Prior Learning Credit

Did you know you can earn college credits for things you’ve mastered outside the classroom and in your professional life?

Start smart toward a STCC degree or certificate by leveraging knowledge you’ve attained elsewhere! STCC is proud to extend our mission of supporting students and transforming lives by helping make a college degree more affordable by offering prior learning credit (PLC) for high school Advanced Placement (AP) classes, CLEP Exams, military service, professional certifications, and more!

Prior Learning Assessment and Experiential Learning

Your experience counts! Your life experience is valuable. Apply that know-how towards earning your certificate or college degree on campus or online. We can potentially reward the knowledge you’ve gained over the years by translating those learning experiences into college-level coursework.

Explore the My Experience Counts website to see which of your professional or military experiences can work as prior learning credit (PLC) at STCC.

STCC Programs

We encourage all students to enroll in PLC programs to reduce the number of credits needed toward a certificate or degree. It saves both time and money!

We’re proud to offer the following programs that leverage prior learning credit:


Child Development Associate Plus

The CDA+ certificate of completion prepares graduates to sit for credentialing as Child Development Associates (CDAs) through the Council for Professional Recognition. Credit earned can also be applied to an associate degree in Early Childhood Transfer. Students with a CDA credential can receive up to 17 prior learning credits toward an associate degree.

Computer-related programs

Students who have earned professional certification in the following, can apply for prior learning credit: A+, Cisco, CompTIA, Linux+, Microsoft, Oracle, and more. 

Credit for Military Experience

The VALOR Act requires that as a public institution of education in the Commonwealth, STCC develops a set of policies and procedures that govern the evaluation and award of academic credit for a student's military experience, training, coursework, and occupations.

  • VALOR Act Academic Credit Evaluations
    Michael Rossi, Admissions, (413) 755-4412

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams provide an opportunity for STCC students (and the general public) to obtain college credit by examination. STCC students can earn up to, but not exceed, 45 credits toward a degree via a combination of CLEP and/or Challenge Exams testing.

Challenge Exams

STCC's Challenge Examination Program provides an alternative to traditional classroom course work. These exams have been developed by STCC faculty and are designed for the student who may already know the material covered in an introductory-level course and wishes to opt out by passing a challenge exam. STCC students can earn up to, but not exceed, 45 credits toward a degree via a combination of CLEP and/or Challenge Exams testing.

Placement Exams

STCC students can earn exemptions from introductory-level courses through a process called Entrance Assessment Review. This Review is used to evaluate student competency in reading, writing, mathematics, and keyboard skills and aids STCC students and advisors in planning an appropriate course of study.

AP Exams

At STCC, AP scores of 3, 4, and 5 are acceptable as the equivalent of college-level course work. Official College Board scores must be submitted to the Admissions Office for review in order for credit to be considered.

Contact Us

For more information on any prior learning assessment programs at STCC please contact: