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Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

The City University of New York (CUNY) and the College of Staten Island (CSI) recognize that students entering or returning to college come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including many that involve the equivalent of college-level learning. 

The CUNY Policy for the Use of Credit for Prior Learning applies to all colleges of The City University of New York. The awarding of credit for the various nationally recognized standardized examinations is effective as of Fall 2021, but colleges and schools will be permitted to phase in the requirement of awarding credit for non-credit coursework as they establish campus-based procedures to do so and in alignment with university-wide standards and criteria. The awarding of credit via portfolio remains voluntary at this time.

As a result, CSI offers the following CPL opportunities for you to earn credit from your previous education, work experience, and learning outside of the classroom.

Eligibility for Credit for Prior Learning
You must be matriculated or be matriculating at the College in order to be eligible for any form of CPL credit options listed above. In addition, you may be required to submit official transcripts/scores to CUNY/CSI. 

CPL Credit and Student Transcript 
Credit for Prior Learning credits earned will be identified by CPL credit type on your student transcript with a grade of "CR”.  CPL Credit will be awarded in the first term you are enrolled or the enrollment term when the credit is officially reported to the College. Credit for Prior Learning Credit cannot be used to repeat a class previously graded. 

CPL Credit and Residency Requirement
Credit for Prior Learning credit does not count toward the undergraduate degree residency requirement.  In order to graduate from CSI with an undergraduate degree, associate or baccalaureate, you must earn a minimum of 30 credits through courses taken at the College. In order to graduate from CSI with a bachelor’s degree, you must also earn at least half (50%) of the credits required for the major through courses taken at the College.

CPL Course Equivalencies
It is CSI’s guiding principle that in the interest of accurate recognition of learning as well as being welcome to adult students, every effort has been made to give credit for specific courses or disciplines in the College’s undergraduate offerings and in disciplines in which the College has faculty expertise.  When no specific course exists, the College shall give credit for prior learning to satisfy degree program requirements (general education or major or minor). General elective credit will only be given when no other option is available. Click here for CPL Course Equivalencies

Standardized Examinations

Advanced International Certificate Education Program (AICE)
The AICE program is an International, Advanced Secondary (AS) curriculum and assessment program equivalent to the British system of “A Levels.” AS-level courses are comprised of curricula lasting one academic year. Credits shall be awarded for grades of E or better (U.S. equivalent of C or better). To have your AICE exams evaluated for CPL credit you must request an official copy of your AS & A Level grade transcripts and/or AICE Diploma be sent to the College of Staten Island. Click here for AICE Course Equivalencies

Advanced Placement (AP)
Advanced Placement (AP) exams are culminating exams for students who complete college-level work in high school under the AP Program sponsored by the College Board. Credit shall be awarded for scores of 3 or better (equivalent of C or better). To have your AP Exams evaluated for CPL credit, you must request an official copy of your AP Scores be sent to the College of Staten Island (CUNY/CSI - School Code 2778).  Click here for AP Course Equivalencies.

College Level Exam Program (CLEP)
The College Level Exam Program (CLEP) exams are designed to test knowledge in specific college subjects achieved outside of the classroom. Credit shall be awarded for scores of 50 or better (equivalent of C or better). To have your CLEP exams evaluated for CPL credit, you must request an official copy of your CLEP Scores be sent to the College of Staten Island (CUNY/CSI - School Code 2778).  Click here for CLEP Course Equivalencies.

Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT)
The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) is a multi-service school for active and reserve components, foreign military students, and civilian personnel working in the federal government and various law enforcement agencies. Aside from classroom instruction, faculty also write course materials, design tests called the Defense Language Proficiency Test), and conduct research and analysis. Credits shall be awarded for minimum score of 3 or better (equivalent of C or better). To have your DLPT Exams evaluated for CPL credit, you must request an official copy of your DLPT transcript be sent to the College of Staten Island. Click here for DLPT Course Equivalencies.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DSST) (formerly DANTES)
The DSST or DANTES exams are designed to test students’ knowledge on a variety of college-level subjects, regardless of where they may have learned the material. Exams are developed by committees of college faculty. Credits shall be awarded for a minimum score of 400 (equivalent of C or better) on Criterion Referenced test or 45 on Norm Referenced test. To your DSST exams evaluated for CPL credit, you must request an official copy of your DSST score report/transcript be sent to the College of Staten Island. Click here for DSST Course Equivalencies

Excelsior College Exams (UEXCEL)
Excelsior College, formerly known as Regents College Exam or ACT/PEP exams, are designed to test achievement in select college subject areas and programs. Credits shall be awarded for a minimum grade of C or better. To have UEXCEL Exams evaluated for CPL credit, you must request an official copy of your UEXCEL transcript be sent to the College of Staten Island.  Click here for UEXCEL Course Equivalencies

International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization Diploma Program (DP)
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization Diploma Program is a demanding course of study that leads to culminating exams for highly motivated high school students. Thirty (30) credits shall be awarded to students who have completed an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma with a score of 30 or higher. Students who have completed an IB diploma with a score of 29 or less and students who did not complete a diploma will be guaranteed credit for higher-level IB exams with scores of 5 or better (equivalent to B or better).  To have your IB exams/Diploma evaluated for CPL credit you must request an official copy of your IB transcript be sent to the College of Staten Island. Click here for IB Course Equivalencies.

Joint Services Transcript (JST)

CSI offers credit for knowledge and experience gained through military service, using credit recommendations from the American Council on Education (ACE) Military Guide  on the JST. The JST is an academically accepted document that validates a service member’s occupational experience and formal military training. When evaluating programs offered by the armed forces, the following military records shall be used by the College to verify successful completion of military service, and military training courses: 

  • Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS)
  • Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART)
  • Community College for the Air Force (CCAF) transcript
  • Coast Guard Institute Military Education Transcript
  • DD Form 295, Application for the Evaluation of Learning Experiences During Military Service. 

Military Education offices can provide this form to active-duty personnel and reservists. This form must be certified by an authorized commissioned officer or his/her designee.
Joint Services Transcripts are available for all service members regardless of separation date. To have your Joint Services Transcript evaluated for CPL credit, you must request an official copy of your Joint Services Transcript be sent to the College of Staten Island. 

Industry Credit

CSI offers CPL credit for licenses, certifications, and training that have been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) or by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS). CSI may also conduct their own Professional Learning Evaluations (PLEs) of trainings and credentials that have not been evaluated by ACE or NCCRS. To learn more, visit the ACE National Guide for Learners Seeking Credit or the NCCRS Students information site.