Prior Learning Assessment

Students in a group

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

The Prior Learning Assessment program (PLA) provides a process for evaluation and, when appropriate, awards academic credits for learning acquired outside the traditional college environment. In order to receive PLA credits, students must provide evidence that their prior learning is equivalent to college-level learning and it must correspond to the courses offered at BHCC. This program assists students with identifying and documenting prior learning they possess. The PLA Coordinator assists students in preparing portfolios and documenting credits. Specialists in each topic review completed portfolios. The credits may be used to fulfill degree or certificate requirements or may be used as electives. Students may apply a maximum of 45 PLA credits toward an associate degree at BHCC.

Eligible for Credit for Prior Learning?


Credit by Departmental Examination

The PLA offers credit by departmental examination. Through these examinations, students can demonstrate current proficiency in selected courses listed in the Bunker Hill Community College Catalog. For each examination passed, students earn college credit. Departmental examinations are graded on a pass/fail basis. Students interested in taking the department exams should contact Prior Learning Assessment.

There is a $15.00 non-refundable application fee plus $15.00 per assessed credit for Portfolio Evaluation, Credit Evaluation, and Departmental Examinations.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

BHCC CLEP Testing center is now open, click on the link below to schedule your exam:

In addition to the departmental examinations through the PLA program, students may test in the areas of English, foreign languages, social science, history, business, mathematics and science through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). The examinations cover the material mastered during the first year of a college general education program with a minimum passing score of 50. Students may select one or more examinations from the series. Students can log into the College Board website:, to request a transcript to be sent to BHCC, School code #3123. Students are encouraged to review the CLEP Credit Policy before registering for a CLEP exam.

Advanced Placement Examinations (AP)

The Advanced Placement program offers college-level courses and examinations in different academic areas. For students to receive credit for an AP examination based on a qualifying subject and score should have the official score report sent to Bunker Hill Community College. Students can log into the College Board website to request a transcript to be sent to BHCC, School code #3123. For more information, please view Advanced Placement (AP) Credit Policy.

Military Evaluation

Bunker Hill Community College acknowledges service members’ unique learning experiences acquired during military service. In congruence with the BHCC mission, our college recognizes the Valor Academic Credit Evaluation Policy for service members and student veterans that qualify them to receive academic credit for their military educational experiences and courses. The Prior Learning Assessment Program (PLA) will provide service members with information to assist them to obtain credit for their military training and experience and to achieve their educational goals. As a member of SOC (Service Members Opportunity Colleges), Bunker Hill Community College utilizes ACE (American Council on Education) guidelines, CLEP, Dantes, and/or thorough use of portfolio evaluation to assess aforementioned training and experience. Military course work, training, and experience shall be evaluated and awarded credit on a course-by-course basis. Up to 45 PLA credits can be awarded towards an Associate Degree.

The Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy

The State Seal of Biliteracy is an award provided by the State of Massachusetts that recognizes public high school graduates who attain high functional and academic levels of proficiency in English and a world language in recognition of having studied and attained proficiency in two languages by high school graduation. The vision is to help students recognize the value of their academic success and see the tangible benefits of being biliterate.

This opportunity is free to Bunker Hill Community College students. View more information.

Workplace Training

Bunker Hill Community College recognizes that certain licenses, certifications and corporate training programs may be reviewed by PLA. Course materials, certificates and other pertinent information are required in order to be considered. This information must be added to your final PLA Portfolio in order to be reviewed by the appropriate faculty reviewer. Certificate or licenses must be valid within 5 years of the date of acceptance into the college. The license, certification or training must be applicable to the student’s degree program at BHCC.

Workplace Training Certifications

For more information for credit for workplace training, please visit: