Get college credit for what you already know.
The Prior Learning Program allows students to gain credit for their professional and educational experiences that apply to their current coursework. There are three pathways of Prior Learning credit that students can pursue.
(Undergraduate students only)
A comprehensive exam to demonstrate mastery of the subject.
1. You can see a complete list of available knowledge exams here:
- Please work with your Student Success Coordinator and the Prior Learning office to schedule your exam. Some exams have pre-scheduled offerings while others are scheduled based on student interest. For example, Spanish and French exams are offered on the first Wednesday of every bi-term from 5-8 pm Eastern Time.
2. You are only permitted to pursue each exam once.
3. These exams are proctored by either UC Faculty or a proctoring service. If proctored by a service, there is a fee of $20.50.
Demonstrate mastery of subject by providing a narrative of your experience through guided prompts that align with the course objectives.
1. You can attach artifacts such as a marketing plan, news articles, certifications, and more to provide as examples of work completed.
2. The cost of pursuing Experiential Credit is $0.
Demonstrate mastery of subject by providing a valid certification that aligns with the course.
- Google Analytics = BADM 333 Business Analytics
- Certified Nursing Aide = NURS 100 Medicaid Nurse Aide
- Global Information Assurance Certification = MSDF 531 Windows Digital Forensics
- Food, Nutrition, and Health Development = HESS 333 Nutrition, and more!
2. The cost of pursuing Certification Credit is $0.
The faculty and staff of Cumberlands have always been exceptionally helpful, and it is clear Cumberlands has a passion for student success.
Interested in pursuing a Prior Learning Pathway?
If you are interested in pursuing Prior Learning:
- Complete this SURVEY to see how you might earn Prior Learning credits.
- Discuss it with your Student Success Coordinator (Undergrad on-campus | Undergrad Online | Graduate) to see if there are opportunities within your degree plan.
- If you are a current student and if you are ready to apply, please review these instructions for completing the form and the application can be found through UC One and selecting “UC Reporting and Request Form” then selecting “Prior Learning Request” on the Report Type drop-down.
Prior Learning Program Contact: priorlearning [at] ucumberlands.edu (priorlearning[at]ucumberlands[dot]edu)
My experience with UC was amazing. Despite being an online student, I felt connected. The program exceeded my expectations.Graduate Student
There are some limitations to earning Prior Learning credit:
Undergraduate:Students must complete 25% of their degree through University of the Cumberlands coursework and Prior Learning does not count towards this.
Graduate:Students may earn a max of 25% of the credit in the academic program for which they're enrolled through Prior Learning, and at least 33% of the total semester hours in any degree requirements must be completed at UC. (Prior Learning won't meet this.)
I am extremely thankful I attended Cumberlands. I am a better person and leader because of my time there.Graduate Student
The Prior Learning Program allows students to gain credit for their professional and educational experiences that apply to their current coursework.
- Complete this SURVEY to see how you might earn Prior Learning credits.
- Discuss it with your Student Success Coordinator to see if there are opportunities within your degree plan.
- If you are a current student and ready to apply, please review these instructions for completing the form. The application can be found through UC One and selecting “UC Reporting and Request Form” then selecting “Prior Learning Request” on the Report Type drop-down.
To attempt prior learning credits, you have to be enrolled in courses; therefore, you will not have access to the application within the program Guardian.
It is best to first discuss your interest with your Student Success Coordinator or your Faculty Advisor. Once you have an idea of the remaining degree requirements, you can review the syllabi for those courses and determine which courses might be worth pursuing. By accessing Simple Syllabus then selecting “Syllabus Library” you can access any syllabi for any course.
Prior Learning does not complete transfer credit. Please contact your admissions representative to process your transfer credits.
UNDERGRADUATE: Students must complete 25% of their degree through University of the Cumberlands coursework and Prior Learning does not count towards this.
GRADUATE: Students may earn a maximum of 25% of the credit in the academic program for which they are enrolled through Prior Learning, and at least thirty-three percent of the total semester hours in any degree requirements must be completed at the University of the Cumberlands. Prior Learning credit will not meet this requirement.
- Students must be currently enrolled at University of the Cumberlands to apply and pursue Prior Learning credits
- Students must apply for Prior Learning before their last term at the University of the Cumberlands.
- Students should not be currently enrolled in the course(s) they are seeking prior learning credit.
Prior Learning will be able to give you an idea of what you can apply for but not a definitive answer on receiving the credits. This is because the credits cannot transfer to another institution, so it is not worth your time to pursue Prior Learning credits unless you are definitely becoming a student with us.
Most likely not. Another institution may also grant you Prior Learning credits, but it depends on the institution and their policies.
No, you will have to complete the Prior Learning process at University of the Cumberlands to receive Prior Learning credits.
Your prior learning application will be sent to the Department Chair for approval/denial. You should receive a confirmation email saying that your application was received within 2-3 business days. Please allow up to two weeks for an approval/denial email.
- Experiential Credit provides students with the opportunity to share and present documents and experiences from their past in alignment with course objectives. Students receive credit for the course in lieu of completing the course. Along with the documents, students provide a short narrative regarding the connection.
- Certification Credit allows students to demonstrate mastery of a subject by providing a valid certification that aligns with the course. Validation and approval are required from the Department Chair.[JS3] [WP4]
- There is no cost associated with Experiential or Certification prior learning credit.
Upon Certification denial, you will receive an email recommending you pursue Experiential Credit instead. There is no need to fill out a new application. If you are interested in this alternative, please respond to the email from priorlearning [at] ucumberlands.edu (priorlearning[at]ucumberlands[dot]edu) to express your interests.
- You will need to be enrolled into a section of Blackboard to complete the portfolio(s).
- The portfolio requires that you demonstrate knowledge through guided prompts that align with the course objectives outlined in the syllabus. The Blackboard course is a shell, and no content specific to your course will be included.
- You can pull the syllabus for the course(s) here: University of the Cumberlands - Simple Syllabus.
Yes, PLP courses are zero credit courses, so they do not affect course load hours or financial aid. However, you should always consult with your Student Success Coordinator before applying and enrolling in Prior Learning opportunities.
You can submit up to three portfolios in the same PLP course. When naming your portfolio(s), please make sure that you use the course name you are seeking prior learning credit.
Please email priorlearning [at] ucumberlands.edu (priorlearning[at]ucumberlands[dot]edu) to be enrolled in another section of the course for a different bi-term.
You would need to score a 70 or higher on your portfolio to receive prior learning credit for the course.
This is at the discretion of the Department Chair. Please email priorlearning [at] ucumberlands.edu (priorlearning[at]ucumberlands[dot]edu) to discuss.
Please allow your Subject Matter Expert 2-3 weeks to complete the review/scoring process.
Credit for prior learning is listed as “CE” (credit experience) on your transcript, and it does not affect your GPA.