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Students can get prior learning credits at Cumberlands

Prior Learning Program

The Prior Learning Program allows students to gain credit for their professional and educational experiences that apply to their current coursework.  There are three pathways of Prior Learning credit that students can pursue: 

Knowledge Exam

Knowledge Exam (Undergraduate students only): A comprehensive exam to demonstrate mastery of the subject.

1. Currently, UC Online offers Knowledge Exams in Spanish, French, First Aid, Health and Wellness, New Testament, and Old Testament.

  • Please work with your Student Success Coordinator and the Prior Learning office to schedule your exam.  Some exams have pre-scheduled offerings while others are scheduled based on student interest.  For example, Spanish and French exams are offered the first Wednesday of every bi-term from 5-8pm Eastern Time.

2. You are only permitted to pursue each exam once.

3. These exams are proctored by either UC Faculty or by a proctoring service.  If proctored by a service, there is a fee of $20.50.

Experiential Credit

Experiential Credit: Demonstrate mastery of subject by providing a narrative of your experience through guided prompts that align with the course objectives.

1. You can attach artifacts such as a marketing plan, news articles, certifications, and more to provide as examples of work completed.

2. The cost of pursuing Experiential Credit is $0. 

Certification Credit

Certification Credit: Demonstrate mastery of subject by providing a valid certification that aligns with the course.

1. Examples: 

  • Google Analytics = BADM 333 Business Analytics
  • Certified Nursing Aide = NURS 100 Medicaid Nurse Aide
  • Global Information Assurance Certification = MSDF 531 Windows Digital Forensics
  • Food, Nutrition, and Health Development = HESS 333 Nutrition, and more!

2. The cost of pursuing Certification Credit is $0. 

If you are interested in pursuing Prior Learning:

  • Complete this SURVEY to see how you might earn Prior Learning credits. 
  • Discuss it with your Student Success Coordinator (Undergrad on-campus | Undergrad Online | Graduate) to see if there are opportunities within your degree plan.  
  • If you are a current student and if you are ready to apply, please review these instructions for completing the form and the application can be found through UC One and selecting “UC Reporting and Request Form” then selecting “Prior Learning Request” on the Report Type drop-down.


Prior Learning Program Contact: priorlearning@ucumberlands.edu

There are some limitations to earning Prior Learning:

  • Undergraduate: Students must complete 25% of their degree through University of the Cumberlands coursework and Prior Learning does not count towards this.
  • Graduate: Students may earn a maximum of 25% of the credit in the academic program for which they are enrolled through Prior Learning and at least thirty-three percent of the total semester hours in any degree requirements must be completed at the University of the Cumberlands (Prior Learning will not meet this requirement). 
  • Students must enroll in Prior Learning opportunities before their last semester at University of the Cumberlands.
  • Some programs limit Prior Learning opportunities due to accreditation as well including but not limited to Education, Counseling, and Executive Programs.