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Prior Learning Assessment and Advanced Standing

CCAC recognizes credit earned in several ways, including college coursework in high school, transferred credits from other institutions, standardized subject tests, and various industry and agency training and certifications.

AP provides high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses and take the AP exams for college credit or advanced placement.

An official AP Score Report must be submitted to CCAC in order for credits to be granted.

If you have earned credits at a different institution, you may be able to transfer some or all of those credits. See Transferring Credits to CCAC.

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers you the opportunity to receive college credit for what you already know. Earn qualifying scores on any of the 33 introductory-level college subject examinations.

When registering for a CLEP test, choose to report your score to "CC of Allegheny County" (Any Campus).

CCAC recognizes and will grant credit for relevant coursework/training completed per the JST (Joint Services Transcript). 

  • An official Joint Services Transcript must be submitted to the Director of Registration at your CCAC campus for evaluation.
  • The college can request your Official Joint Service Transcript (JST) on your behalf. You will need to complete and return the JST Request Authorization Form  and Application for Credit Transfer to
  • Once both forms have been received the college will begin the process of evaluating your Joint Service Transcripts.

The nationally recognized DSST Program helps you receive college credits for learning acquired outside the traditional classroom through a suite of more than 30 exams.

College Credit Fast Track is dedicated to assisting current and prospective students in obtaining college credit at one of Pennsylvania's Community Colleges based on prior work or life experience. CCAC students can create and submit an e-portfolio, which enables you to document and compile your prior learning for evaluation of credit.

Students in good standing who feel they can demonstrate knowledge equivalent to what is taught in a college class may petition the appropriate academic dean for the privilege of taking a special examination for college credit. 

If a student wishes to challenge a course for which there is no standardized test, the student will contact the appropriate academic department at CCAC to inquire as to whether or not a test is offered for credit. The course must be listed in the CCAC college catalog and available at the campus. A student may not challenge a course that he/she has already completed, or for which he/she is currently registered. A student may only challenge and test once for any given course.

If a test is available, obtain permission to test from the Academic Dean at your campus. The Dean may recommend another form of evaluation for prior learning assessment (CLEP or Portfolio). Once permission is granted, the student must schedule and take the test within 60 business days.

If the student successfully passes the exam, the appropriate course and credits will be posted to the transcript. If a student is new to CCAC, the credit will not be posted to the transcript until at least one course for college credit is completed at the college. The grade earned will not be calculated into the Grade Point Average (GPA).

A fee equal to the tuition for one credit is charged.

Download the Application for Credit by Exam and submit to the Campus Academic Dean.

Students applying for the LPN RN transition program must have a current, valid LPN license from the state of Pennsylvania at the time of application. If accepted, your LPN License entitles you to credit for NUR110 & NUR120 (8 credits). Credits will be posted after successful completion of NUR130 and NUR140 (next level courses). 

CCAC awards credit for completion of certain non-credit programs and/or coursework, applied to specific credit degree programs. Includes credit for completion of workforce program courses in mechatronics, renewable energy, ASL, US Steel welding courses, and EMT certification. Proof of completion is required by the Director of Registration at your campus.

For details, please see Non-Credit Course Equivalents. 

Students Occupationally and Academically Ready is a set of articulation agreements linking secondary and postsecondary Career and Technical Education. 

  • Earn a high school diploma with a minimum 2.50 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale in the technical courses.
  • Complete the secondary component of SOAR (all required high school technical courses).
  • Achieve a competent or advanced level on the secondary school end-of program assessment, the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) test.
  • Achieve proficiency on all items on the approved PDE SOAR Secondary Competency Task List.
  • Submit documentation to verify qualification to the CCAC admissions office.

For further program details, see SOAR Agreements.

Upon review of the competency-based curricula of the Pittsburgh Job Corps, advanced standing will be awarded to students who successfully complete the Job Corps training programs listed below. Applicants for advanced credit must meet CCAC requirements for admission and register as a CCAC student. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts, related test results, plus an application for credit by articulation within two years after completing coursework at Job Corps. Students who do not meet the minimum grade requirement of the articulation may apply for credit by examination.

  • Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning 
    10 credits in HAC-201 and HAC-202, pending successful completion of HAC-101 at CCAC with minimum grade of B.
  • Plumbing Technology 
    4 credits in PLT-204 at CCAC, pending successful completion of at least one credit in Plumbing at CCAC with minimum grade of C.
  • Facilities Maintenance Technology1 credit in MMT-131, pending successful completion of at least one credit in Facilities Maintenance at CCAC with minimum grade of B. A copy of OSHA 10 card must be submitted with application.

CCAC recognizes the Police Training Certificate. CCAC students who have completed that certification will be awarded 15 credits as follows:

  • CJC-101 Introduction to Criminal Justice & Criminology (3 credits)
  • CJC-151 Criminal Justice System Law (3 credits)
  • CJC-201 Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation (3 credits)
  • CJC-203 Evidence & Procedures (3 credits)
  • CJC-206 Police Operations (3 credits)

CCAC students who have completed the Basic Training curriculum offered by the Allegheny County Bureau of Corrections will be awarded nine credits as follows:

  • CJC-207 Criminal Offenders and their Environment
  • CJC-211 Treatment of Offenders: Issues and Strategies
  • CJC-214 Criminal Justice Administration Practicum

Various certification programs are recognized by CCAC as having the equivalent knowledge of certain CIT courses, and can be used to meet the prerequisites of other courses or advanced standing towards the requirements of a degree or certificate. Includes credit for CIT100 through ICDL testing, available at Goodwill's private licensed school. Proof of certification is required by the Director of Registration at your campus.

For details and a list of specific courses, please see CIT: Professional Certification and Courses.

Corporate training can be evaluated for the awarding of college credit, based on American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations. The Director of Registration and Advisement may consider training and certifications that hold ACE recommendations for the awarding of equivalent CCAC credit courses.Official proof of certification or completion of training is required by the Director of Registration and Advisement at your campus.

Corporate Training Equivalencies for CCAC
McDonald s Corporation Management Training


CCAC will grant credit for courses in the Associate of Science and Certificate programs in Homeland Security as follows. Proof of certification is required by the Director of Registration at your campus.

  • Completion Certificate from a State Certified Policy Academy = CJC-101 Introduction to Criminal Justice/Criminology (3 credits)
  • PA Firefighter 1 Certification = FSA-102 Principles of Emergency Service (3 credits).
  • PA Emergency Medical Technician Certificate = HLS-203 Emergency Medical Services (3 credits).

Certified paramedics desiring to obtain their PAM Associate Degree at CCAC may receive advanced standing for Paramedic courses if they can successfully document current and valid certification from:

  • PA Department of Health Bureau of Emergency Medical Services AND/OR
  • National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
  • These students would currently be awarded 36 credits encompassing all PAM courses. 

Learn more about Advanced Standing for Certified Paramedics.

CCAC Academic Departments have recognized equivalent coursework and will award college credit for selected courses successfully completed at the following training programs:

Culinary Arts, Bidwell Training Center