Alternative Ways to Earn College Credit
Palm Beach State College has processes for awarding credit for prior learning experiences or credits earned through accelerated mechanism exam programs (e.g., Advanced International Certificate Of Education (AICE), Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), Excelsior College Examinations (ECEs), and International Baccalaureate (IB).
Prior Learning Assessment
The assessment for prior learning is designed to recognize the academic value of learning through portfolios that demonstrate attainment of learning outcomes, challenge exams, specific high school or CCP to Credit articulation, and health or industry licensure certification. Credits will be held in escrow until the student has completed at least 25% of his/her program or certificate credit hours at Palm Beach State College (excluding accelerated credit-by-exam mechanisms listed below) to meet the residency requirement for graduation.
Students with official transcripts of prior learning credit earned outside a regionally accredited classroom, issued directly to the College from the program in question, may be awarded up to a maximum of 45 semester hours of credit.
Students may not receive credit for prior learning for courses in areas where he/she has received college credit for equal courses or more advanced work. Credits for prior learning may not be applied towards grade forgiveness.
The fees associated with prior learning vary with the type of assessment.
Prior Learning Portfolio
The Prior Learning Portfolio is a formal process that is based on the review of relevant materials produced by the student. These materials are presented in a portfolio format for faculty and/or staff review. In some courses, a skill assessment is also required for meeting the course competency requirements. A.A. and Bachelor’s transfer courses are not eligible for this process.
Student Requirements for a Prior Learning Portfolio
- Student must be award-seeking and be admitted to the program of study (degree, certificate or diploma).
- Student must have earned at least 25% of the credits or clock hours listed in the program.
As you look at the skills and competencies you need for your A.S./A.A.S. degree or certificate, you might see career-level courses in which you already have significant experience or knowledge. Please note that any A.A. courses required in your program such as English, mathematics, humanities, social science or science, or upper-division courses, cannot be earned through a Prior Learning Portfolio.
- All Palm Beach State College courses have detailed course outlines available. This course outline will serve as the basis of your portfolio. The portfolio demonstrates how prior learning (formal and informal) helped you master the course objectives listed in the outline.
If you determine that an A.S. or CCP course exists in your program in which you would like to apply for Prior Learning Portfolio credit, please follow the steps below:
Step 1 – Complete Prior Learning Portfolio Information Form
To proceed with the process, complete the Prior Learning Portfolio Information form. Bring this form to an associate dean at your campus. This conveys to the associate dean and the faculty member your intent to pursue Prior Learning Assessment. If the form is approved, you may proceed with the next step of the process.
Step 2 - Payment and Portfolio Preparation
If the Prior Learning Portfolio Information form has been approved:
- Pay the appropriate fees as listed on the form at the Cashier's Office.
- Submit the form with a copy of the paid receipt and the completed portfolio to the associate dean or faculty member. Remember to follow the guidelines for preparing the portfolio. Payment does not guarantee the credit or clock hours will be granted.
Step 3 - Review by Faculty/Staff
The faculty or staff member will review your portfolio and assess the level at which you have demonstrated mastery of the course outcomes. In addition, you may be required to demonstrate any needed skills to satisfy course requirements.
You will have one opportunity to make corrections or show additional evidence of learning as required by the faculty or staff member. If the portfolio is approved by the faculty member, he/she sends it to the associate dean and dean for final approval. The associate dean will then forward a copy of the approved form to the Registrar's Office for posting to your transcript.
If the portfolio is approved, a grade of S (satisfactory) and no grade points will
be assigned for credit hours awarded.
Palm Beach State College has an Interinstitutional Articulation agreement (IAA) with the School District of Palm Beach County to accept certain combinations of high school CTE coursework properly assessed to qualify for the awarding of college credits. List of high school CTE programs.
Upon completion of the appropriate high school CTE coursework, students must complete the following steps to be considered for articulated credit(s) or contact hours:
- Request an official high school transcript be sent electronically from the School District to the Palm Beach State College Admissions Office. The student should also obtain a "student copy" of the transcript to carry with them for the assessment process.
- Apply to Palm Beach State College to obtain a student number and register for the program objective to which the prior learning credit will apply.
- Complete the appropriate Career Pathways Prior Learning form for your high school CTE program.
- Submit the form to the Palm Beach State associate dean or program manager indicated on the IAA.
