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Transfer Non-Traditional College Credit

Get College Credit for Work & Life Experience 

Have you served in the United States Armed Forces? Learned a second language? Started your own business? Your life experience could be worth college credit.

These non-traditional credits can come from work and life experience, military training, or national testing programs. Learn more below about life credits from non-traditional sources including:

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Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Your success is our top priority at Ashford University. If you have previous corporate training, continuing education units, prior school credits, or other non-traditional sources of previous learning, they will be assessed for potential college credit. If the credits are not accepted through the official evaluation through the Registrar’s Office, you can request to have them reviewed through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). Students may earn credit through the PLA program in two ways: Sponsored Professional Training and the Experiential Learning Credit Workshop/Essay.

You may be eligible to transfer up to 90 approved credits toward your bachelor’s degree. These 90 credits include a combination of prior learning assessment (PLA) credits, non-traditional learning, and transfer credits. You may apply up to 30 PLA credits toward degree completion for your bachelor's degree program and up to 15 PLA credits toward an Associate of Arts program.

Sponsored Professional Training

Prior learning can be assessed by providing documentation of training content, hours, and a summarization of learning outcomes and application to an Ashford course. In most cases, you will need to document what you've learned. Examples include:

  • Standardized corporate trainings
  • Certificate programs
  • Seminars

Check out the PLA Documentation Guide and the PLA Student Handbook to learn how the PLA program works.

Experiential Learning Credits (ELC)

Adult learners come to Ashford University with a wealth of professional knowledge, and you deserve credit for your expertise. Experiential Learning Credits (ELC) offer you a convenient way to turn your experience into credits that can be applied to your degree.

 

Here's how to get started:

  1. Sign up for the Experiential Learning Credit Workshop in the PLA Information Center on your Student Portal or by sending an email to [email protected] The workshop is a self-paced series of 5 modules that take you through the process of writing an Experiential Essay that aligns your learning to the outcomes of a course in your degree program.
  2. At the end of Module 5, your completed essay will be evaluated by a faculty member.
  3. If your essay is approved, you will be awarded credit for the course.

The fee to access the Experiential Learning Credit Workshop is $275, which includes one essay submission. Additional essays can be submitted for $125 per essay.

National Credit Recommendation Services

These two organizations review training and experience and evaluate them for college credit.

American Council on Education (ACE)

The ACE reviews training, occupations, and other sources of learning outside the classroom, and then recommends certain experiences as the equivalent of college courses. See if your training or experience has been evaluated.

National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS)

This service evaluates training programs offered outside of a traditional classroom and translates them into college credit.

Military Training and Experience

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.

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National Testing Programs

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

While in high school, you may have taken advantage of Advanced Placement (AP) courses. If you did, Ashford University will evaluate those courses and may be able to apply them to your degree. To see how your AP credit can transfer, view the transfer guide.

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)

Earn credit for what you already know through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Use these credits to satisfy requirements in your undergraduate program. View the transfer guide.

DSST EXAM (formerly known as DANTES)

Demonstrate knowledge in your field of study with DSST. If you successfully pass or have already passed a DSST, completion of your undergraduate degree may be closer than you think. View the transfer guide. Take the exam at Ashford University's San Diego, CA, Clinton, IA or Gilbert, AZ campus.

Nationally Evaluated Courses

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 an International Baccalaureate (IB) program, 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.

SAYLOR.ORG

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.

COURSERA

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!

Transfer Partnerships

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!

Sophia Learning

Ashford University has partnered with Sophia Learning, which offers self-paced courses that let you earn college credits on your schedule. Sophia’s platform is accessible anytime, anywhere, from your laptop, tablet or mobile device. View the transfer guide to find the right courses that will help you complete your degree.

StraighterLine

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.

Certain Ashford University degree programs may not be available in all states.

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This program requires you to be a current licensed registered nurse. Please check out other programs to reach your education goals such as the BA in Health and Wellness.