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Course Challenge Exam: You may earn credit for some courses by demonstrating that you have met the learning objectives by passing a Challenge/Proficiency exam developed by PCC Faculty.  

Military or Corporate Workforce Training: PCC recognizes and will grant credit for the American Council on Education's (ACE)-approved military or corporate training.

Industry Certification and Licenses: Various professional certification programs and industry credentials are recognized by Pima.  Learn more about how this might work for you!

Portfolio Assessment: Use the portfolio process to document what you have learned, matching your knowledge to material covered in specific PCC courses.

National Standardized Exams: You may also receive credit for some courses by successfully passing several national standardized exams such as the College Board AP exam, GED, International Baccalaureate (IB), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) or Cambridge International Exam.

Noncredit Coursework: You may earn credit for the completion of certain PCC noncredit programs and/or coursework applied to specific credit degree programs.  Learn more about this option!

Credit for Prior Learning

The finish line to your college degree may be closer than you think. At Pima, we value the knowledge you’ve acquired outside of the classroom and we offer ways to turn those experiences into credit by demonstrating that your learning matches a specific course.

There are many forms of experience that lead to college-level learning. These include your work experience and job skills, employer training programs, volunteer or community service, military experience and training, self-directed learning projects, noncredit classes, personal life experiences and much more.

Benefits

Save time: You can earn up to 50 percent of the credits required for a degree or certificate.

Save money: Credit for prior learning is evaluated for a fee that is lower than the cost of tuition. Students save on average $328 - $1,216 in tuition.

Eliminate courses:  Earning credit for prior learning eliminates the need to take classes that cover content you already have mastered. This means you can skip taking—and paying for—classes that cover what you already know, while still receiving equivalent credit. In the end, you can save time and money on your way to graduation.

Take our prior learning self-assessment survey 
to see how you can save time and money.

How to Turn your Life Experience into College Credit

Pima offers a variety of methods to earn credit for prior learning. You must apply for admission to PCC before any evaluation can occur.

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  • National Standardized Exams

    You may receive credit for some courses by successfully passing the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exam, General Education Development (GED), International Baccalaureate (IB), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) or Cambridge International Exam (CIE). To learn more about score requirements, refer to the Exam Equivalency Guide.

    There is no charge to have your transcript evaluated and posted to your student record. To begin this process:

    1. Have a paper official transcript sent directly to Pima Community College District Office Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office, 4905B E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 220, Tucson AZ 85709-1120 or an electronic official transcript sent directly to registrar@pima.edu.
    2. Once the evaluation is complete you will receive notification that the review and articulation has been completed.
  • Course Challenge Exams

    You may earn credit for some courses by demonstrating that you meet the learning objectives by passing the Challenge/Proficiency Exam developed by PCC faculty.

    To begin this process:

    1. Meet with an academic advisor to determine if a course challenge exam is appropriate.
    2. Complete a credit for prior learning request form.
    3. Schedule a time, date and location for the exam.
    4. Pay associated fees ($80 per exam, plus $25 administrative fee).
    5. Take the exam.
    6. Upon completion of the exam, PCC faculty will provide the grade earned to the District Office Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office to post to your student record. You will receive an email outlining the number of credits earned.
  • Portfolio Assessment

    The portfolio process provides a unique way for you to document what you’ve learned. When you create your portfolio, you will match your knowledge to material covered in a specific PCC course. You will learn how to create an academic portfolio during the portfolio development workshop. This noncredit, online course is designed to help you identify, describe and document the skills and knowledge you’ve gained by putting together a written academic portfolio. This course is required of all students creating portfolios.

    To begin this process:

    1. Meet with an academic advisor to determine if a portfolio assessment is appropriate.
    2. Complete a credit for prior learning request form.
    3. Enroll in the noncredit portfolio development workshop (optional for subsequent portfolios).
    4. Pay the associated fees ($125 per course, plus $25 administrative fee).
    5. Develop your portfolio based on course learning outcomes and submit it along with your supporting materials to the discipline coordinator.
    6. The PCC faculty member/subject matter expert will review the portfolio and provide the grade earned to the District Office Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office to post to your student record. You will receive an email outlining the number of credits earned.
  • Industry Certifications and Licenses

    Various professional certification programs and industry credentials are recognized by Pima as having the equivalent knowledge of certain PCC courses. Credit is based on competencies demonstrated through successful completion of the professional certification or state licensure examination.

    To apply for credit evaluation:

    1. Meet with an academic advisor to determine if the industry credential is appropriate.
    2. Complete a credit for prior learning request form.
    3. Submit official proof of certification or completion of professional training to the Pima Community College District Office Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office, 4905B E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 220, Tucson, AZ 85709-1120. There is no charge to have professional training, licenses and transcripts reviewed and credited to your transcript.  
    4. Once the evaluation is complete, you will receive an email outlining the number of credits earned.
  • Military or Corporate Workforce Training

    Pima recognizes and will grant credit for the American Council on Education’s (ACE)-approved military or corporate training. For more information, read the ACE National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training. Students who have received training that appears in this guide may receive college credit.   

