Credit for Prior Learning

The Credit for Prior Learning program (CPL) provides a process for evaluation and, when appropriate, awards academic credits for learning acquired outside the traditional college environment. In order to receive CPL 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 CPL 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 CPL credits toward an associate degree at BHCC.

Download the BHCC CPL Information Packet

Massachusetts Community College. My experience counts. You lived it. You learned it. Get the college credit you've earned

Find out if you are eligible for Credit for Prior Learning

The process of examining prior learning and its relevance to a particular program or goal can be a learning experience in itself. We hope that you will use the opportunity to learn from this process. It does require hard work, patience and skill. The CPL Coordinator will work with you during the entire process. Your portfolio, the finished product of this process, should provide the basis for assessing and awarding college credits for appropriate learning experience. You will be able to integrate these earned credits into your program of study at BHCC. Students who wish to participate in the portfolio evaluation must fill out and return an application form along with a $15 non-refundable application fee. Students meet with the coordinator, as needed, to complete a portfolio. Approved portfolios have a charge of $15 per credit for processing. The course(s) will be processed with a P grade for “Pass” and does not affect your GPA.

A completed portfolio consists of:

  • A CPL application (My Experience Counts website)
  • A detailed narrative of learning acquired and /or applied
  • Resume
  • Current Job description
  • Statement from supervisor testifying to the student’s competencies
  • College transcript (if applicable)
  • Training certifications Employee evaluations, Diploma, Military transcripts, etc.

Please note that any documents submitted to the CPL office will be part of the CPL’s permanent record. In the event that credit is not approved, the student may contact the appropriate chairperson for further explanation regarding credit denial. All appeals must be requested within 30 days of award/denied notification.

For additional information, contact the CPL Office at (617) 228-2350, or by email at or stop by in room D-221I

The CPL 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 CPL Assessment.

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

Available Department Exams:

ARB 101 and ARB 102
CIT 110
CSC 120
OIM 100, OIM 103, and OIM 132
PHY 251 and PHY 252

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

In addition to the departmental examinations through the CPL 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.

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.

Career and Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) provide students with a specific occupational focus. Students at a Chapter 74 vocational school or a program within a comprehensive high school take an organized sequence of courses designed to educate and prepare them for both employment and continuing academic opportunities. The programs teach technical, academic and employability skills within 44 frameworks in 11 career clusters, based on occupations in demand in Massachusetts.

There are 14 agreements that are covered under the statewide articulation agreements, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) recognizes six of those programs and awards credit to eligible students as noted below:

Business Administration

Computer Information Technology

Criminal Justice


Hospitality Management

Visual and Media Arts

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 Credit for Prior Learning Program (CPL) 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 CPL credits can be awarded towards an Associate Degree.

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.

Bunker Hill Community College recognizes that certain licenses, certifications and corporate training programs may be reviewed by CPL. Course materials, certificates and other pertinent information are required in order to be considered. This information must be added to your final CPL 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:


Yes, portfolios are accepted up until the 12th week of each semester. Portfolios submitted over the summer usually take longer for review.

No, all department exams can only be taken once.

No, student is recommended to retake their previously failed courses and not seek CPL credit.

Students receive an unofficial score report once the exam is over, the official scores will be sent to BHCC within 7-10 business days from the date of the test.

In the event that credit is not approved, the student may contact the appropriate chairperson for further explanation regarding credit denial. All appeals must be requested within 30 days of award/denied notification.


Charlestown Campus, Room D221I  |  617-228-2350

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday remote 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Tuesdays on campus 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.