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Credit for Experience

The phrase “credit for life experience” is legally defined by the U.S. Department of Education as “credit earned by students for what they have learned through independent study, noncredit adult courses, work experience, portfolio demonstration, previous licensure or certification, or completion of other learning opportunities (military, government, or professional)” (U.S. Department of Education, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System 2015–2016 survey materials). Students are awarded credit for their experiences by the appropriate academic department or by a registrar’s office. Typically, students are awarded these credits upon initial enrollment. Credit for experience is more frequently utilized at institutions that serve nontraditional or working adult students.

While most institutions offer credit for experience arrangements, institutional policies regarding experiential credit vary greatly from institution to institution and even from one ...

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