Credit For Prior Learning

As an adult student, you have gathered experiences, knowledge and skills during your life and work experiences. RCTC honors your learning outside the classroom and has processes to help identify and document this learning and to grant college credits. Prior learning is a way to reduce tuition costs and can shorten the time it takes students to earn a college certificate, diploma, or degree.

Our average student applying for prior learning earns six (6) credits, with many earning 12 or more.

 

CPL Self-Assessment: Is CPL Right for Me?
  • Required: I am a fully admitted student to RCTC.  If you're not, Apply to RCTC.
  • Have I had two(2) or more years of experience in the field related to the subject area?
  • Have I held a formal or informal leadership role in my work/volunteer experiences?
  • Can I demonstrate the knowledge gained from my work/volunteer experiences?
  • Did I participate in several community or volunteer experiences related to the subject area?
  • Have I reviewed and understand the learning outcomes for the course?
  • Can I differentiate what I have learned from my life and work experiences and organize my learning in the framework of the course learning outcomes?
  • Do I have documentation to support my learning such as a resume, letters from supervisors, licensure or certification documents, recorded presentations, examples of work, etc?
  • Is the course required for my major?
  • Did I serve in the armed forces?
  • Do I plan to complete my certificate, diploma or degree at RCTC?

If you answered yes to most of the questions above, Credit for Prior Learning may be a good fit for you.

 

CPL Guidelines, Policy, and Appeal Process
  • Students must apply to RCTC and be accepted to apply for Credit for Prior Learning.
  • Students must document their experience fulfilling course competencies in order to earn CPL credits for a course. The experience must have occurred outside of college coursework.
  • Students will receive resident credits for approved credit by exam or credit by portfolio credit for prior learning options at RCTC.
  • CPL credits must be applicable to a program, degree, or curriculum at RCTC.
  • Grading methods for CPL credit shall be consistent with current approved grading methods for the course.
  • Credits granted through prior learning are not eligible for financial aid or veteran's education assistance.
  • Credits granted through prior learning will not count toward the enrollment of a specific term. These credit will not be counted in determining part-time or full-time status.

RCTC Credit for Prior Learning Policy

Credit for Prior Learning Appeal Process


 

Options for Earning Credit for Prior Learning

Credit by Exam (Test Out)

You may already have the knowledge required to earn college credit at RCTC. Our Credit by Exam option allows students to take an end-of-term type exam to prove equivalent learning and knowledge. The exams may include written exams, speeches, proficiency tests or other types of exams based on the course and subject. If you pass your course-specific exam, you will earn credit for the course at RCTC.

Credit by Exam Guidelines:

  • Students may not enroll in the course for which they plan to attempt a Credit by Exam.
  • An exam may not be attempted for a course which the student has previously taken (earned a grade, failed or withdrawn).
  • Students are limited to one exam attempt per course. If not successful with a Credit by Exam, students must enroll in the course to earn credit.
  • Credit by Exam counts toward RCTC residency requirements.

Process:

  • Meet with your advisor to discuss what courses are available via exam.
  • Complete the Credit for Prior Learning E-Form found on the Admissions Forms Select Credit by Exam.
  • An e-mail will be sent to your RCTC email account, assessing a fee for the evaluation of learning of $50 per credit.
  • Pay your fee at the Cashier’s Desk or call 507-285-7311.
  • Your application will be sent to the Academic Dean/Director for approval and then routed to the faculty proctor.
  • Upon the completion of the review, the faculty member will assign a grade (according to the common course outline grading method) and report the evaluation results to you and to the Records and Registration office.
  • Credits shall be transcribed according to Minnesota State System Policy.
  • The faculty member will be paid for proctoring upon completion of the evaluation per the current faculty association contract regarding credit by exam.
Credit by Portfolio

The Portfolio option allows you to document the learning and knowledge you have gained during your life and work experiences. Most portfolios are written using the Learning Outcomes for the course as a guide. Learning Outcomes are available on the Common Course Outlines site.

