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Prior Learning Assessment

A matriculated student who can present evidence supporting education in one or more courses applicable to the student's program of study may request that those credits/experience be evaluated and applied toward graduation requirements. The following information outlines the opportunities available to students.

Higher Education Opportunities

Transfer Credit

Transfer of Credit from Another Institution
The student must furnish the college with official transcripts and course descriptions of academic courses from each accredited college they have attended. Accreditation of transfer institutions must be similar to MCC’s accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Grades of “C” or better in courses judged by the college to be equivalent in nature and content to MCC program offerings will be accepted.

Students seeking a degree/professional certificate at MCC must fulfill residency requirements. A student must have a minimum of 60 credits to complete a degree and must complete all required courses for their academic program. Transfer of a course to MCC does not guarantee transfer of that same course to subsequent institutions. See individual academic program descriptions for specific program transfer policies.

Credit by Examination

A. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The College Board offers standardized examinations in a variety of subjects. Students who have completed a CLEP examination must request their scores be sent to MCC for review. This request is made to the College Board and can be done during or after the exam. Acceptance of CLEP exams for transfer credits will be based on the following criteria:

  • The student has earned a passing score as defined by The College Board and the college.
  • The student has been accepted into a program.
  • There is a course within the student's program of study that is equivalent to the CLEP exam.

CLEP scores are not calculated into a student's GPA or in any way interpreted as a grade and may not be applied towards MCC's 25% residency requirement. Students may not transfer CLEP credits for a course they have successfully completed or for a course that is more advanced than the subject of the exam. Any student who fails an MCC course and wishes to take a CLEP exam in lieu of retaking the course must realize that the original grade received will remain on his/her transcript and will be counted in the CGPA. The CLEP exam score does not replace a grade for an MCC course. CLEP exams are administered on the online in the Academic Success Center.

View all the CLEP Exams that are offered for course credit.

For more information, please visit:

B. Credit by Examination (Internal)
Credit by examination may be earned only by a matriculated student who, by study, training or experience outside MCC, has acquired skills or knowledge equivalent to that acquired by a student enrolled at MCC and has a CGPA of 2.0 or higher. A student is eligible for a maximum of 16 credits through credit by examination.

If the student passes the exam, appropriate credits shall be applied to the student's academic record. Credit will not be given for grades below a "C". A student receiving a grade below "C" is ineligible for another special examination in that course.

Students who have previously taken a course and failed it are not eligible for an examination for credit in that course. Typically, credit earned by internal examination is not transferrable to other institutions.

Excelsior College Examinations
Excelsior College provides educational opportunities to adult learners by offering quality assessment of prior learning. College level credit in select subject areas can be obtained by passing Excelsior proficiency exams. In addition to a variety of subject areas, the Excelsior exams are acceptable to advanced placement in nursing. For more information, please visit the American Council on Education website.

Secondary Education Opportunities

Running Start Program Coursework

The New Hampshire Running Start (RS) Program is a unique higher education initiative for high school students that enables them to enroll in selected college courses offered by the Community College system of New Hampshire at a significant reduction in tuition. College courses are offered during the day at high schools throughout New Hampshire.

Advanced Placement (AP) Coursework

Students requesting credit for Advanced Placement Courses taken in high school, must complete the Advanced Placement Exam offered by the College Entrance Examination Board. Official documentation including score reports from CEEB in order to have examinations evaluated for transfer credit. MCC will accept Advanced Placement scores of “3” or higher. For more information, please visit the College Board website.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is designed as an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepares students, normally aged 16 to 19, for success at colleges and universities. Transcripts from the IB Diploma Program are reviewed as transfer credit toward appropriate MCC courses. For more information, please visit:

Technical Studies Degree Program

The Technical Studies program offers a flexible curriculum tailored to the students' professional needs and to provide avenues for credit for prior learning experiences. This program will allow students to complete a specialized degree program and complement their work experiences, training experiences and certifications with academic coursework.