If the Career Pathway agreement requires a portfolio or other assessment, the student must make arrangements to complete such assessments prior to submitting the form.
- Fees: None
- Eligibility: Any Palm Beach County High School graduate who has completed the specified coursework with the required grade indicated by the IAA.
- Proviso(s): Student must complete and pass any assessment or portfolio requirements as per the agreement.
Any student who has previously taken and successfully passed college credit or CCP program courses or who holds valid licensure as prescribed by the State of Florida Articulation Agreement may request to have the credits or clock hours applied toward a CCC, A.A.S., or A.S. degree. The student must (1) be enrolled in the specific certificate or degree program to which the credits or clock hours will apply; and (2) have already earned at least 25% of the credits or clock hours listed in the program. The student may initiate a request by the following process.
CCP to Credit Equivalency
Process: The student who has completed the eligible CCP coursework should meet with the appropriate CCC or A.A.S./A.S. program manager to complete and submit a Course Equivalency Form to the college registrar’s office. No fees apply for this process.
Credit to CCP Equivalency
Process: The student who has completed the eligible credit coursework should meet with the appropriate CCP program manager to complete and submit a Course Equivalency Form to the college registrar’s office. No fees apply for this process.
Process: The student who has completed the eligible credit coursework should meet with the appropriate department chair, program manager or director to complete and submit a Course Substitution Form to the college registrar's office. No fees apply for this process.
Statewide Articulation – CCP to CCC or A.A.S./A.S. Degree
Process: The student who has completed the eligible CCP coursework should meet with the appropriate CCC or A.A.S./A.S. program manager to complete and submit a Course Equivalency Form, along with the statewide articulation agreement, to the college registrar’s office. See Statewide articulation agreements. No fees apply for this process.
Statewide Articulation – Industry Certification to A.A.S./A.S. Degree
Process: The student who has verification of the articulated industry certifications should meet with the appropriate CCC or A.A.S./A.S. program manager to complete and submit a Course Equivalency Form (License), along with the statewide articulation agreement for licensure, to the college registrar’s office. See Statewide articulation agreements. No fees apply for this process.
Departmental and Special Course Challenge Exams
Palm Beach State College has identified certain courses within the curriculum as being eligible for earning credit through a challenge examination. If the student achieves a passing score on the examination, credit or hours will be awarded to the student's transcript. Get instructions and a listing of current challenge exams.
Military Service Credits
Palm Beach State will award credit for military education that has been evaluated and recommended as suitable for postsecondary credit by the American Council on Educations Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces (JST Transcripts or CCAF Transcripts).
To have military experience evaluated, the student will need to request there military transcripts through the JST website or the CCAF website. Credit can be awarded for Army, Coast Guard, Marine, and Navy experience and training as well as for Department of Defense courses. Courses administered by the Air Force are shown on an official copy of the Community College of the Air Force Transcript. Transcripts should be sent to any campus Admissions Office.
Palm Beach State College Programs Articulation
The following Palm Beach State College programs offer credit articulation possibilities:
- Radiologic Technology (ARRT)
- Dental Assisting to Dental Hygiene
- Florida Fire College to Fire Science
- EPI Equivalency
Go to Palm Beach State College's Prior Learning webpage and select the appropriate program for detailed process information.
Accelerated Credit-by-Exam Mechanisms
Palm Beach State College follows the guidelines set by the Articulation Coordinating Committee (ACC) in Florida State Board Rule 6A-10.024(7) for awarding credits to students who have participated in accelerated credit-by-exam mechanism programs. Credit for all exams is awarded based on the recommendation of the State of Florida Articulation Coordinating Committee. View chart
Students may earn up to 45 semester hours of course credit through one or more of the mechanisms listed below. Students may not receive credit by examination for courses in areas where they have received college credit for equal courses or more advanced work.
To receive credit for satisfactory scores on a nationally standardized exam, students must:
- Apply to and be admitted to Palm Beach State College as a student; and
- Have official exam scores mailed directly to the College Registrar’s Office, prior to enrollment.
If all requirements are met, the test information will be recorded on the student’s
transcript. A grade of "S" for satisfactory and no grade points will be assigned for
credit hours awarded.
Credit by examination: Palm Beach State awards credit for passing scores on standardized exams
Last Updated: May 2018