In addition to writing about the learning and knowledge you gained outside the classroom and how it addresses the course Learning Outcome, your portfolio should include documents (artifacts) demonstrating your knowledge and skills. Artifacts may include a resume, chronological autobiography, letters from supervisors and volunteer coordinators, recordings of presentations or speeches, meeting minutes, documentation of projects, and more.

Industry-recognized credentials, licenses, apprenticeships, digital badging, and certifications can be evaluated for credit.

Guidelines:

  • Students may not enroll in the course for which they plan to attempt a Credit by Portfolio.
  • A portfolio may not be attempted for a course which the student has previously taken (earned a grade, failed or withdrawn).
  • Students are limited to one portfolio submission per course. If not successful with a Credit by Portfolio, students must enroll in the course to earn credit.
  • Credit by Portfolio counts toward RCTC residency requirements.

Process:

  • Meet with your advisor to discuss what courses are available via portfolio and to discuss ideas about how to gather and write about your learning experiences.
  • Write your portfolio, aligning learning to the course Learning Outcomes and gather documentation (artifacts) to demonstrate learning.
  • Complete the Credit for Prior Learning E-Form found on the Admissions Forms Select Credit for Prior Learning Portfolio.
  • An email will be sent to your RCTC e-mail account, assessing a fee for the evaluation of learning of $50 per credit.
  • Pay your fee at the Cashier’s Desk or call 507-285-7311.
  • Your application will be sent to the Academic Dean/Director for approval, and then routed to the faculty reviewer.
  • Upon the completion of the review, the faculty member will assign a grade (according to the common course outline grading method) and report the evaluation results to the you and to the Records and Registration office.
  • Credits shall be transcribed according to Minnesota State System Policy.

The faculty member will be paid for the assessment upon completion of the evaluation per the current faculty association contract regarding credit for prior learning portfolio evaluation.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College Level Examination Program® (CLEP) provides students of any age with the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of exams in undergraduate college courses. With CLEP, a student can earn college credit for what he or she already knows - regardless of where or how that knowledge was acquired - by passing a 90-minute multiple-choice examination.  CLEP is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program in the United States, with more than 2,900 colleges and universities that award credit and/or advanced standing for CLEP exams. A passing score at one college may be different at another college. Some colleges may not accept CLEP. Original score reports must be submitted to each institution.

Guidelines:

  • A student needs to take a minimum of 15 credits from RCTC in order to graduate with an AA or AS degree.
  • CLEP credits are considered as transfer credits.
  • The student can take up to 2/3 of their required degree, diploma or certificate credits using CLEP or other transfer credits.
  • At least 1/3 of credits required for a degree diploma or certificate must be earned at RCTC to meet the residency requirement.

Process: 

Students must submit official score reports from The College Board, with a passing score, to earn credit for the equivalent course. Official score reports are sent directly from the College Board to RCTC.

CLEP SUBJECT EXAMINATIONS

Subject Exam tests assess specific knowledge and skills you may have gained through job experience, outside course work, or specialized independent reading. These exams require a higher degree of specialized knowledge and training.

CLEP Exam Title CLEP Score Credits RCTC Equivalent MNTC Goal
American Government 50 3 POLS 1615 5 & 9
American Literature 50 6 ENGL 2273 & 2274 6 & 7
ENGL 2274 6 & 9
Analyzing & Interpreting Literature 50 3 ENGL elective 6
Biology 50 3 BIOL elective na
Calculus 50 5 MATH 1127 4
Chemistry 50 4 CHEM elective na
College Algebra 50 3 MATH 1115 4
College Composition 50 4 ENGL 1117 1
College Composition Modular 50 4 ENGL 1117 1
College Mathematics 50 3 MATH 1111 4
English Literature 50 3 ENGL elective 6
Financial Accounting 50 4 ACCT 2217 na
French Language Level 1 & 2 50 4 FREN 1101 6 & 8
French Language 62 8 FREN 1101 & 1102 6 & 8
German Language Level 1 & 2 50 4 Elective 6 & 8
German Language 63 8 Elective 6 & 8
History of the US I: Early Colonization - 1877 50 3 HIST 1624 5 & 7
History of the US II: 1865 - Present 50 3 HIST 1625 5 & 7
Human Growth and Development 50 3 PSYC 2626 5 & 7
Humanities 50 3 HUM elective 6
Information Systems 50 3 COMP elective na
Intro Business Law 50 3 BUS 2210 na
Intro to Educational Psychology 50 3 PSYC elective 5
Intro to Psychology 50 4 PSYC 2618 5 & 7
Intro to Sociology 50 3 SOC 1614 5 & 7
Natural Sciences 50 3 elective na
Precalculus 50 4 MATH 1117 4
Principles of Macroeconomics 50 4 ECON 2215 5 & 8
Principles of Management 50 3 BUS 2232 na
Principles of Marketing 50 3 BUS 2201 na
Principles of Microeconomics 50 4 ECON 2214 5 & 10
Social Sciences and History 50 3 HIST elective 5
Spanish Language Level 1 & 2 50 4 SPAN 1101 8
Spanish Language 66 8 SPAN 1101 & 1102 8
West Civ I: Ancient Near East - 1648 50 3 HIST 1613 5 & 8
West Civ II: 1648 - Present 50 3 HIST 1614 5 & 8

 

RCTC CREDITS FOR CLEP – GENERAL EXAMINATIONS

General Exam tests assess knowledge you have accumulated in broad subject areas of study. The tests are at the level of courses you would take your first year or two of college.

CLEP Test Title RCTC Course Minimum Score Semester Hours MTNC Goal 
Mathematics, College Math 50 3 4
Humanities Humanities 50 3 6
Natural Sciences Elective 50 3 -
Social Sciences-History History 50 3 5

Date of Adoption: 5/14/2019

Advanced Placement Exam (AP)

Entrance Examination Board offers Advanced Placement to high-school students for college-level courses in high schools. Students can earn college credits by demonstrating a specified level of performance on AP exams.

AP testing information can be found at www.collegeboard.org/AP

Process:

  • Students who wish to apply AP credits to a specific program of study or as general electives will present their official AP Score Report to the Records and Registration office to receive credit.
  • The Records and Registration office will post credit earned to the student transcript as a transfer credit earned for the RCTC equivalent course or elective.

Advanced Placement Exams


Exam Title
AP Score Credits RCTC Equivalent
Art History 3 3 ART 1110
Studio Art: 2-D Design 3 3 ART 1121
Studio Art: 3-D Design 3 3 ART 1124
Studio Art: Drawing 3 3 ART 1134
Biology 3 4 BIOL 1220
Calculus AB 3 5 MATH 1127
Calculus BC 3 10 MATH 1127 & 1128
Chemistry 3 4 CHEM 1127
Chemistry 4 8 CHEM 1127 & 1128
Chinese Language & Culture 3 3 CHIN 1001
Computer Science A 3 3 elective
Macroeconomics 3 4 ECON 2215
Microeconomics 3 4 ECON 2214
English Language + Composition 3 4 ENGL 1117
English Literature + Composition 3 8 ENGL 1117 & 1118
Environmental Science 3 3 elective
European History 3 3 HIST 1614
French Language + Culture 3 4 FREN 1102
Government & Politics: Comparative 3 3 elective
Government & Politics: United States 3 3 POLS 1615
Human Geography 3 3 GEOG 1614
Music Theory 3 3 MUSC 1001
Physics 1 3 5 PHYS 1117
Physics 2 3 5 PHYS 1118
Physics C Electricity & Magnetism 3 5 PHYS 1127
Physics C Mechanics 3 5 PHYS 1128
Psychology 4 4 PSYC 2618
Spanish Language + Culture 3 4 SPAN 1102
Spanish Literature + Culture 3 3 elective
Statistics 3 3 MATH 2208
United States History 3 6 HIST 1624 & 1625
World History 3 6 HIST 1617 & 1618
International Baccalaureate (IB)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is internationally recognized in which students complete curriculum and demonstrate learned outcomes through IB assessments.

