Saint Paul College Policies & Procedures - Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Procedure - External Assessment

Part 1. CPL External Assessment

External assessment consists of methods and processes at the College that could result in credit for prior

learning achieved and assessed through a nationally recognized third-party assessment agency or

organization, regionally or nationally accredited postsecondary institution, or noncredit instruction.

Students demonstrate a level of proficiency that is recognized through curriculum, instruction, program,

or a standardized exam. CPL external assessment types may include, but are not limited to, AP, IB, CLEP,

and other national standardized assessments, world languages seals and certificates, industry

recognized credentials, licenses, and certifications, and noncredit instruction in programs such as

registered apprenticeships, continuing education, and customized training. The College shall award

college level credit for CPL External Assessments as follows:

  • Advanced Placement (AP) Exams: Course credits for achievement of scores of three or higher on

             AP exams. The same number of credits will be awarded for scores three, four, and five. For

             courses that are sequential in nature (ex. Math), more credit may be awarded for a score of four

             or five when it represents greater mastery of the material.

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: Six course credits for a score of four or higher on each

            Higher Level IB examination and two course credits for a score of four or higher on each

             Standard Level IB examination for students who attain an IB diploma.

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Individual Exams: Three or more course credits for a score of

             four or higher on each individual Higher Level IB Exam and two or more credits for a score of

             four or higher on each Individual Standard Level IB Exams.

  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Exams: Course credit for students who earn a score

              of 50 or higher on CLEP examinations, with the exception of Level 2 foreign-language

              examinations, for which a minimum score of 60 for German language, 59 for French language,

              and 63 for Spanish language is required. These scores conform to the recommendations made

             by the American Council on Education (ACE) and comply with Minn. Stat. § 120B.131 pertaining

             to eligible high school students.

  • World Language Seals and Certifications:
    • World Language Proficiency Certificate: Two semesters of course credit per language
    • Bilingual or Multilingual Gold Seal: Three semesters of course credit per language
    • Bilingual or Multilingual Platinum Seal: Four semesters of course credit per language
  • Continuing Education; Customized Training; Industry Recognized Credentials, Licenses and

​             Certifications; Registered Apprenticeship Programs, and other National Standardized Exams:

             Course credit as determined by teaching faculty for students who successfully complete and can

             demonstrate college-level learning.

Part 2. Awarding CPL Credit – External Assessment

Faculty shall evaluate an instrument, examination, curriculum, program, credential, license, or

certification and determine a credit award based on learning outcomes comparable to college level learning outcomes. Once a credit award has been determined, students who provide

documentation that they meet the CPL external assessment requirements shall be awarded credit based

on documented results, not on the basis of participation alone. Credit shall be awarded in the form

of a course- equivalency. Credits awarded for prior learning may

fulfill general, technical, Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), and/or elective courses.

Part 3. Residency Credit for CPL – External Assessment

Credit shall be awarded for CPL external assessments in a manner consistent with the residency and

graduation requirements in Board Policy 3.36 and System Procedure 3.36.1 Academic Programs. Credit

awarded through CPL external assessment does not apply toward residency credit requirements.


Part 4. Recording of CPL Credit – External Assessment

Credit awarded for CPL external assessment shall be recorded as transfer credit on the official student

transcript. The source of the credit award and the course equivalency will be designated on the official student transcript.


Part 5. CPL Credit Limit – External Assessment

The total number of credits students may be awarded for CPL external assessments shall not be limited.


Part 6: Tuition and Fees for CPL – External Assessment

The College shall not charge students tuition for credit awarded for external assessments and shall not

charge students fees for external documentation processing services.


​MN Statute 120B.131

Review Date


Policy Status