Prior Learning Assessment

By successfully completing one of the Prior Learning Assessment options [Portfolio Assessment, College Level Examination Program (CLEP)/DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) or Departmental Challenge Examinations], students may earn undergraduate or graduate course course credit for previous academic and/or prior learning experiences.

Policies for Prior Learning Assessment

  1. Students must consult with an academic advisor prior to applying for Challenge Examinations or Portfolio Development.  
  2. Course prerequisite requirements must be completed before permission to take Challenge Examinations or Portfolio Development is granted. 
  3. Prior to applying for a graduate portfolio option, students are required to have an awarded bachelor's degree.
  4. Prior Learning Assessments are for academic credit and carry nonrefundable fee(s).
  5. Challenge exam credit will only be awarded with a passing score of 70.
  6. Undergraduate portfolio credit will only be awarded with a passing score of 70.
  7. Graduate portfolio credit will only be awarded with a passing grade of 83.
  8. CLEP exam credit will only be awarded for passing scores of 50 or higher, and when the JWU course equivalent to the exam title is degree applicable.
  9. DSST exam credit will only be awarded for scores which meet the minimum ACE recommended score, and when the JWU course equivalent to the exam title is degree applicable.
  10. Official College Board transcripts are required for CLEP exam credit to be awarded.
  11. Official Prometric transcripts are required for DSST exam credit to be awarded.
  12. CLEP and DSST exams, if failed, can be repeated three months after the initial testing date.
  13. Portfolio Development and Challenge Exams cannot be repeated if failed.
  14. The university recognizes up to a maximum of six graduate semester credits for master's degrees, 30 undergraduate semester credits for bachelor's degrees and 15 for associate degrees earned through Prior Learning Assessment.
  15. Prior Learning Assessment credits cannot be used to meet residency requirements.
  16. Students may not take Challenge/CLEP/DSST exams for a lower level course after completing higher level courses in the same discipline.
  17. Students may not request to take a Challenge Exam or Portfolio Development for a course that is a prerequisite to a course for which they have already received credit or in which they are currently enrolled.
  18. Students must present a valid picture ID when testing. 
  19. Participation in the mandatory prior learning seminar does not constitute enrollment at Johnson & Wales University. As such, any fees associated with involvement in the portfolio seminar are not eligible for financial aid.

Visit Testing Services for additional policies, course options, deadlines, examination dates and fees.

In all cases, the academic department determines policy as it relates to the prior learning options available for each course in the department. Several options may be available to students, and it is recommended that students seek the advice of an academic advisor.