Options and Examples

This page provides basic descriptions of the major options for earning Credit for Prior Learning, along with selected examples of each type. Fees are typically $50 per credit. The CPL Coordinator can provide further information on CPL options, availability, and procedures and examples, along with consultation about academic and career goals relative to CPL. (See contact information at bottom of page.)

General Guide to Credit for Prior Learning Types

This site provides some great general descriptions even though the examples are in healthcare. Specific types are also described separately below.

National Standardized Exam Services

CLEP, DSST, and Excelsior are national testing services that offer standardized exams for popular courses in the major subject areas, including Business, English, Humanities, Social Science, Science, Math, and Technology. Middlesex does not currently offer these exams on campus, but accepts passing scores for many of these exams taken elsewhere. For a complete list of exams offered by these services, see the links below. These services provide detailed study guides and practice exams. Check with the MCC CPL Coordinator before taking an exam.



Challenge Exams and Exercises

Challenge Exams or Exercises are available for a limited number of courses at MCC. Depending on the course, students may be asked to take one cumulative exam or several shorter exams on the course material. Additionally, students may be asked to write a paper, complete a project or perform laboratory experiments. Typically students will not be offered a challenge exam if a standard national exam, such as CLEP, already exists in that subject. Students may not use challenge exams to take the place of a failure in a course they have already taken. Course Guidelines may be available to assist students in preparing for exams.

CAP 101 Computer Applications, LGL 102 Business Law
FPS 150 Hazardous Materials, FPS 151 Fire Science Hydraulics
CSC 101 Intro to Computer Science and selected other CSC courses

Challenge exams have been specifically developed by the World Language Instite for many world languages. Contact Marilyn Glazer at GLAZERM@middlesex.mass.edu.


Credential Review

For some courses, a specific training program, license, or certification is equivalent to an MCC course. In this case, an appropriate evaluator simply needs to verify a valid credential.

Firefighter I/II, EMT, ServeSafe for related courses


Interview Assessment

For selected courses, an evaluator may conduct an in-depth interview during which the student will have the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the learning, knowledge, skills, and competencies that match course learning outcomes though prior employment, training, or life experience. Course Guidelines may be available to assist students in preparing for the interview, including any written responses that may need to be prepared in advance.

BUS 110 Intro to Business, selected other business courses


Portfolio Evaluation

For selected MCC courses, students can demonstrate that they have acquired the learning, knowledge, skills, and competencies that match course learning outcomes though prior employment, training, or life experience. Portfolios are developed under the direction of a subject matter evaluator for the course and may include examples of work produced, written descriptions and responses to questions, or other relevant documentation.

Selected Education courses for certified Lead Teachers with 2 or more years of experience
Many other areas considered on a case by case basis


National Portfolio Evaluation Service

LearningCounts.org is a national organization that assists students in earning credit for areas where their local college may not have courses or options available that match a students prior learning experience. Students begin by taking an online portfolio development course that guides them through the process of evaluating their prior learning from employment, volunteer, military, training, or other life experience and matching it to college-level courses. Students then prepare portfolios for particular subject areas and courses for submission to content experts at LearningCounts who evaluate them for credit and make specific recommendations for colleges and universities. LearningCounts is affiliated with ACE (American Council on Education) and MCC accepts their recommendations for credit without a transfer fee from MCC. Fees do apply to services provided by LearningCounts.




For further questions or assistance, contact:
Rob Kaulfuss, Credit for Prior Learning Coordinator and Advisor
781-280-3852 / kaulfussr@middlesex.mass.edu / Henderson Hall, Room 117
Middlesex Community College, 591 Springs Rd., Bedford, MA 01730

For World Language exams, contact:
Marilyn Glazer, Flexible Studies Department Coordinator
781-280-3934 / glazerm@middlesex.mass.edu / Academic Resources Building

Last Modified: 5/6/22