Adult & Experiential Learning Center

The Division of Global Learning & Partnerships aims to support adult non-traditional learners by providing students with a variety of ways to earn credits toward an Undergraduate degree at Rowan University. The Adult & Experiential Learning Center offers students the ability to receive credits for prior learning and knowledge gained outside of the traditional academic setting through workplace experience, professional training, registered apprenticeship program credits, and other accomplishments in order to accelerate the pathways to degree completion.

There are a number of ways a prospective student can earn credit towards a specific degree or certification based on experience, background, and evaluation preferences. Each of these instruments have a different means of evaluation, require a distinct amount of work and commitment from the student, and vary in terms of the application process, timeline and the number of credits that can be awarded.

Below is a summary of instruments available to students pursuing credit for prior learning and workplace experience.

Transfer of Credit College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Credit by Examination Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
Credit Awards for Professional Certifications International Baccalaureate Organization (IB/IBO)
Registered Apprenticeship Program Credits American Council on Education (ACE)
Prior Learning by Portfolio Assessment Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
Advanced Placement (AP) The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS)
Military Experience and Training  

Transfer of Credit

Rowan University accepts the transfer of credits earned at other institutions of higher education on the basis of course equivalency. Course equivalency is the determination that a course taken at another institution is comparable to a course offered by Rowan University in terms of objectives, learning outcomes, and educational level. To receive transfer credit, prospective students must have an official transcript sent to Rowan University.

Credit by Examination

Prospective students can demonstrate content knowledge in a chosen discipline by requesting to be tested via a customized exam. Credit by examination requires completion of an online, written or oral examination or a practical demonstration developed by a member of the University faculty.

Credit Awards for Professional Certifications

Prospective students possessing professional certifications or state licensures may be able to redeem their certification for academic credit. To be eligible for credit, prospective students should submit official credentials. All licensure and certificate documents must be current.

Registered Apprenticeship Program Credits

The Division of Global Learning and Partnerships of Rowan University is a member of the United States Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium. The credit for registered apprenticeship option allows prospective students to pursue appropriate college credits as a result of successfully graduating from a registered apprenticeship program. Prospective students must submit for review evidence of successful completion of a registered apprenticeship program on official letterhead with appropriate signatures to the Adult & Experiential Learning Center.

Prior Learning by Portfolio Assessment

The prior learning by portfolio assessment offers prospective students the opportunity to earn college credits for experiential learning acquired outside of the traditional classroom through workplace training, military service and experiences, non-credit courses or professional development. To receive credits for prior learning, the student must prepare a writing intensive narrative in which the student compares experiential learning experiences to college-level competencies. Prospective students are required to submit a resume and official documentations to support the petition such as a certificate of training.

External Assessments

The University recognizes tests by external assessment agencies. External assessments such as advanced placement (AP), college level examination program (CLEP), Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), and International Baccalaureate Organization (IB/IBO) are evaluated on the basis of Rowan University standards and allow students to accumulate credit toward a degree by demonstrating knowledge gained independently.

American Council on Education (ACE)

The American Council on Education (ACE) evaluates a wide variety of non-collegiate sponsored education and training with the goal of advancing adult learners. The Division of Global Learning and Partnerships of Rowan University is a member of ACE and honors ACE credits as appropriate for the program of study. Prospective students should submit for review official transcripts.

Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)

The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) evaluates prior learning experiences through an online, portfolio assessment service, For more information, please visit The Council of Adult and Experiential Learning at Prospective students should submit an official CAEL credential to the Director of the Adult & Experiential Learning Center to receive transfer credit.

The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS)

The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) is an educational advisory service that links learning experiences that take place outside of college classrooms to college credits. For more information, please visit Prospective students should submit official transcripts for review in order to receive academic credit.

Military Experience and Training

Rowan University accepts credit recommendations for military experience and training. Prospective students should submit for review official military education and training credits.

Assessment Results and Appeals

An assessment for the conversion of experiential learning into academic credit by any of the methodologies/instruments described above may result in the granting of no credit or an amount of credit below what is expected or requested by the applicant. In such circumstances, the applicant may appeal the assessment decision through the Director of the Adult & Experiential Learning Center. A written request for appeal may be filed within two weeks of receiving a PLA determination. The request must include all supporting documents and materials.

Pre-Evaluated Non-Traditional Credential Assessments

The University recognizes pre-evaluated certificates and courses that have been assessed by the American Council on Education, the National College Credit Recommendation Services, or through Rowan University.

  • American Bankers Association (ACE Credit)
  • Child Development Associate Credential (CDA)
  • First Aid/CPR Certification from American Red Cross/American Heart Association
  • International Training Institute for the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Industry (NCCRS Credit)
  • Joint Apprentice Training Committee Sheet Metal Workers, Local Union 28 (NCCRS Credit)
  • Joint Apprentice Committee of the Electrical Industry, Local Union 3 (NCCRS Credit)
  • Joint Apprentice Training Committee of the Elevator Industry (NCCRS Credit)
  • NJ Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • NJ Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN)
  • NJ Real Estate Sales/Broker
  • NJ Real Estate Appraisal License
  • NJ Registered Nurse License (RN)
  • New York City District Council of Carpenters (NCCRS Credit)
  • Temple University Credential for Strengths-Based Family Workers (NCCRS Credit)
  • US Coast Guard and Merchant Marine License


Prior Learning Assessment Options Fees
Institutional Credit by Examination $200 examination fee, plus $35 per attempted credit hour.
Credit Awards for Professional Licensure, Certifications, and Certificates $150 initial reviewer fee. Subsequent fees may apply.
Credit Consolidation $270 one-time fee, includes student copy of the transcript.
Registered Apprenticeship Program Credits $150 initial reviewer fee.
Portfolio Assessment $300 initial reviewer fee due upon receipt of materials. Subsequent fees may apply.
Individualized Assessment of Specialized Learning $300 initial reviewer fee due upon submission of assessment application. Subsequent fees may apply.
Military Training and National Standardized Examinations No assessment fees apply.

Contact Information

For more information on prior learning options and to create a personalized degree completion plan, please contact the Adult & Experiential Learning Center:

Laurie Baker