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Prior Learning Assessment

You did the work. Now earn the degree.

University College's Prior Learning Assessment is a no-cost way for you to use what you already know through relevant learning, work, or life experience and apply it towards a degree.

A male student in the center of a packed classroom

Save Time, Money & Focus On What You Need

Through Prior Learning Assessment, you can reach your goals – whether academic or professional – faster and for less money. That's because you'll be able to accelerate the academic process and take higher level courses sooner by proving that through your past or current experiences you already possess the skills and knowledge being taught in accredited college-level courses.

This means you'll spend your time focusing on what you need to learn, not on what you already know.


No One Starts at Zero

A female student smiling.We recognize a number of formal and non-formal experiences and activities that could be applied towards Prior Learning Assessment.

  • Credit from any two- or four-year college, no matter when you earned it
  • Workshops, certificates, trainings, or licenses
  • Self-taught knowledge or skills
  • Military training or experience
  • Volunteer work or community service
  • Work experience in businesses or organizations

Don’t see your experience? We will work with you to discover if you can submit it for approval.


Make Your Learning Count

Students in the computer labThere are five Prior Learning Assessment options to choose from: Transfer Credits from previous college work, Lifetime Learning Credit, Standardized Credit Documentation & Professional Prior Learning, Military Credit Transfer, and American Bar Association Transfer Credit.

Inquire About Prior Learning
You may apply a combined total of 90 credits through our Prior Learning Assessment options. To learn more about our Prior Learning options, please see below:

Transfer Credit Standards

For transfer credits, we accept up to three years of applicable college credit from an accredited two-year, or four-year college/university, provided the student maintained a letter grade of “C” or higher. 

Two-Year Institution Transfer Credit Standards

Transfer credit may be awarded at University College from a two-year school based on the maximum number of credits you need to earn to achieve the highest degree offered, which is the Associate’s degree.  Accredited institutions who offer an Associate’s degree award it based on a satisfactory earning of 60 – 66 undergraduate college credits.

  • If you have EARNED an Associate’s degree from an accredited two (2) year institution, you may transfer a cumulative total not to exceed (NTE) 66 credits.
  • If you have NOT earned an Associate’s degree from an accredited two (2) year institution, but have earned college credit from there, you may transfer a cumulative total not to exceed (NTE) 60 credits. If you have earned over 60 credits, but have not graduated with your associate’s degree, you may only transfer up to 60 credits.  Additional courses cannot be accepted.

Four-Year Institution Transfer Credit Standards

Transfer credit may be awarded at University College from a four (4) year school based on the maximum number of credits you need to earn to achieve the highest degree offered, which is the Bachelor’s degree.  Accredited institutions who offer a Bachelor’s degree award it based on a satisfactory earning of approximately 120 undergraduate college credits. 

  • You may transfer a cumulative total not to exceed (NTE) 90 credits from a four (4) year institution as applicable.  If you submit an official transcript that has more than 90 credits, we can only accept up to 90 credits.  Additional courses cannot be accepted. 
  • If you have a two (2) year, AND a four (4) year transcript to submit for transfer credit, credit may be combined.  If you have an earned Associate’s degree (66 credits), and submit a four (4) year transcript you may add up to 24 additional college credits if applicable.

Roger Williams University ‘Residency Requirement’: University College requires transfer students to complete a minimum of ten (10) undergraduate college courses at RWU in order to satisfy their residency, and earn a Roger Williams University degree.

College Level Exam Preparation (CLEP)

You may CLEP up to ninety (90) credits for successful CLEP testing that fits into your degree plan.  Please speak with an advisor on what CLEP tests you may take to earn transfer credit towards your degree.  University College may also give advanced credit for other standardized testing exams that are recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE).

A direct link to CLEP examinations is right here: https://clep.collegeboard.org/

Want to learn more? Contact:

Admissions Office
401-254-3838
scs@rwu.edu

Life Learning Credit (LLC)

This is an assessment of prior learning through life experience (work experience, personal accolades, volunteer experience, experience abroad, etc.).  Please note that not all personal experiences can be documented for college credit. 

The process includes meeting with our director of credit documentation, and reviewing your experiences in order to determine together if you should prepare an approximate 2 – 3-page write-up on why your experiences should be counted towards the desired competencies/courses you are looking to earn college credit for.

Life learning documentation can take anywhere from thirty to ninety days to complete based on time of submission, the number of personal experiences, specific questions from the reviewer(s), etc.                                         

Want to learn more? Contact:
Dennis Rebelo, Ph.D.
401-254-3231
drebelo@rwu.edu

Standardized Credit Documentation & Professional Prior Learning

This option requires you to have documented learning in the form of licenses, certificates, non-credit coursework, training programs, or other formal courses and examinations taken outside traditional degree programs. RWU has agreements with a wide variety of organizations that provide training, certificates, and exams that have been evaluated for college credit. You may find your prior learning experiences have already been evaluated! Even we don't have your experience listed, we will work with you to discover if you can apply your experience for assessment. Email or call us at scs@rwu.edu or 401-254-3838 to see our list of Standardized Options.

Fill out the Professional Prior Learning application below and attach your documentation. Your application and documentation will be evaluated, and a credit evaluation notification will be processed in 15 to 30 days. If credits cannot be granted, students may have the option to go through the life learning process detailed above.  To submit documentation, you must be in the application process and already have or create a user account.

Upload Documentation 
Want to learn more? Contact:

Dr. Taino J. Palermo              
401-254-3296
tpalermo@rwu.edu

Military Credit Transfer

Due to our extensive agreements and partnerships with current military and veteran’s, we gladly accept credit from the Joint Services Transcript.  We also accept previous versions of military documents such as the SMART transcript and AARTS.  Other versions of service member accolades may qualify.  Please share with us your past experience if applicable so that we may acknowledge them if possible. 

Official Joint Service Transcripts may be requested here:  https://jst.doded.mil/official.html

You may transfer up to ninety (90) credits of military credit as applicable.  You may combine transfer credit options in other ways, but you may only transfer a combined total of 90 credits towards your bachelor’s degree.  Additional military credit cannot be accepted.

American Bar Association Transfer Credit Requirement – Paralegal Studies Program

Major Requirements
Transfer Credit Policy*

To adhere to ABA standards, the following credit transfer policy applies to all students:

  • Students may be awarded up to 12 legal specialty course credits to fulfill major requirements from an ABA approved paralegal program
  • Students may be awarded up to 6 legal specialty course credits to fulfill major requirements from a non-ABA approved paralegal program**
  • Transfer credit will not be awarded for any legal specialty distance learning courses taken at a non-ABA accredited institution

*Students shall provide evidence indicating whether the Paralegal course(s) in consideration for transfer was taken in a distance, hybrid, or traditional classroom format.
** A maximum of 3 transfer credits may be used to satisfy the traditional classroom format requirement.