Prior Learning Assessment

Many students come to LCCC with prior learning experiences comparable to learning achieved in college classrooms. The key component of any prior experience is not the experience itself, but the learning that has been accomplished by a person outside of the traditional classroom environment. This learning must parallel the learning outcomes of LCCC courses for faculty and division deans to recommend that credit be awarded. Up to 30 semester credit hours can be accumulated in prior learning credits, exclusive of transfer credits.

Learn more about prior learning at www.lorainccc.edu/PLA, or call (440) 366-4076 to meet with a representative in Career Services on the first floor of the Bass Library Community Resource Center.

A number of mechanisms exist for the consideration of prior learning assessment. 

  • Courses taken at other colleges.
  • CLEP (College Level Examination Program). 
  • Proficiency Examination. 
  • ACT-PEP (American College Testing – Proficiency Examination Program). 
  • Advanced Placement Tests (College Board). 
  • Military Training. 
  • International Baccalaureate.
  • Access to Nursing (LPN-RN). 
  • Block Credit. 
  • Portfolio Assessment.

Once prior learning has been satisfactorily assessed and documented, students are eligible for either accelerated sequencing or credit. In accelerated sequencing, students progress to the next course in the sequence. This is done for placement only and no credit is given. Course substitution may be appropriate in cases of non-sequential courses. When students receive credit for prior learning, an X or a P for the parallel LCCC course appears on the transcript. Should students transfer from LCCC to another institution, prior learning credit may not transfer except as part of an associate degree or certificate; students are advised to consult the transfer institution. Occasionally students may be REQUIRED to complete the upper-level course satisfactorily before credit is given for the lower-level courses in the sequence.

Prior Learning Assessment Mechanisms

Courses Taken at Other Colleges


Students must submit official transcripts from all other colleges they have attended to the LCCC Records office, along with a completed Transcript Evaluation Request form, for determining whether such coursework corresponds to LCCC courses for which credit can be awarded. Credit must have been earned at accredited post-secondary institutions to be considered and must parallel course offering in current programs. An approved Ohio Department of Higher Education transfer module from another Ohio public college or university, if so noted on the student’s transcript, will be accepted. Prior to fall 2005, grades of D will transfer to LCCC only when the transfer module is completed and is part of an earned associate of arts, associate of science or bachelor’s degree.

Coursework completed fall term of 2005 and beyond from Ohio state-supported colleges and universities with a passing grade of D will transfer to LCCC, with or without completion of the Ohio transfer module. Please note: All admission, program and graduation requirements must be met.

CLEP (College Level Examination Program)

The CLEP is a national program of examinations that can be used to evaluate non-traditional college education. LCCC grants transfer credit for subject examinations only. Tests are administered at LCCC’s DEC Testing Center. Consult the Prior Learning Assessment office to identify the CLEP examinations that may be taken.

Proficiency Examination

Proficiency examinations are developed by faculty and the dean and will be based on the learning outcomes of courses. Proficiency examinations are not available for all courses. Students should consult the Prior Learning Assessment office to determine the courses which proficiencies may be taken. A maximum number of 30 semester hours is allowed for courses approved through the petition for credit by examination process. No letter grade will be given for credit by examination. No student may seek examination credit for a class she/he has completed or in which she/he is still enrolled after the fourth week of classes of any regular college semester or the second week for all summer terms or the second week for eight-week terms.

Procedures for the Proficiency Examination

  1. Student must have completed application for admission. 
  2. Student must complete petition for credit by examination in duplicate and submit both copies to the Prior Learning Assessment office. 
  3. Student must present the dean of the academic division with evidence indicating background for the proficiency examination. 
  4. A minimum fee equal to one credit hour at the student’s tuition assessment rate must be paid at the Bursar’s office and the paid receipt attached to the petition. 
  5. The completed petition and paid receipt must be returned to the appropriate division office.

Arrangements for testing will then be completed and the student notified of such by the appropriate academic division.

ACT-PEP (American College Testing-Proficiency Examination Program)

ACT-PEP examinations cover a broad range of academic disciplines and generally include material presented in courses at the undergraduate level. Each examination is based on a detailed syllabus available to students.

Advanced Placement Credit Award

The State of Ohio, working through the University System of Ohio, has initiated policies to facilitate the ease of transition from high school to college as well as between and among Ohio’s Public colleges and universities.

As of Fall Term 2009

  1. Students obtaining an advanced placement (AP) examination score of three or above will be awarded the aligned course(s) and credits for the AP examination area(s) successfully completed.
  2. General education courses and credits received will be applied towards graduation and will satisfy a general education requirement if the course(s) to which the AP area is equivalent fulfill a requirement. 
  3. If an equivalent course is not available for the AP examination area completed, elective or area credit will be awarded in the appropriate academic discipline and will be applied towards graduation where such elective credit options exist within the academic major. 
  4. Additional courses or credits may be available when a score of four or five is obtained. Award of credit for higher score values varies depending on the institution and academic discipline. 
  5. In academic disciplines containing highly dependent sequences (sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics-STEM) students are strongly advised to confer with the college/university advising staff to ensure they have the appropriate foundation to be successful in advanced coursework within the sequence.

Military Training

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans must submit a certified DD-214 or Notice of Basic Eligibility for active reserves (NOBE) to the Records office for prior learning assessment of military service or training. The College awards three semester credit hours for physical education for completed basic training. Other military service or training is assessed based on the recommendations of the American Council on Education as posted on the military transcript or DD-214 and LCCC academic division approval.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program offers a wide range of subject programs. LCCC grants transfer credits for approved International Baccalaureate subjects with acceptable scores. Student must submit official transcript from International Baccalaureate to LCCC for evaluation.

Access to Nursing (LPN-RN)

Graduates of an approved practical nursing program are eligible to advance in placement in the associate degree nursing program (RN) provided all prerequisites are met and the student receives a grade of C or better in NURS 101, which is a transition course. (See Allied Health and Nursing Admissions for information on prerequisites.)

Block Credit (20-30 Semester Credits)

Selected non-collegiate, post-secondary training and education are approved for block credit by special arrangement between LCCC and the participating agency and can be applied only to the associate of individualized studies or associate of technical studies. Information on programs with block credit components may be obtained from college counselors, the Engineering, Business and Information Technologies division or the Allied Health, Nursing, Health, Physical Education and Recreation division.

Portfolio Assessment (Documents, Performances, Auditions, Demonstrations)

Students whose work experience or other life experiences have enabled them to acquire knowledge and skills comparable to those taught in LCCC courses may petition an academic division for the opportunity to document such learning by portfolio (documents, performances, auditions and demonstrations) to be reviewed by faculty for the possible awarding of credit or for accelerated sequencing. To determine appropriate courses, students should consult the Prior Learning Assessment office for the courses of interest and follow the procedures indicated. Some agreements between professional academies and LCCC exist within College divisions. Consult the Prior Learning Assessment office for details.

Non-Collegiate Training

Some programs offered by business, government, industry or professional organizations may be considered equivalent to college-level courses and credit may be awarded. The student must provide official transcripts or certificates of completion and a request for non-traditional credit to the Prior Learning Assessment office. The appropriate division faculty, determining whether credit will be granted, will use the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs published by the American Council on Education and other documentation as necessary.