Prior Learning Assessment

Many students come to Sinclair with prior learning experiences comparable in some ways to learning achieved in college classrooms, and this experiential learning can translate into Sinclair credit if evaluators determine that it meets established learning outcomes.

What is Prior Learning?

Prior learning is the knowledge and skills gained through work and life experience, like career education and military training.

What is Prior Learning Assessment?

Prior learning assessment is the process used to evaluate previous life experience for academic credit. Prior learning is assessed using standardized proficiency tests, course challenge examinations and portfolio assessment.

You can get course credit for prior learning in two different ways: 1) Credit by showing proficiency through an exam or 2) credit for what you already know through alternate forms of assessment.

Credit by Exam Options

  • Advanced Placement Program
    The College Board's AP Program offers high school students the opportunity to earn college course credit by providing examinations in 34 introductory courses in 20 fields. To have AP scores reported to Sinclair Community College, use school code 1720. For AP exams taken previously, contact the College Board at 888-225-5427 or at the College Board website to request that an official score report be sent to Sinclair. Students with an AP exam score of 3 or above will be awarded the aligned course(s) and credits for the AP exam(s) successfully completed.
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    The College Board offers nationally standardized CLEP exams that may allow learners to earn college credit for knowledge aquired through on-the-job training, professional development and other activities. CLEP exams are not given at Sinclair, but they are given at test sites in Dayton and across the nation. The current cost is $77 per test, but there may be an additional test site fee. When you take a CLEP exam, request that your scores be sent to Sinclair using school code 1720. For results of CLEP exams taken in the past, contact the College Board for an official transcript.
  • DANTES Subject Specific Test (DSST)
    DANTES Standardized Subject Tests are nationally standardized exams that may be equivalent to certain Sinclair courses. DSST exams are not given at Sinclair, but they are given at test sites in Dayton and across the nation. The current cost is $82 per test. When you take a DSST exam, that request your scores be sent to Sinclair using school code 9309. If you have already taken a DSST exam and not had your scores sent to Sinclair, contact Prometric for an official transcript.
  • Sinclair Proficiency Tests
    A learner who demonstrates knowledge and ability in a particular subject area may earn credit for specific Sinclair courses without enrolling in them. This is done by taking a proficiency test or by demonstrating a level of skill evaluated by the appropriate academic department. Testing fees range from $65 to $110 and above. Visit the Sinclair Proficiency Tests by Course page for a list of courses available for proficiency tests. The procedure that a student will use to take a proficiency test will depend on where they live in relation to Sinclair's downtown Dayton campus.

Credit for What You Know Options

  • ACE (American Council on Education)
    ACE provides access to transcripts for several of its programs through its National Guide resource. If you have taken training through your employer or a specialized training provider that has been evaluated by ACE, in many cases ACE has established credit recommendations that can help you get your training translated into college credit.
    For ACE evaluations, your ACE transcript should be sent directly to the office of Registration and Student Records. Specific course equivalency is established by the department chairperson responsible for the subject arearequested, and course credit is awarded is considered transfer credit. Additional information about ACE military evaluation programs can be found on the ACE National Guide.
  • Portfolio-based Assessment
    Many students bring to Sinclair a wealth of learning and knowledge they've gained from work, outside interests and life itself. A portfolio is a written description of a student's individual learning experiences. To prepare a portfolio, a student must enroll in PRL 1100, Prior Learning Portfolio Development (2 credit hours). Student work with a faculty member to create individual portfolios.
  • Articulated Credit Request
    Documentation of professional training, including copies of licenses, certifications or other credentials requiring passing an exam should be submitted to Prior Learning Assessment in the Academic Advising Center (11346). The appropriate departmental chairperson will determine on a case-by-case basis if any course credit can be awarded based on this documentation. This course credit will be added to your official Sinclair record. NOTE: These courses are not always transferable to other colleges, but they count toward fulfilling Sinclair graduation requirements.

For more information, please contact:
Prior Learning Assessment
Phone: 937-512-2800
Email plaprograms@sinclair.edu