The Technical Studies program is designed to support the diverse needs of skilled workers in our community to obtain an associate degree by offering credit for recognized technical experience, certifications and training. With consultation from a faculty advisor from diverse technical backgrounds, the program allows students to build on the success of their individual area of technical expertise by choosing technical electives to complement their Technical Specialty area. The Technical Studies degree is intended to be a program of study in an area other than the current degree programs of the college.

Students coming from recognized apprenticeship programs or students with certifications in a technical field (in an area that we do not offer an Associate Degree) may receive credits toward an associate degree in Technical Studies for industry training and/or certifications. Documented certification exams and/or military experience may also be reviewed for credit.

Students enrolled in the Technical Studies Degree program are required to take a one-credit, Assessment of Prior Learning course to guide them through the development of their career goals as well as their portfolio of prior learning experiences. (link to GA101 course in course descriptions) At the completion of the course, the portfolio will be reviewed by an appropriate faculty member, department chairperson and the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs. If credit is granted, the student will be charged a fee for credit for prior learning based on the formula below.

Fee for Credit for Prior Learning - Experiential Learning

Students will be assessed a fee for prior experience credit based on the formula noted below.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for prior learning offers students the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge they have gained through life experiences and apply this knowledge towards credit in a degree or certificate program. A student must be matriculated at MCC to apply for experiential credit.

A request for credit for prior learning should initiate with the faculty advisor who normally teaches the course. After initial discussion, the student should submit a Credit by Experiential Learning Form, a portfolio containing a cover letter and resume, extensive work experience explanations, letters from employers, certificates of accomplishment, samples of work, as well as any other information deemed appropriate. The responsibility of proof will be on the student requesting evaluation. The portfolio is then reviewed by an appropriate instructor, the department chair, and the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs. If credit is granted, the student will be charged a fee for credit for prior learning based on the formula below.

Fee for Credit for Prior Learning - Experiential Learning

Students will be assessed a fee based on 50% of the current tuition rate on the total credits awarded (e.g., for 12 credits awarded: 0.50 x current tuition rate x 12 credits).

Military Opportunities

Military Training & Experience

  • The college may grant credit for those military training experiences that are evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) and are comparable to course content required in a student's academic program.
  • Prior military learning experiences are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Students may explore standardized testing (CLEP/DSST/Excelsior) to complement military training experiences. (see below)
  • The Technical Studies program is a flexible self-designed degree program allowing for the application of prior military and other life learning experiences.
  • Students should submit a Joint Services Transcript (JST) for military experience they wish to have evaluated.

For more information, please visit:

DANTES (Defense Activities for Non Traditional Support) & DSST

DANTES sponsors a wide range of examination programs to assist service members in meeting their educational goals. These examinations are administered on over 500 military installations by the DANTES Test Control Officer (TCO), who is normally the Education Services Officer or Navy College Education Specialist for the military installation, or by base-sponsored National Test Centers.

The DSST program (formerly known as the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) is a series of 38 examinations in college subject areas that are comparable to the final or end-of-course examinations in undergraduate courses. The American Council on Education (ACE) recommends 3 semester hours of credit per test.

For more information, please visit:

ACE (American Council on Education) Credit

Students can gain academic credit for formal courses and examinations taken outside of traditional degree programs. Manchester Community College accepts ACE exams as reliable course equivalency to facilitate credit award decisions. The ACE military evaluations program is funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) and coordinated through DANTES (above).

Licenses, Certifications and Training Programs

Manchester Community College recognizes that certain Licenses, Certifications and Corporate Training Programs may be reviewed for prior learning experience credit. Course materials, certificates and other pertinent information are required in order to be considered. Certificate or licenses must be valid within 5 years of the date of acceptance into the college. The license, certification or training must be applicable to the student's degree program at MCC.

For more information examinations for credit for workplace training, please visit: