Credit for Prior and Experiential Learning
Did you know you may be able to earn college credits for college-level learning obtained outside of the classroom? Gain a head start toward your North Shore Community College certificate or degree by using the knowledge you have acquired through prior learning. College credit for life learning can be achieved by:
- Successful scores on NSCC challenge/departmental or national exams.
- Evaluation of certificates and licensures.
- Evaluation of formal written portfolios documenting college level competencies.
- Evaluation of documented training and previous coursework by assessment or special application.
- Successful completion of specific Professional Education Pathway programs.
Alternative Studies: Prior Learning Assessment and Experiential Learning
At the Center for Alternative Studies and Educational Testing (CAS) you may be able to receive college credit through Prior Learning Assessment and Experiential Learning that takes place via volunteering, employment, seminars, workshops, completion of non-credit courses, military training, or cultural experiences. Through written work and documentation, students must demonstrate that specific course competencies are met. Through written work and documentation, students must demonstrate that specific course competencies are met. Find courses for which we offer credit for prior learning and experience options At NSCC you can earn college credit for certifications already obtained-find your list of pre-assessed experiences here. NSCC students whose native language is not English may earn up to 12 college credits through prior learning assessment
CAS Programs for Prior and Experiential Learning Credits
NSCC offers several options for prior and experiential learning credits to help you translate your learning into college credit. Please review the options below to find the one that works best for you.
Evaluation Credit by Course and/or Assessment (ECA)
The Evaluation Credit by Course and/or Assessment (ECA) option provides a mechanism
for evaluating the college-level learning of students with varied backgrounds, who
can document some combination of credit courses, assessments (which may include standardized
test scores) and other certificates of training.
ECA Overview | Contact us to begin
Evaluation Credit for Certificate or Professional License (ECC)
Through Evaluation Credit for Certificate or Professional License (ECC) students may
earn college course credit by presenting a professional certificate or license for
off-campus training which has been evaluated by North Shore Community College faculty
as equivalent to NSCC cataloged courses.
ECC Overview | ECC Policy | Contact us to begin
Evaluation Credit by Portfolio (ECP)
A portfolio is a student-prepared, written presentation documenting college level
learning describing what was learned and how the learning was acquired. The Portfolio
is designed to verify how experiences have contributed to learning which is relevant
to college study. The final portfolio provides evidence that the student has developed
skills knowledge and attitudes equivalent to those that would be learned as the result
of taking a college level course.
Portfolio Overview | Contact us to begin
Students may request a faculty-directed independent study for cataloged courses. Faculty
supervise, monitor and evaluate activities designed to meet course objectives as defined
by an individualized "Directed Study" plan.
Directed Study Overview | Contact us to begin
Private Music Instruction by Directed Study
Music enthusiasts may apply to earn academic credit for private music lessons. This
opportunity is offered through the collaboration of CAS and the NSCC Division of Liberal
Studies. Voice and piano are offered each semester to enhance theory and music appreciation
classroom options. Other instruments are offered based upon requests/availability
Terms of Agreement | Contact us to begin
Students can enrich their educational experience through Study Abroad. NSCC currently offers three different faculty led study abroad programs (managed by CAS). International Study is included as a component of these cataloged courses which are instructed by a NSCC faculty member who accompanies the students abroad.
Special Departmental Agreements/Noncredit to Credit
Credit by Examination
Credit by Examination allows college credits by exam through National or NSCC Testing Programs which include College-Level Examination (CLEP), Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DSST), NYU, BYU Language Testing, Departmental and Challenge Examinations. Contact Jane Saunders LS-215/DB-213, 978-762-4000 extension 5429
Evaluation Credit by Military (ECM)
The VALOR Act (Senate Bill 2254) requires that as a public institution of education
in the Commonwealth, North Shore Community College 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 occupation/s. Contact CAS in room DB-213,
by phone 978-739-5428 or by email at email@example.com.
More on Evaluation Credit by Military
Your Experience Counts!
Visit the Massachusetts Community Colleges My Experience Counts website to assess the types of Credit for Prior Learning that you may be eligible for, to create your personal account, and to get in touch with your CPL Specialist!