Students successfully completing an IB Diploma are awarded 6 credits (lower division) for scores of 4 or higher on Higher Level exams, and 2 credits (lower division) for scores of 4 or higher on Standard Level examinations.

Students successfully completing individual IB examinations (but not the complete Diploma) for scores of 4 or higher shall receive 3 or more credits on Higher Level exams, and 2 credits or more credits for scores of 4 or higher on Standard Level examinations.

Process: 

  • Students who wish to apply IB credits to a specific program of study or as general electives will present their official IB Score Report to the Records and Registration office to receive credit.
  • The Records and Registration office will post credit earned to the student transcript as a transfer credit earned for the RCTC equivalent course.
DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST)

The DANTES program supports the voluntary educational program for active military personnel and members of the National Guard and Reserves and are available for civilians as well to be used at universities and colleges. The DANTES (DSST) is a series of exams that can be taken to earn college credit for knowledge learned elsewhere other than a traditional classroom. The subject areas may include business, humanities, math, physical science, social science, and technology. All tests carry ACE (American Council on Education) credit recommendations. Rochester Community and Technical College will honor the ACE recommendation and accept courses applicable to a program or course of study.

Process: 

Students must submit official transcript from DANTES, with a passing score, to earn credit for the equivalent course. Additional information can be found at:  https://www.dantes.doded.mil/.

Minnesota Articulated College Credit

Rochester Community and Technical College’s policy for Minnesota Articulated College Credit is designed to recognize a student’s successful completion of a specific course at the participating high school that is identified as equivalent to its RCTC counterpart.  High school students who demonstrate they have mastered specific course competencies at the high school level will receive an Articulated College Credit Certificate that will be used to acknowledge their competence in the course.  Students will have the opportunity to apply credits earned through Articulated College Credit Certificate to a specific program of study or to general electives at Rochester Community and Technical College.

Guidelines:

  • The student must earn no less than a B at their high school for the final grade for a specific course.
  • The student must be in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade to receive the Articulated College Credit Certificate.
  • The student must enroll at Rochester Community and Technical College within two years of high school graduation.
  • Advanced Standing Certificates are available in a number of areas.  Please contact the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator for a complete list or go to ctecreditmn.com.
  • Articulated College Credit Certificates may be used only in completing requirements for a specified program of study or as general electives.
  • A maximum of 12 semester credits earned through Articulated College Credit Certificates may be applied to any certificate, diploma or degree.

Process:

  • Students who wish to apply Articulated College Credit Certificates to a specific program of study or as general electives will present their Articulated College Credit Certificate(s) to the Records and Registration office to receive credit.
  • Earned credit will be posted as a transfer credit earned for the RCTC equivalent course.
Military Courses and Occupations

RCTC’s community is dedicated to providing services and information to support Veteran’s and their families’ educational goals.  Credit is awarded as it is recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE) in accordance with Minnesota Statutes §197.775, Subdivision 2, Recognition of Courses.

The ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services will be used as the evaluation tool. For further information see A Transfer Guide: Understanding Your Military Transcript and ACE Credit Recommendations at www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Military-Guide-Online.aspx

To see how your military training may apply at RCTC, visit the Veterans Education Transfer System (VETS) site at www.minnstate.edu/college-search/public/military

RCTC will consider prior learning attained in non-credit or experiential settings such as the military. Credit will be awarded for prior learning that is assessed as college-level learning as it applies to your chosen program and degree.

RCTC’s Veteran’s Services