Bakersfield College

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Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

Get Credit for What You Already Know and Can Do

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is college credit awarded for validated college-level skills and knowledge gained outside of a college classroom. Students’ knowledge and skills might be gained through experiences such as:

  • Military training
  • Industry training
  • State/federal government training
  • Apprenticeships, internships, work-based learning, or other industry-based experiential learning
  • Validated volunteer and civic activities (e.g. Peace Corps)

This CPL definition does not include knowledge and skills already assessed and awarded credit through formal education at regionally accredited in-state and out-of-state institutions.

How CPL Can Help You

CPL can help you save time and money on your educational path. Students can now get credit for a course instead of just waiving a prerequisite.

How to Qualify for CPL

Students who hold industry credentials and certifications, are graduates of service academies, were trained for military occupations, or have work experience that can be demonstrated through an exam or portfolio review may qualify for credit for prior learning. To see if you qualify for CPL, complete the student interest form.

Student Interest Form

How to Demonstrate Your Prior Learning

Students will be required to demonstrate proficiency in a course eligible for Credit for Prior Learning. Proficiency can be demonstrated by one or more of the options below. Where appropriate, proficiency will be determined by the discipline faculty.

  • Military Transcript
  • Industry Certification
  • Credit by Exam
  • Portfolio Review
  • Industry Accreditation or License
  • AP, IB, CLEP

Does CPL cost anything?

There is no cost for CPL, except for the Credit by Exam assessment method. Credit earned through the other assessment methods listed above are free to the student.

The Credit by Exam (CBE) cost is current tuition rates per unit for in-state, out-of-state, or international students depending on your student status. For current tuition rates per unit, see BC's Tuition Rates.

NOTE: This CBE cost may be covered by Financial Aid. Units acquired by examination might not be applicable to meeting such unit load requirements as Selective Service deferment, Veteran’s Benefits, or Social Security Benefits.

If you are a Veteran with additional questions, contact veterans@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

What if I have experience in a discipline or industry that is not listed above that I think might qualify as CPL?

Complete the CPL interest form and one of our staff members will contact you.

Find out more about CPL and see if You Qualify

Student Interest Form