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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. There is not a fee associated with courses pursued for experiential credit.

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

There are limitations to earning Prior Learning credit including you cannot pursue during your last semester at UC and you cannot earn more than 25% of your degree through Prior Learning.  Some programs limit Prior Learning opportunities due to accreditation as well including Education, Counseling, and Executive Programs.

If you are interested in pursuing Prior Learning:

  1. Complete this survey (coming soon) to see how you might earn Prior Learning credits. 
  2. Discuss it with your Student Success Coordinator to see if there are opportunities within your degree plan.  
  3. 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