How Do You Get College Credit for Work Experience?

Get college credit for work experience by taking competency exams, submitting an academic or artistic portfolio, or getting corporate training reviewed for credit. Professional credentials and licenses and military training programs may also be reviewed for awarding college credits.

Many colleges and universities offer older prospective college students who have professional experience the opportunity to convert their work and life experiences into college credit to shorten the length and expense of completing a full bachelor's or master's degree program.

One of the easiest ways to get college credit is to take a competency exam. For instance, Strayer University offers students the opportunity to earn credit for liberal arts and business subjects through the CLEP, or College Level Exam Program. CLEP offers five general exams and 33 single-subject college exams. Passing all five of the freshman-level general exams is equivalent to up to 30 college credits or an entire year of college. Alternatively, students may take the Strayer Challenge exams, each of which is an equivalent of a Strayer course final exam.

Strayer also offers students the option of getting their professional certifications and licenses or military and corporate training reviewed for college credit. Kaplan University offers a similar pathway and even offers a special course dedicated to preparing students to document their work and life experiences in portfolios for assessment by subject-matter experts who recommend the credit conversion. The course is designed to help students get college credits of up to 75 percent of their desired programs.