Prior Learning Assessment

At Bowling Green State University, we recognize learning acquired from experiences outside a formal classroom setting. We offer students the opportunity to earn academic credit through Prior Learning Assessment. Credit can be attained through one or more Prior Learning Assessment pathways: Portfolio Assessment, College Level Examination Program, Departmental Credit by Exam, and Credit by Validation. Using a combination of these pathways, a student can earn a maximum of 30 credits toward their degree.

FIVE PATHWAYS FOR Prior Learning Assessment

The portfolio pathway is designed primarily for students who have gained college-level learning through significant volunteer work, work-related training, or work experience. Developing a portfolio is one important way to document learning that has been acquired outside a formal classroom setting and to gain academic credits toward your degree. This process allows you to demonstrate that knowledge and skills you already possess correspond to the expected learning outcomes from BGSU courses.  The typical process is outlined below:

  1. NTMSS advisor will connect student with a faculty member who will oversee the portfolio development.
  2. The final portfolio is submitted to NTMSS advisor along with the evaluation fee ($70 per course).
  3. The portfolio is then submitted to faculty member for final review and evaluation.  Credit is awarded as “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory”.
  4. If a satisfactory decision is awarded, NTMSS advisor will have credits added to student record.

With our commitment to learning outside the classroom, BGSU has developed a process to award student’s credit for industry credentials that provide documented learning that overlaps with BGSU course learning outcomes. The list below provides all of our currently approved industry credentials that BGSU is awarding credit for. Once a student identifies a credential that they have earned, students will simply be asked to provide documentation to verify their credential. The corresponding credit will then be added to their academic record as transfer credit. There are no other fees or action on behalf of the student. Please review the list of approved industry credentials. If you do not see a credential, certificate, or training that you have earned, please use the Prior Learning Self-Assessment tool to determine if there are other opportunities for you. 

The College Level Examination Program or CLEP administered at Bowling Green State University offers academic credit for some, but not all CLEP subject examinations offered by the College Board. Accepted exams and criteria for awarding credit can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog. If you achieve the criteria established for the examination, you will be awarded credit for the specific course(s). For helpful information concerning content of tests and preparation for them, please click here: CLEP Prep Center. As a national testing center, BGSU administers CLEP examinations on the Bowling Green campus through the Office of Accessibility Services. The Testing Center schedules and administers the tests (419-372-8495). More information about CLEP examination scheduling, costs and score reporting, can be found at BGSU’s National Testing Center website.  The cost of the test is $85 plus $20 BGSU administrative fee.  This $20 administrative fee is waived for all Veterans.

There are many subjects and courses that are not available through standardized examination programs such as CLEP.  In these cases, there may be an opportunity to petition individual academic departments to administer a departmental exam for credit.  The full academic policy concerning earning credit by departmental exam is in the Undergraduate Catalog.  Offering an exam is at the discretion of the academic department and is graded “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory”.

Some students have earned credit from a non-regionally-accredited institution.  BGSU cannot accept these transfer credits.  In certain cases, a faculty member may be able to validate the knowledge and experience gained from those courses.  This process may be completed through a review of the syllabus, interview assessment, or another method that a faculty member chooses.  The NTMSS advisor will guide students through the process.

Prior Learning Assessment Benefits

  • Reduces degree completion time
  • Helps make college more affordable
  • Removes repetition of learning
  • May reduce course load
  • Validates prior learning through work and other life experiences


Dr. Barbara Henry, Assistant Vice President Nontraditional and Military Student Services

David Rice, Assistant Director

Lori Fox, Nontraditional Program Coordinator

Geoff Roberts, Military Program Coordinator

Bryan Bills Graduate Assistant

Tina Borders, Sr. Administrative Assistant

Updated: 07/23/2024 10:48AM