Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) provides an opportunity to prove that you have already mastered certain skills or knowledge. If you are able to demonstrate competency in PLA areas, you could earn college credit. For example, have you been working in accounting for years? Perhaps you can demonstrate competency in accounting enough to meet the requirements of an accounting course. Or if you had advanced mathematics in high school, you might could prove your competency in college algebra.

How do you earn the credit?

You earn credit by first being admitted as a Bainbridge College student, and then completing either a CLEP exam or a departmental challenge exam for a particular subject. You must also register for and pay tuition for the course for which you are seeking credit.

CLEP (College Level Examination Program)

This program, offered through the College Entrance Examination Board involves the completion of a standardized exam prepared by CLEP. The exams are available through the college’s testing center which is currently housed in the library. The student must purchase test materials for each test taken. The award of credit is governed by the following regulations:

  1. Up to 17 hours of CLEP credit may count toward a degree at Bainbridge College. Such credit will be recorded on the student’s record in the same manner as transfer credit with the symbol “K” assigned.
  2. No credit will be awarded on the basis of an examination taken more than twice after initial enrollment.
  3. Credit will be given for courses for which a pre-requisite is a requirement only after such pre-requisite(s) have been satisfied.
  4. Test cost is $77; test administration fee is $15. Total cost = $92.

For a detailed list of those classes for which CLEP credit can be awarded see the current college catalog (page 43).

Departmental Challenge Exams

Students may gain credit for assessment of prior work experience, military courses or experience, courses taken at non-accredited institutions, courses not intended for transfer credit, and other educational experiences.  Students can demonstrate college-level learning by passing an approved end-of-course challenge exam, which may include both written and hands-on components. Students may not take a challenge exam for a course they have previously failed at this institution, and students who are currently enrolled in a course are not eligible to take the associated challenge exam in that semester. The fee for challenge exams is $50 per test. Students should contact their academic advisor to arrange testing. There is no provision for a retest.


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