Experiential Learning/Work Experience Credit

Virginia Western Community College recognizes that college-level learning occurs in settings other than the traditional classroom and, therefore, may grant credit to students who can demonstrate the academic merit of such experiences.

A student may be eligible for previous completion/experiential learning credit when the student’s educational or occupational background or life experience closely parallels those experiences and objectives required by a college course. Credit is awarded only for documented learning that is equivalent to specific subjects at the college and is considered sufficient in content and length to warrant consideration for credit. It is the student’s responsibility to provide proper documentation of experiences to be considered for credit. Documentation for special training or experience that is submitted with the request for credit will be retained in the student’s file. The documentation must include samples of work or projects completed to assist the academic school in credit determination.

For consideration of experiential learning credit, the following apply:

  • The student must be enrolled in a program of study at the college;
  • The student should contact the appropriate academic school in which the course is taught (i.e. a request for credit for First Aid is submitted to the School of Health Professions) and complete the Application for Prior Learning–Previous Completion/Experiential Learning form.
  • A student may not fail or audit a course at the college and later receive credit for the same course through a previous completion/ experiential learning option;
  • Credit earned through previous completion/experiential learning may not be used to meet the residency requirement for graduation;
  • A maximum of 25 percent of credit toward graduation will be allowed for experiential learning;
  • A grade of “T” will be assigned if previous completion/experiential learning credit is awarded. This grade will not be counted toward the student’s cumulative GPA.

Virginia Western reserves the right to accept or reject credits earned from non-traditional, academic sources and to place a time limit on prior learning experiences for which Prior Learning credit may be granted. With some exceptions, this credit is not guaranteed. Specific licenses, certifications, and specialized training that have been pre-assessed by the college (i.e., police academies, CPS) are provided with the submittal of the certification alone.

The applicability of previous completion/experiential learning credit toward specific degree program requirements is subject to the advisor, school dean, and the registrar’s approval.

If you are interested in receiving credit for previous completion/experiential learning, please submit the Application for Prior Learning–Previous Completion/Experiential Learning form, along with the appropriate documentation, to your faculty advisor or to the school dean that is responsible for the course. These forms are available in the college academic offices and the Enrollment center.