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How do you get credits towards a degree for work experience?

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There are a number of ways to earn degree credit for work experience including a variety of exams, submitting an academic portfolio, professional licenses or credentials, and corporate training programs. Many accredited residential and online universities use these methods to provide degree credit for students' work and life experience.

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The most commonly accepted method of earning college credit for work experience is a challenge exam. These exams allow students to demonstrate the knowledge and proficiency they've already gained in common college-level subjects. There are several exam programs including the College Level Exam Program and the Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support Subject Standardized Test. The exams cover a wide variety of topics, including business, humanities, math and science, and they are accepted at many accredited colleges and universities.

Another option for earning credit for work experience is to provide proof of professional licenses or credentials. The American Council on Education awards credits for credentials such as certified public accountant, certified computer programmer and certified professional secretary. Additionally, online colleges such as Capella University and Western Governors University accept credentials such as real estate licenses and professional health training for degree credits.

Students also have the option of submitting a written academic portfolio to earn credit for life and work experience. An academic portfolio is ideal for students with applied knowledge who have products such as artwork, business plans or articles that demonstrate competency in certain subjects.

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