Credit for prior learning | Stark State College | North Canton, Ohio
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Credit for prior learning

Stark State offers multiple ways for students to pursue prior learning credit. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) can apply to knowledge gained from work experience; training programs and/or certifications; military service; and CLEP, IB, or AP exams. (Request for award of prior learning credit form)

PLA options available are:

        • Current Professional Licensure or Certification
        • Completion of Formal Training/Certificate – including non-credit training
        • Military Transcript/ACE Transcript
        • Portfolio (see PLA Coordinator for Portfolio requirements)*
        • Divisional Proficiency Exam/Challenge Exam*
        • Personal Interview/Bypass Prerequisites Course
        • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB)

*Item includes a cost.

Alternative credit program™

If you have stopped out of college, the alternative credit program™ (ACP) provides a pool of online courses that Stark State College will accept towards your degree (up to 40 ACP credits).

The ACP, a national program of the American Council of Education supported by a generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is designed to help adults finish what they started: a two- or four-year degree or a post-secondary certificate.

Even if you’re not ready to apply, Stark State is here to help. We have admissions counselors, financial aid advisors, and academic advisors who specialize in helping students with careers or families come back to school and finish their educations.

Credit by examination – CLEP 

The College will award comparable academic credit to registered students for successful completion of the College Entrance Examination Board’s College Level Examination Program (CLEP) general and subject-area examinations. Contact admissions at 330-494-6170 ext. 4301 for more information.

If an equivalent course is not available for the CLEP exam area completed, elective or area credit will be awarded in the appropriate academic discipline and will be applied towards graduation where such elective credit options exist within the academic major.

Credit by examination – proficiency testing

Students who can demonstrate ability and knowledge in a particular subject area may establish credit in certain courses without enrolling in them. This is done by taking a special examination or performing a special assignment, or both, through the appropriate department. An examination fee is assessed. No letter grade is given. A maximum of 12 credit hours may be taken by examination without prior approval of the Stark State Board of Trustees. Students may take the exam only once per course. Students enrolled in a course are not eligible to take a proficiency examination for the course after being enrolled for 20 calendar days or more for a regular term, and seven days or more for an eight-week term.

Credit for prior learning

Credit can be awarded for demonstrated college-level learning. Students applying for credit

  • must provide documentation to support the learning
  • must have documentation evaluated by the appropriate college personnel and
  • will have this credit recorded on his or her transcript after successfully completing 12 hours at Stark State College, if credit is awarded. Successful completion is defined as a “C” or better. For more information, contact admissions at 330-494-6170 ext. 4228.

Advanced Placement

The College accepts credits earned while in high school as measured by the College Entrance Examination Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program. Students must score a three or higher on a subject-area examination. Contact admissions at 330-966-6598 for more information.

To learn how your credits can transfer:

International Baccalaureate

An International Baccalaureate (IB) education is a challenging two-year curriculum primarily aimed at students aged 16 to 19. It leads to transferable credits which are widely recognized by colleges and universities.

For more information, go to

Prior learning credit

Stark State College uses a prior learning assessment (PLA) portfolio to award prior learning credit for some classes. Please consult with the department chair for the course eligibility and the PLA coordinator for more information.

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