RCC recognizes that many students gain valuable learning experiences outside the traditional classroom setting. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is college credit awarded for validated college-level skills and knowledge gained outside of a college classroom.  

CPL may be earned for eligible courses approved by the faculty for students who pass an authorized assessment. Authorized assessments may include the evaluation of approved external standardized examinations, military service/training, industry-recognized credentials, student-created portfolios, and credit by examination.  

Students should meet with a counselor for specific information regarding CPL and the petition process. Details may be found in administrative procedure 2235 .   

Please direct any questions to Evaluations@rcc.edu 

About Credit for Prior Learning  

To qualify for Credit for Prior Learning, students must meet the following criteria: 

  • The student must be currently enrolled and in good standing in the District and have completed not less than 12 units or 50% of certificate coursework at Riverside Community College District with an overall grade point average of at least 2.0 (C). This requirement does not apply to Advanced Placement and other approved standardized examinations. 
  • The student must have previously earned credit or noncredit from the District or be currently registered in the District. 
  • The course(s) to be considered are listed in the current college Catalog of the student’s home college 
  • The student is not currently or previously enrolled in the course(s) to be considered or challenged 
  • A maximum of 45 units may be granted for Credit for Prior Learning 
  • Students shall be given the opportunity to accept, decline, or appeal the determination of Credit for Prior Learning. 
  • Credits acquired by examination shall not be counted in determining the 12 semester hours of credit in residence (or 50% of certificate coursework) required for an Associate degree. 
  • Credits acquired by examination are not applicable to meeting unit load requirements such as Selective Service deferment, Veterans, CalWORKS, EOPS (and other special programs), or Social Security benefits. 
  • Credit for Prior Learning may not be available for all course offerings and is contingent upon discipline curricular decisions as approved by the Office of Academic Affairs. 

Please Note: CPL issued by Riverside Community College District is not currently recognized by the UC system. Please speak with a counselor to determine if CPL review process is beneficial to your specific academic goals. 

How to Apply for Credit for Prior Learning  

Submit your Credit for Prior Learning Assessment Petition and supporting documentation to Evaluations@rcc.edu to initiate the review process. 

Please visit the RCC Veterans Center for more information.  

Riverside City College is dedicated to ensuring the success of our active duty and veteran students. If you attended a military service school, received training, or served in an occupation specialty, you may be able to earn credit toward your program at RCC. 
To request credit for your military training: 

  1. Contact the Veterans Counselor at Riverside City College. Please see the RCC Veterans Center webpage for hours and contact information.
    1. Submit your official transcripts directly to the Admissions & Records Office at Riverside City College.
    2. Active-duty members of the armed forces can submit a Joint Services Transcript (JST). You may request your JST through the Department of Defense.
  2. Military service members of the Air Force can submit an official transcript from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) to receive traditional transfer credit. CCAF is an accredited college; credit awards are considered as transfer credit, rather than credit for prior learning.
  3. To submit your request for credit, you will need to ensure your official transcripts have been received by Riverside City College and submit the completed CPL Request form to evaluations@rcc.edu to initiate the review process. 

Students may earn credit for professional development or continuing education units. Students shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate department chair or faculty designee. 

Earn credit towards your degree or certificate with a current, verifiable industry certification or licensure! 

To request a review of industry-recognized credentials, submit your current, verifiable industry certification or licensure, a copy of your government-issued photo identification, and the completed CPL Request form to evaluations@rcc.edu to initiate the review process. 


A portfolio is a collection of documents, supporting materials, and corresponding narrative that documents a student’s proficiency in the learning objectives for a single course.

Students interested in Credit for Prior Learning using a student-created portfolio shall receive credit as recommended by the appropriate department chair or faculty designee. To request a review of a student-created portfolio, please contact the department chair of the relevant department. Department chairs are listed on the program pathway webpages.  

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Approved Courses

The following courses have been approved for CPL.  We are continually building our database of approved courses, if you feel you have prior learning experience that would meet the rigor of a college course offered at RCC, but you do not see the course listed – please meet with a counselor to discuss the possibility of CPL.

  • Military Credit for Prior Learning – please view the RCC public TES site and select American Council on Education to review approved military courses and occupations at RCC.  You can also view the public TES site for Moreno Valley College and Norco College for courses specific to those colleges.
  • Industry Certification for Prior Learning – please view the public TES site and select Credit for Prior Learning to review approved industry credentials/certifications.