    To apply for credit evaluation:

    1. Meet with an academic advisor to determine if the industry credential is appropriate.
    2. Complete a credit for prior learning request form.
    3. Submit your official transcript, official proof of certification or completion of professional training to the Pima Community College District Office Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office, 4905B E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 220, Tucson AZ 85709-1120. There is no charge to have professional training, licenses and transcripts reviewed and posted to your student record. 
    4. Once the evaluation is complete, you will receive an email outlining the number of credits earned.
  • Noncredit Coursework

    Pima awards credit for the completion of certain PCC noncredit programs and/or coursework applied to specific credit degree programs.

    To apply for credit evaluation:

    1. Meet with an academic advisor to determine if Noncredit to Credit is an option.
    2. Complete a credit for prior learning request form specifying that you are requesting non-credit course "A" be accepted as credit course "B"
    3. Pay the associated fees ($25 administrative fee).
    4. Once the evaluation is complete, you will receive an email outlining the number of credits earned.

National Standardized Exams

You may receive credit for some courses by successfully passing the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exam, General Education Development (GED), International Baccalaureate (IB), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) or Cambridge International Exam (CIE). To learn more about score requirements, refer to the Exam Equivalency Guide.

There is no charge to have your transcript evaluated and posted to your student record. To begin this process:

  1. Have a paper official transcript sent directly to Pima Community College District Office Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office, 4905B E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 220, Tucson AZ 85709-1120 or an electronic official transcript sent directly to registrar@pima.edu.
  2. Once the evaluation is complete you will receive notification that the review and articulation has been completed.

Course Challenge Exams

You may earn credit for some courses by demonstrating that you meet the learning objectives by passing the Challenge/Proficiency Exam developed by PCC faculty.

To begin this process:

  1. Meet with an academic advisor to determine if a course challenge exam is appropriate.
  2. Complete a credit for prior learning request form.
  3. Schedule a time, date and location for the exam.
  4. Pay associated fees ($80 per exam, plus $25 administrative fee).
  5. Take the exam.
  6. Upon completion of the exam, PCC faculty will provide the grade earned to the District Office Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office to post to your student record. You will receive an email outlining the number of credits earned.

Portfolio Assessment

The portfolio process provides a unique way for you to document what you’ve learned. When you create your portfolio, you will match your knowledge to material covered in a specific PCC course. You will learn how to create an academic portfolio during the portfolio development workshop. This noncredit, online course is designed to help you identify, describe and document the skills and knowledge you’ve gained by putting together a written academic portfolio. This course is required of all students creating portfolios.

To begin this process:

  1. Meet with an academic advisor to determine if a portfolio assessment is appropriate.
  2. Complete a credit for prior learning request form.
  3. Enroll in the noncredit portfolio development workshop (optional for subsequent portfolios).
  4. Pay the associated fees ($125 per course, plus $25 administrative fee).
  5. Develop your portfolio based on course learning outcomes and submit it along with your supporting materials to the discipline coordinator.
  6. The PCC faculty member/subject matter expert will review the portfolio and provide the grade earned to the District Office Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office to post to your student record. You will receive an email outlining the number of credits earned.

Industry Certifications and Licenses

Various professional certification programs and industry credentials are recognized by Pima as having the equivalent knowledge of certain PCC courses. Credit is based on competencies demonstrated through successful completion of the professional certification or state licensure examination.

To apply for credit evaluation:

  1. Meet with an academic advisor to determine if the industry credential is appropriate.
  2. Complete a credit for prior learning request form.
  3. Submit official proof of certification or completion of professional training to the Pima Community College District Office Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office, 4905B E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 220, Tucson, AZ 85709-1120. There is no charge to have professional training, licenses and transcripts reviewed and credited to your transcript.  
  4. Once the evaluation is complete, you will receive an email outlining the number of credits earned.

Military or Corporate Workforce Training

Pima recognizes and will grant credit for the American Council on Education’s (ACE)-approved military or corporate training. For more information, read the ACE National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training. Students who have received training that appears in this guide may receive college credit.   

To apply for credit evaluation:

  1. Meet with an academic advisor to determine if the industry credential is appropriate.
  2. Complete a credit for prior learning request form.
  3. Submit your official transcript, official proof of certification or completion of professional training to the Pima Community College District Office Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office, 4905B E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 220, Tucson AZ 85709-1120. There is no charge to have professional training, licenses and transcripts reviewed and posted to your student record. 
  4. Once the evaluation is complete, you will receive an email outlining the number of credits earned.

Noncredit Coursework

Pima awards credit for the completion of certain PCC noncredit programs and/or coursework applied to specific credit degree programs.

To apply for credit evaluation:

  1. Meet with an academic advisor to determine if Noncredit to Credit is an option.
  2. Complete a credit for prior learning request form specifying that you are requesting non-credit course "A" be accepted as credit course "B"
  3. Pay the associated fees ($25 administrative fee).
  4. Once the evaluation is complete, you will receive an email outlining the number of credits earned.