Students who can demonstrate equivalent college-level knowledge and skills may receive college credit for prior learning from experiences such as:

  • Work
  • Seminars/Workshops/Training
  • Non-credit college courses
  • Independent study
  • Military service
  • Community/Volunteer activities
  • Hobbies

Methods Used by NHCC to Assess Credit for Prior Learning Standardized Testing

NHCC accepts credits earned through a variety of standardized examinations, including:

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP), equivalency examinations that demonstrate college-level achievement. NHCC offers CLEP exams through the Testing Center. More information about CLEP can be found at
  • Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES/DSST), a nationally recognized program that allows student to earn college credits for learning acquired outside of the traditional classroom. More information about DANTES can be found at
  • Advanced Placement (AP), applies to secondary students only.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB), applies to secondary students only.    

Credit by Examination
Provided that no CLEP exam exists, students may be able to take a Credit by Examination for other courses. Exams are not available for all courses. Students must follow these procedures:   

  • Receive permission from  appropriate faculty member. 
  • Pay current per credit fee to be registered for the appropriate class.
  • Contact Testing Department, 763-424-0928, for testing appointment.
  • Complete the requirements as outlined by the assigned faculty member.
  • A pass/no-pass grade (P or NP) will be recorded on the transcript after all the prior steps have been completed. 
  • Students may not exchange/replace a Credit by Examination for a course in which they are currently enrolled.  

Professional Courses/Examinations
To see what courses or examinations are eligible for academic credit, students can search the American Council on Education's College Credit Service website.

Portfolio Assessment
Portfolio Assessment is the process of defining, documenting, measuring, evaluating and granting credit for learning acquired through experience. NHCC follows the guidelines for prior learning put in place by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)

Students interested in Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) will take the non-credit, online course designed to assist them in assessing their learning and determining if they are a good candidate for the PLA process.

Accepted credit for prior learning transfer into your NHCC transcript.

Students intending to transfer out should check with the receiving institutions about the acceptance of standardized examinations and PLA portfolio credit.