearningCounts where you will learn how to create an effective PLA portfolio for evaluation. Once the portfolio is complete, it is submitted for review to determine if it meets the criteria for prior learning credit.

How Prior Learning Credit is Evaluated.

Each student's experience is unique, so every application for prior learning credit is evaluated on an individual basis. DeVry generally accepts applicable credit recommendations from ACE for many different kinds of workforce training included in the National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training as well as credit recommendations from the National College Credit Recommendation Service.

Get Started with Prior Learning Credit.

It's important to remember that prior learning credit can apply to so much more than traditional transfer credits. Whether you've completed college-level courses in the past or you’re just getting started on your degree, Dr. Bose encourages anyone interested in DeVry to discuss prior learning credit with an admissions representative.

Don’t sell yourself short," advises Dr. Bose. "You've worked hard to get where you are in your life and career. If you have experiences that you think may qualify for prior learning credit, let's talk about them. You may be surprised at just how much you've accomplished so far."

Want to see if you qualify for prior learning credit at DeVry? Contact us to discuss your experiences with our admissions team.

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