Earn Credit for Prior Knowledge and Experience

There are numerous ways to earn college credit outside the traditional classroom. PLA options include:

Experiential Learning

Matriculated students who have completed 15 credits may receive a maximum of 15 credits for experiential learning. This learning must be at college level; it may match the content of specific courses or not. Credit is awarded by the appropriate department after a detailed assessment of the documentation provided by the student to that department. Documentation can include Portfolios, detailed resumes, professional learning/certifications (i.e. EMT, Police, Fire, Military Medic, Social Services …) and as much supporting information as possible to allow for an appropriate evaluation. Students must begin by filling out the Prior/Experiential Learning form and submitting it to the appropriate academic department for evaluation. For more information and details on what “Experiential” credit is see our FAQ’s.


External Agencies:

The College will grant matriculated students a maximum of 30 credits on the basis of, among others, the following: Advanced Placement Courses (AP), Regents College Examinations, American College Testing Proficiency (ACT-PEP), and College Level Examination Programs (CLEP).

Academic departments or programs may authorize the assignment of specific course equivalents for credit-by-examination through outside agencies. Otherwise, such credits will be acceptable only as elective credits. Credits granted by examination through outside agencies will appear on student records appropriately identified by type of exam, subject, number of credits, and P (passing) grade. No credit will be awarded for a subject area examination in which the student has already taken an equivalent college course or completed a higher-level, more advanced college course. Based on faculty review and recommendations, the Office of Recruitment and Admissions monitors and coordinates the awarding of credit by examinations taken through outside agencies and the implementation of uniform College policy on credit-by-examination.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) ExamsTests of college material offered by the College Board. The College grants credit for designated CLEP General Examinations. For CLEP introductory subject exams with separate essay test, the College requires that students take both the multiple-choice objective test and the separate essay test. Award of credit is based on performance on both parts of the subject exam. In order to receive credit, students must pass the subject examinations with a scaled score in at least the 50th percentile and minimally equivalent to a passing grade of C. Please see the College Level Examination Program articulation chart to see if credit applies. Official scores need to be sent by the College Board to the Registrar’s Office for review. Applications and information about CLEP examinations are available from the CSI College Testing Office 1A 104 (718 - 982 - 2380) and at www.collegeboard.org

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams –A series of tests developed by the College Board initially for AP High School courses, including 34 exams in 19 subject areas.
Credits are awarded to students with official score reports of four or higher on any Advanced Placement (AP) exam. Please see the Advanced Placement course equivalency chart to see if credit applies. You should designate the College of Staten Island (CUNY CSI/School Code 2778) at the time you take the exam or if you later request official AP scores to be sent by the College Board to the Registrar’s Office for review.

For information on a CLEP prep program to help you prepare for the CLEP exams please visit the Modern States Educational Alliance website

American Council on Education (ACE) Guides–Published recommendations for formal instructional programs offered by non-collegiate agencies, both civilian employers and the military. See the CSI Transfer Information Site for more detailed information.

Campus Based Testing

Departmental Challenge Examinations
At the discretion of academic departments or programs, students may take departmental challenge examinations to demonstrate college-level competency in courses that have not been taken at CSI (or at any other college), and for which no credit has already been received.