Prior Learning Assessment

You may have already earned college credit. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process we use to evaluate academic credit for college-level knowledge and skills that you may have gained outside of the HCC classroom. Please also visit our Articulation Agreements webpage for additional ways you may earn credit.


Former and current members of the military may have experience that translates into college credit. Find out how!


College level credit may be earned through several standardized tests including CLEP, DANTES, Credit by Exam and the Certified Professional Secretary Examination.

High School Students

High school students may earn college credits through Dual Enrollment, Early Admissions, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate.

Experiential Learning

Students may apply to received experiential credit for work experience in a variety of areas.

What are the advantages of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) for a student?
Students who demonstrate prior college-level learning will benefit from a reduction in time and money required to complete a certificate, degree, or diploma. In addition, students will have the satisfaction of knowing that prior learning contributed to the completion of a college-level program.

How many PLA Credits can be earned?
A student must complete a minimum of 25% of all program course requirements through instruction at Hillsborough Community College (HCC). Exemption credit and transfer credit will not count in the 25% minimum. For example, if a student passes a HCC exemption exam for CPT 101, the 3 credit-hour exemption will count toward completion of an academic program, however, it will not count as a course that was completed through instruction at the college.

Transferability of PLA Courses
While PLA credits will count toward the completion of programs HCC, course credit awarded for PLA may not transfer to other institutions. It is up to the receiving institution to determine what credits can be transferred.