Prior Learning Review

Cleary University recognizes that students gain knowledge and skills in a variety of ways. Examples include professional organizations, workplace training, military service, etc. When learning takes place in a non-traditional learning environment (not documented on a college transcript) and is equivalent to college-level learning, Cleary University offers students the option to submit documentation for Prior Learning Review (PLR).

What is PLR?

A Prior Learning Review is a service Cleary University offers to qualifying students to receive academic credit up to a maximum of 45 undergraduate credits (military veterans may qualify for up to 60 undergraduate credits). During the PLR process, Cleary determines whether training and education programs or credentials contain college-level learning that equates with college courses typically taught in a regionally-accredited college or university. 

The PLR process determines the amount, level, and subject area of credit, which is then equated with a University course or series of courses.

Why Submit Materials for PLR? 

Prior Learning credits represent substantial savings in time and money, as the credits you earn are at a rate well below current tuition costs for coursework, and you pay only for the number of credits you actually use toward your degree. Prior Learning credits can also reduce the amount of time involved in earning your degree; the more Prior Learning credits you earn, the fewer courses you need to take to complete your degree.

Prior learning documents and materials include:

Directed Training

Directed Training includes professional workplace or vendor-supplied training that has a standardized structure, is verifiable, and is available to others in the same format. Examples include workshops, seminars, licenses, and apprenticeships. Credit petitions should include confirmation of training completion, such as a certificate, transcript, or training record. Submissions should also include a verifiable record of contact hours. Finally, a curriculum outline, syllabus, or other subject-matter documentation should be included.

Evaluation of Directed Training may include:

  • validation of hours
  • credentials of the instructor
  • organization-sponsored training
  • type and format of instruction (lab, lecture, clinical)
  • course outline or syllabus
  • course requirements
  • text and other related course materials
  • assigned homework
  • assessment experiences (exams, exit assessment, research papers)
  • rigor of the course (at least college level)
  • review of the selection process of students
  • review of duplicated credit

Proficiency Exams

Cleary University Proficiency Exams are objective, computer-based tests focusing on the course 

outcomes listed on the course syllabus for many lower-division Cleary University courses. They are similar to a final exam for a course. Cleary Exam Preview Guides, which provide topics covered, study resources, credit value, number and type of test questions, and other relevant test information, are available for many of the Cleary exams. You can contact your Academic Advisor for more information. The Student Success Center staff administers exams by appointment. Upper division courses are excluded from this option.


CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) is a widely accepted, credit-by-examination program that allows students to demonstrate mastery of a subject matter by earning the appropriate score on a CLEP examination. Students may choose from many subject tests on common, introductory college topics. Students who have previously completed a CLEP exam should request that an official copy of the score report be sent to the Cleary University Registrar’s Office.

In order for a CLEP exam to count for credit, a minimum score of 50 must be obtained on the exam.

CLEPCleary Equivalent Credits
Financial AccountingACC 1000 (3)
Introductory Business LawLAW 2900 (3)
Principles of MarketingMKT 2100 (3)
College CompositionENG 1000 (3)
College Composition MOdularENG 1000 (3)
Principles of MacroeconomicsECO 1000 (3)
Principles of MicroeconomicsECO 2000 (3)
College MathematicsMTH 1750 (3)

All other CLEP exams may be applied as elective credit with no direct equivalency. 


DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support) sponsors a wide range of 

examination programs to assist armed service members in meeting their educational goals. The DANTES Test Control Officer (TCO), who is normally the Education Services Officer or Navy College Education Specialist for the military installation, administers the examinations at military 

installations, and exams are also available through selected institutions in subjects such as 

business, humanities, science, social science, mathematics, and education that are comparable to the final or end-of-course examinations in undergraduate courses. Each exam is equivalent to three to six semester hours of credit at Cleary University. DANTES funds DSST testing (first attempts only) for eligible service members and personnel is available at DANTES military test centers.

Military Training or Experience

Cleary University recognizes college credit for military training and experience. Twelve semester credits are awarded for each year of active military service up to a maximum of 60 semester hours. To receive credit for military service, students should submit a copy of the discharge form (DD214). Should a review of a student’s military training records indicate there is potential for greater credit award, copies of the military training records and/or a copy of the transfer or discharge form (DD214) will be submitted to the American Council on Education, Department of Military Evaluations, for a credit recommendation.

Recognized Industry Certifications

Cleary University awards college credit for some industry training and certifications. Some 

examples of certifications that would be considered for credit include (but are not limited to): PMP Certification, SHRM Certification, Financial Planning Certification, ServSafe, Insurance Licenses, Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt, Real Estate License, etc. Equivalencies are listed below:

Reviewed ProvidersCredits
Dale Carnegie3
Current Real Estate Sales License Training6
Current Real Estate Broker’s License12
Builder’s License3
Current Insurance Licenses3 each 
Current Private Pilot’s License6
Current Commercial Pilot’s License15
Current Cosmetologist License15
Current Barber License15
Current EMT Basic15
Current EMT Specialist with License21
Current First Responder6
Current Fire Fighter I, II6 each
Current Fire Officer I, II6 each
Current Paramedic30
Current Pharmacy Technician15
Current CNA6
Ross Medical Assistant30
Journeyman Certificate30
Leadership Livingston4
MCOLES Police Academy30
Military Training12 per each year of active duty, up to 60 total credits
Current Project Management Professional (PMP)®30
Current IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt (ICYB)3
Current IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (ICGB)6
Current IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (ICBB)9
Current CompTIA A+ Certification6
Adobe Certified Expert3 each
Adobe Certified Trainer6
Microsoft Certified3 each
Microsoft Certified Trainer6
ServSafe Certified3
If my training or credential is not on the list, can you review it? 

Yes. We know you have worked very hard to complete your training program or credential, so we want to help you explore all the possible ways you may be able to earn university credit for your knowledge.

Advanced Placement Program

Cleary University participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board and grants either advanced credit, advanced placement, or both to students who have completed college-level studies while still in high school and have earned satisfactory scores on Advanced Placement examinations. Credit may be granted based on satisfactory scores (three or higher on a five-point scale) for more than 30 Advanced Placement exams sponsored by The College Board. Students may request a copy of the exam results from The College Board, 45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023.

High School Articulation

High School Articulation credit will be granted to students for competencies achieved as part of a formal articulation agreement with a secondary, proprietary, or charter school. Contact an enrollment specialist for a complete list of high schools with which Cleary University has articulation agreements.

Program to Program Transfer Guidelines

Institutional transfer articulation agreements focus on the detailed conditions for accepting students (with specific degrees and GPAs) and transferring their completed associate degrees into specific Cleary University majors. If Cleary University has an articulation agreement with the institution you attended previously, that agreement governs your transfer determination if covered by the articulation agreement. Otherwise, your transfer determination is governed by individual course-to-course equivalency evaluations and Cleary University transfer policies, or as determined by Cleary at its sole discretion.

Those applying as transfer students who wish to have credits from another college evaluated and applied to their Cleary degree must have an official transcript sent to the Registrar’s Office. 

Regardless of the number of credits accepted from other institutions, all transfer students must meet Cleary’s minimum residency requirements (30 credit hours).

2 + ALL: Programs apply to all Associates Degree holders for the following: