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Prior Learning Credits


Prior learning can be used to save you time and money in your quest to complete a college degree. Prior Learning Credit can be earned through nationally standardized exams such as CLEP and Advanced Placement and from documentation of learning acquired through the military, workplace and training experiences. Below are several types of prior learning assessment options that are available at Clarion.

Advanced Placement (AP) 

PennWest Clarion encourages students who have taken College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school to submit their official test scores. We grant AP credit for scores of 3, 4 and 5 for most of the AP courses the College Board offers.

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

You can receive college credit for what you already know by earning qualifying scores on any CLEP examination.

  • The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a way for you to receive college credit for what you already know. You can earn credit through qualifying CLEP Courses & Scoring. By earning qualifying scores on any one or more of the 36 CLEP exams, you can receive credit for the non-major classes. While you obtain credit rather than a letter grade, the cost is just a fraction of a traditional college course.  Save yourself time and money by testing out of the non-major subjects that you already know.
  • Please visit our CLEP page for more information or to schedule a CLEP exam


Credit by Examination Enrolled, degree-seeking students who appear to possess a proficiency equal to or greater than that required in a particular course may make application for such an examination through the department of their major.

International Baccalaureate Organization Credits (IB) Clarion recognizes the IB Diploma Programme which is an academically challenging program for students in their high school years. Only certain high schools participate. Participating students should refer to the IB chart to see what credits can be awarded. IB Course Equivalency Chart


Credit for Professional Experience You can be awarded credits for life experiences that are directly related to courses of study and requires documented learning outcomes. Prior Learning Form


Military Service Credit

  • Please consult with your ESO-Educational Services Officer/Counselor prior to enrollment
  • DSST Military Evaluations Program DSST - Get College Credit. You can earn credit through qualifying DSST (DANTES) Courses & ScoringPennWest Clarion of Pennsylvania accepts up to 90 credits in transfer through DSST
  • ACE - The American Council on Education Through ACE, you can take academic credit for most of the training you have received, including Basic Training. The ACE military evaluations program is funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) and coordinated through DSST.

  • JST (Joint Services Transcripts) For Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy: Active Duty, Reserve and Veterans. JST automatically captures your academic credits from military training, and standardized tests. (JST) Home Page
  • DD214 - You will need to provide your Discharge Documents to receive credit for your experience.
    • The university grants a maximum of four credits in HPE for active military service of four months or more with honorable discharge or continued reserve status. Credit is normally given for HPE 111 (2 credits) and two HPE activity courses of one credit each. To assure that the credit is granted, students should provide a honorable discharge document (DD214 or official letter from commanding officer stating active duty in years, months, days) to the Registrar's Office.


  • A portfolio is a carefully selected group of documents put together by the student that demonstrate how the student has mastered each of the learning outcomes of the specific course.
  • Students must complete the self-paced portfolio development course at learning counts There is a fee associated with this course (currently $149)
  • Students submit their portfolios to for evaluation for credit. There is a fee associated with the portfolio assessment (currently $125 for each portfolio assessment)
  • Learningcounts will provide a written recommendation about course credit. The recommendation of credits is not guaranteed.
  • Students will forward the written recommendation to the Transfer Office.



Questions? Contact the Admissions Transfer Office at 1-800-672-7171 option 1.


Last Updated 10/2/23