Get Credit for What You Already Know

Like many SMCC students, you may have knowledge and skills that you’ve gained before enrolling at SMCC. This experience could earn you college credits to go toward your degree. To see if you qualify for credit for prior learning, browse the information below.

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American Council on Education’s (ACE) Credit Evaluation

The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service connects workplace learning with colleges and universities. ACE does this by helping students earn academic credit for formal training taken outside traditional degree programs. Please note that ACE recommendations do not guarantee credit – learning outcomes must match SMCC-specific courses. For more information, visit the ACE website.

Challenge Examinations

A Challenge Examination allows students to demonstrate that they can meet the learning objectives of a course to receive course credit. Your program chair can inform you which Challenge Examinations may be available and will need to grant you permission to take the examination. Please note that there is a $100 charge for a Challenge Examination.

College Level Examination Program

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a widely trusted program that offers over 30 exams that can earn you credit for what you already know with a qualifying score of 50 or greater. Students can purchase a CLEP exam on the CLEP website and then choose a location to take the exam.

  • To see what CLEP tests you can take and the credits you’ll earn, download the SMCC CLEP Comparisons.
  • For more detailed information about CLEP exams, visit the CLEP website.
  • To have SMCC consider your CLEP scores for credit, you’ll need to request that the College Board send an official score report to our Admissions Office.

DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST)

DSST’s are credit-by-examination tests originated by the United States Department of Defense, but open to all learners.  There are two scenarios for students around DSST exams. The first is if a you have already taken a DSST exam and want to explore if your test scores qualify for prior learning credit. The second is if you have significant prior learning in a subject and want to take a DSST exam that may lead to college credit. To learn more, visit the DSST website.

Military Service Experience

In many cases, veterans attending SMCC are able to receive credit based on prior work and/or training. An official transcript, Joint Services transcript or Smart Transcript with ACE recommendations should be sent to the Admissions Office for military credit consideration.

Professional Certification Examinations

Professional Certification Examinations allow for many professional certifications to count toward college credit. A program chair can you help you determine if your certificate meets the learning requirements in your degree program.

Credit Through Portfolio

SMCC students can develop a portfolio to be evaluated for knowledge gained from work and other experiences. This opportunity is available to degree-seeking students who have been accepted into a degree program and have college-level writing skills. A department chair will review your portfolio to determine whether you have college-level knowledge of a subject in the courses you are seeking credit for. To learn more, visit our Credit Through Portfolio webpage.