Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) gives students the opportunity to demonstrate learning done outside of the college classroom to potentially earn college credit. Evaluation of all PLA options is done by content experts and department chairs in accordance with established Sinclair policies, equivalencies, and course outcomes. All interested students are encouraged to contact their Academic Advisor in the Academic Advising Center to determine which PLA option can help them complete their academic goals. PLA options are broken in two categories: credit by exam and evaluation of a credential, transcripts, or portfolio.

Prior Learning Assessment Policies:

  • Students must have an active record with Sinclair. Click Here to complete or update your application.
  • Credit earned through any PLA option does not count toward institutional residency requirements.
  • A maximum of 30 hours of PLA credit can be used toward complete associate’s degree requirements.
  • Students should contact their Academic Advisor with questions on how to initiate any process as some PLA options require department approval.
  • Students are charged for the cost of assessment, e.g. proficiency exams. These costs vary by option and are non-refundable. Sinclair is not responsible for the pricing of standardized tests or associated sitting fees.
  • Courses awarded via PLA will be added to students’ transcripts.
  • The state encourages institutions to accept PLA credits in transfer; however, students are encouraged to confirm with their destination institution how credit earned through PLA can apply.

Credit By Exam

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

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 via 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)

CLEP exams are nationally standardized exams that can equate to specific Sinclair courses with a minimum qualifying score. There are no prerequisites for these exams, and with qualifying minimum scores student may send official transcripts for credit at Sinclair via the College Board website. The tests cost approximately $80 plus a variable sitting fee by location. Students are encouraged to register, pay, schedule the test, and send transcripts via the College Board website using Sinclair school code: 1720.

DANTES Subject Specific Test (DSST)

DANTES Standardized Subject Tests are nationally standardized exams that can equate to specific Sinclair courses with a minimum qualifying score. DSST exams can be taken at a variety of locations both locally and nationally. The tests cost approximately $80 plus a variable sitting fee by location. Students are encouraged to register, pay, schedule the test, and sent transcripts via the Get College Credit website using Sinclair school code: 9309. If you have already taken a DSST exam and did not have your scores sent to Sinclair, download the DSST Transcript Order form to get your scores.

Sinclair Proficiency Tests

Sinclair offers over 150 different proficiency exams developed by content experts in a variety of academic departments. Eligible students are able to take a proficiency test and if earning a grade of C or higher, earn credit for the equivalent class. Interested students are encouraged to talk about eligibility and options with their academic advisor. Visit the Sinclair Proficiency Tests by Course page for a list of courses available for proficiency tests.

Credit for What You Know

American Council on Education (ACE)

ACE provides credit recommendations for a variety of industry training, examinations, and coursework. Students are encouraged to send their official ACE transcripts to Sinclair for evaluation. Information on ordering transcripts, organizations served, courses, and exams can be found at National Guide resource.

Articulated Credit

Articulated credit is earned via industry licensures, credentials, and certifications. Students are encouraged to present any credentials they’ve earned to their academic advisor. Most credentials must be current or active and require department chair evaluation. If determined eligible, credit will be awarded to the student’s Sinclair transcript. This evaluation process is completely free.

Military Credit

Service members and veterans are able to submit their military transcripts for possible course transfer from classes and trainings completed while in service. To promote a military friendly process, transcripts will be evaluated for current and prospective students. Any courses matched from a student’s transcript, will help future students’ transcripts be evaluated. Students must submit their official Joint Service Transcript (JST) or Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript to Registration and Student Records for evaluation.

Portfolio Based Evaluations

To demonstrate learning done out of the classroom, students also have the option of creating a portfolio targeting the specific course outcomes of a needed class. This option is typically pursued for upper level classes, capstones, or internships. The portfolio will include a background of the student’s professional and educational experiences and aspirations, specific references to the outcomes of the class with examples, documentation, and explanations of how this learning has been earned and mastered. Interested students are encouraged to talk about this option with their Academic Advisor.

Individualized Programs

The purpose of Individualized Programs is to meet a personal, professional, or transfer goal that one of our existing degrees does not fulfill. Students have the option of pursuing an Associate of Individualized Study or Associate of Technical Study to combine a combination of subject concentrations to create a unique degree. For more information and to apply, contact plaprograms@sinclair.edu.


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