Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning

at Golden West College


Many non-traditional students (adults age 25+) come to California community colleges with skills gained through military, workplace, and civic experiences. They hold industry credentials, are graduates of public service academies, and were trained for military occupations. Credit for prior learning (CPL) is a strategy to help students get credit for what they already know and can do, saving them time and money on their educational path.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) college credit is awarded for validated college-level skills and knowledge gained outside of a college classroom. Credit for prior learning may be earned for eligible courses approved by the faculty for students who satisfactorily pass an authorized assessment.

Authorized assessments may include the evaluation of approved external standardized examinations, military service/training, the evaluation of industry or State/Federal Government recognized credentials, student-created portfolios, and credit by examination. 

Governor Brown signed two bills in 2018 that mandate CPL in California Community Colleges (SB1071, AB1786). From that time until the start of the Fall 2022 semester, community colleges across the state have been implementing policies and practices to ensure equity, quality, and integrity in the assessment process. Starting this 2022-2023 school year, Golden West College is proud to roll out our CPL process. As this is our first year, please check back with this page as we will continue to add new information and develop best practice.

Frequently Asked Questions
Determination of Eligibility
Apply for Credit for Prior Learning
Approved Standardized Examinations (AP / IB / CLEP)
Military Service/Training Credit
Industry or State/Federal Government Recognized Credentials
Student-Created Portfolio Assessment
Validated Volunteer and/or Civic Activities
Credit by Examination