Get College Credit for Work & Life Experience
Have you served in the armed forces? Learned a second language? Started your own business? A lot of your life experience could be worth college credit. After all, the world is your campus.
You Lived It. Now Use It.
These non-traditional credits can come from work and life experience, military training, or national testing programs. Read on to learn about life credits from non-traditional sources, such as:
Ashford's Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) team reviews your:
- work and life experience,
- professional development,
- continuing education, and
to see if your experience translates into college credit. In most cases, you will need to document what you've learned. Check out the PLA Documentation Guide and the PLA Student Handbook to learn how PLA works.
These two organizations review training and experience and evaluate them for college credit.
American Council on Education (ACE)»
This organization reviews training, occupations, and other sources of learning outside the classroom. ACE then recommends certain experiences as the equivalent of college courses. See if your training or experience has been evaluated.
ACE Alternative Credit Consortium
Ashford has been selected to join the ACE Alternative Credit Consortium. Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Consortium brings together colleges and universities that are trying to make higher education more accessible to non-traditional students by applying alternative forms of credit toward degree requirements.
For more information, view the ACE Alternative Credit Consortium Overview.
National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) »
This service evaluates training programs offered outside of a traditional classroom and translates them into college credit.
Many Ashford students have served in the Armed Forces, including the reserves and the National Guard. Ashford recognizes that students learn a lot from boot camp, basic training, officer training school, and many other courses provided by the military. Talk with a Military Enrollment Services Advisor about maximizing credits from your Joint Services Transcript (JST). Ashford will request your JST and other college transcripts on your behalf.
Several organizations offer examinations that you can take for a fee. When you pass, you earn college credit. Here are a few national testing programs you should consider:
- Advanced Placement
- Berlitz Language Evaluation
By passing the Berlitz Language Evaluation, you may earn up to 18 approved credits toward a Bachelor's degree, depending upon your level of language proficiency. Learn more about the Berlitz Language Evaluation.
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST)
Several organizations offer courses that have been recommended for college credit by national credit recommendation services, like ACE and NCCRS.
- International Baccalaureate (IB)
If you completed Saylor Foundation credit aligned courses you may be eligible to receive college credit. To see how your courses can transfer into your degree program, check out the transfer guide to get started.
If you completed Coursera courses you may be eligible to receive college credit. To see how your courses can transfer into your degree program, check out the transfer guide to get started.
- ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI)
If you completed ChildCare Education Institute courses you may be eligible to receive college credit. To see how your courses can transfer into your degree program, check out the transfer guide to get started.
Your unique mix of prior learning, military training, and testing could save you time and money. The process of getting your credits approved may require a few weeks, depending on what kinds of life credits you want to earn. But you should invest the time and effort, and contact an Ashford advisor. You are worth it!
ALIGN Degree, is an academic partner that offers low-cost courses recognized for college credit that may transfer toward an undergraduate degree at Ashford University. If a degree program at Ashford meets your academic goals, and you have already taken or are planning to take ALIGN Degree courses, please see the transfer guide on how to maximize your credit potential.
Ashford's academic partner StraighterLine creates a seamless transfer of course credit toward Ashford's undergraduate programs. If you have taken courses at StraighterLine and wish to continue your academic goals at Ashford, or you are attending Ashford and want to evaluate how courses can transfer to StraighterLine, view the transfer guide.
Ashford University offers a tuition grant to students who successfully complete 12 college-level credits at StraighterLine and matriculate into an online undergraduate program at Ashford. To determine eligibility, students must submit an official transcript to the Ashford University Registrar’s Office, showing successful completion of 12 college-level StraighterLine credits in order to be eligible for the grant. For eligible students, a 15% tuition grant will be applied to tuition charges for 8 attempted courses from the date the student is determined to be eligible. The tuition grant will only apply to future tuition charges and is not retroactive.
The transferability of credits is subject to Ashford University's transfer credit policies, and requires the submission of official transcripts. The official transcripts will be evaluated to determine the credits that will officially apply toward an Ashford University degree program.