Dixie State University (DSU) recognizes that learners in higher education come from varied backgrounds with a wide variety of life experiences that might qualify for college course credit. At DSU, our students have multiple pathways toward receiving credit for prior learning.  The list below outlines these pathways and more details are found in the DSU catalog and  DSU Policy 523 

  • Actual college-level courses taken at DSU or transferred in from a regionally accredited institution according to articulation standards.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB).
  • Advanced Placement (AP).
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
  • DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) Credit
  • BYU Foreign Language FLATS Credit.
  • Vertical Foreign Language Credit.
  • American Council on Education (ACE)-Evaluated Military Training Credit
  • Challenging courses for credit
  • Testing out of courses with no credit
  • Experiential Learning Credit (See below for eligibility requirements)

Some restrictions apply to all DSU prior learning credit.

  • Only matriculated DSU students are eligible to receive DSU prior learning credit.
  • All credit by examination or for prior learning is graded as “Pass” rather than a letter grade.
  • In compliance with accreditation standards, no more than 25% of credit by examination and prior learning can be applied toward a degree (15 credits for associate’s, 30 for bachelor’s).
  • Not all DSU courses are eligible for credit by examination or prior learning.
  • The Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio for experiential learning may not be used for General Education courses.


Experiential Learning

Learning that occurs outside the sponsorship of a legally authorized and accredited postsecondary educational institution is defined as experiential learning.  This learning occurs within the context of your life and work experience and can include independent reading and study, training courses in business, government, and industry, third-party certificates and credentials, as well as other sources.  In accordance with guidelines established by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), DSU recognizes and awards college credit for experiential learning through a portfolio assessment process that adheres to the CAEL guidelines.

Credit is not awarded for experience alone, however. Credit is awarded for the learning you gained from the experience.   The development of the portfolio provides a way for you to analyze and reflect on your experience in order to demonstrate experiential learning through your writing.  In this way, the Prior Learning Portfolio is a bridge between your experience and your academic degree.

The portfolio documentation process emphasizes course-specific competencies that the learner will document in each portfolio. Credit proposed by the learner and approved by the department will be course-specific.  In the portfolio, learning experiences are aligned with each of the Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) of the DSU course required for a student’s major using the matrix form.  Students may earn a total of 25% of the credit through PLA in the academic program in which they are enrolled.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • You must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at DSU
  • You must have completed ENGL 2010
  • The DSU course for which you are seeking credit must be a required or elective course in your selected program of study. Courses available for credit by portfolio assessment are at the discretion of the departments. (See Academic Advisor)

Apply for Experiential Learning Credit