What is Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)? CPL is credit awarded for validated college level skills and knowledge gained outside of a college classroom. Faculty will evaluate student-submitted CPL petitions to determine if the student’s learning gained through a variety of experiences is equivalent to Shasta College coursework. 

At Shasta College we recognize that many students bring their own unique set of knowledge, skills, abilities, and experiences to campus. Explore the Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) options offered through Shasta College! Speak to a counselor for all Credit for Prior Learning options and how they can best meet your academic goals.

  • Adult students who participate in CPL saved an average of 9 to 14 months in completing their degree and between $1,500 and $10,200 in expenses.
  • Students are 17 percent more likely to complete their program when they take advantage of an institution’s CPL offerings.

(Source: Data from a 2020 report published by CAEL and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE))

  • Students will not be charged a fee for any CPL request.
  • Per federal regulations, financial aid may not be used for Credit for Prior Learning, nor can CPL units be used for determining financial aid eligibility.  
  • Credits awarded through CPL that count toward a student’s educational goal may be counted toward maximum unit count under the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. 
  • Credit acquired by CPL may not be applicable to meeting load requirements for programs such as Selective Service deferment, Veteran's benefits, CalWORKS, EOPS (and other special programs), or Social Security benefits.
  • Credit acquired by CPL shall not be counted in determining residency (students must complete at least 12 units of study in residence).
  • Credit awarded through CPL may not be used for grade alleviation.
  • Students shall be given the opportunity to accept, decline, or appeal offers of Credit for Prior Learning.
  • The student’s academic record shall be clearly annotated to reflect that credit was earned by assessment of prior learning, and the type of CPL.

If Shasta College awards Credit for Prior Learning coursework and units, they will be used to fulfill your Shasta College graduation requirements. This coursework and associated units will be added to your Shasta College transcript.

If you plan to transfer to another institution, please be aware that every college/university has their own policies about Credit for Prior Learning. What was accepted at Shasta College may not be accepted at another institution.

If you are planning to transfer to a California State University, please know that according to CSU Systemwide policy, CSUs will accept coursework earned through CPL for ADT degrees (AST/AAT), and full or partial CSU GE and/or CSU-IGETC certification. If you experience any problem with a CSU accepting your CPL coursework, please reach out to Buffy Tanner, Director of Innovation and Special Projects, at btanner@shastacollege.edu, so she can intervene with the CSU System on your behalf.  

AP Exams

If you have taken a college level class in high school and pass a College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exam with a minimum score of three (3) in a subject matter, you could be awarded units.

CLEP Exams

Upon completion of six semester units at Shasta College, a student may submit official College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test results to Shasta College from the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB).


A student may challenge some classes by taking an examination or assessment. Examinations/Assessments may be taken only once and, if passed, the credit will be posted on your permanent academic record.

High School Articulation

Students may receive college credit for articulated high school courses as permitted by the California Educational Code.

IB Exams

In addition to getting preparation for college, you may get credit for college classes by passing IB exams.

Industry Recognized Credentials

Shasta College recognizes that some industry credentials may fulfill course objectives and student learning outcomes for corresponding Shasta College courses/programs.


In some instances, it is necessary for a portfolio to be submitted in order to translate prior learning into course credit. Each course contains different requirements.

Transfer Credit from Other Colleges/Universities

If you have successfully completed coursework at another regionally accredited college or university, we encourage you to meet with your counselor to discuss how that coursework could apply towards your current program/major.


Shasta College will evaluate your Joint Services Transcript for the opportunity to receive course credit.