Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Prior learning pathways at FCC allow students the opportunity to earn credit for college-level learning, thus accelerating their progress toward graduation. A PLA evaluation is conducted of a student’s work experiences, workplace training, professional licensure and certifications, military training and service, volunteer activities, life experiences, credits earned by standardized testing, and volunteering and community service activities which demonstrate college-level learning. Credit for PLA is not awarded for experience alone, but for a combination of experience and college-level learning. Students seeking credit for prior learning should call the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator at 301.846.2587 for more information.

Portfolio Assessment

The portfolio development process allows students an opportunity to demonstrate college-level knowledge acquired from work, independent reading, training programs, volunteer activities, and other life experience. A portfolio is an organized collection of essays, documentation, and artifacts demonstrating learning through work and life experiences that satisfies a specific FCC course. Following development the portfolio is submitted to the college for credit review by faculty. Students pay an assessment fee for the portfolio to be reviewed equivalent to a one-credit course and will be assessed 50% of the current tuition per credits rewarded. No more than 15 credits may be earned through portfolio assessment. For additional information, contact the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator at 301.846.2587.

Institutional Departmental Exams

If no CLEP or DSST exam (see charts below) is available for the subject in which a student is knowledgeable or skilled, students may contact the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator to discuss the possibility of credit by course examination. A credit by examination may be taken only once. If the student passes a credit by examination with a grade of “C” or better, they will earn the stipulated number of credits for the course. A student’s transcript will show credit for the specific courses that were taken on a credit-by-examination basis. No grade will be recorded, but credits may be counted toward degree requirements. Students pay an assessment fee of 50% of the current tuition per credit prior to taking the departmental exam. If a student is enrolled in a class for which they subsequently request a departmental examination, no refund for the course is available. No more than 15 credits may be earned through departmental examinations. For additional information, contact the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator at 301.846.2587.

Certificate & Licensure Evaluation

FCC accepts many industry-standard certificates and licensure for college credit. Currently students enrolled in a minimum of three credits can take advantage of agreements in programs including accounting; computer science; criminal justice; emergency management; fire service administration; hospitality, culinary, and tourism; medical assistant; police science; and surgical technology. For additional information, contact your program manager, department chair, or the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator call 301.846.2587.

American Council on Education (ACE)

ACE offers a Credit Recommendation Service and is a resource that connects workplace learning with colleges and universities by helping adults gain access to academic credit for formal course evaluations acquired outside the traditional classroom setting. Credit may be granted for educational programs that have been completed successfully at non-college institutions and applied to students program of study. ACE also evaluates military training and experience. FCC does not assess any fees or tuition for the evaluation or awarding of ACE credits. ACE now provides a working transcript which includes free digital transcripts and badges. Visit for more information. ACE transcripts, powered by Credly, should be sent to 

National Credit Recommendations Services (NCCRS)

Evaluates training and education programs offered outside of the traditional college classroom setting provided by industry, state, and federal government employers, professional organizations and other agencies and translates them into college credits. FCC does not assess any fees or tuition for the evaluation or award of NNCRS credits. Students must request an official transcript from NCCRS be sent directly to the Registration and Records Office in Jefferson Hall.

Military Training & Service

FCC will evaluate training, experience, and service reflected on a service member's military transcript and award credit where applicable. Air Force personnel are issued a Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript while Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy personnel are issued a Joint Services Transcript (JST). FCC does not assess any fees or tuition for the evaluation or awarding of CCAF or JST credit. Air Force personnel must request to have an official CCAF transcript mailed to the attention of Registration and Records. Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy personnel must request to have an official JST sent to FCC electronically via the JST portal. No more than 45 military training and service credits can be used to fulfill degree requirements.

Credit by Examinations- AP/Cambridge/CLEP/DSST/IB

This section explains FCC's procedures for the transferability of credit by exams. It is important to note that if you plan to transfer to another institution, the scores required may differ from what FCC accepts. It is possible that another institution may require a higher score. This is particularly relevant if you earned a score of 3 (AP) or 50 (CLEP) on an exam. It is strongly recommended that you meet with an Academic Advisor prior to making enrollment decisions to ensure you stay on track with any transfer plans. 

Advanced Placement (AP) Examination

These subject matter exams sponsored by the Educational Testing Service are generally administered through high schools at the culmination of AP course offerings. The program provides a practical way for high school students to receive advanced standing credit in college for college-level courses completed in high schools. Applicants for admission who have taken AP examinations should have an official copy of their scores sent to the FCC Registration & Records Office in Jefferson Hall.

Advanced Placement Exams

Test Score FCC Credit
African American Studies 3 or better CCEQ (3) (Cultural Competence Elective)
Art-2D Design 3 or better ARTT ELECT (3) (Art elective)
Students may request a portfolio review to possibly receive credit for ARTT 101, ARTT 106, or FILM 134, instead of the ARTT ELECT equivalency.
• Contact Jason Santelli to review Photography portfolios
• Contact Wendell Poindexter to review portfolios of hand-rendered mediums
Art-Drawing 3 or better ARTT ELECT (3) (Art Elective)
Students may request a portfolio review to possibly receive credit for ARTT 101 or ARTT 106, instead of the ARTT ELECT equivalency.
• Contact Wendell Poindexter to review portfolios of hand-rendered mediums
Art-History 3 or better ARTT 104 (3)
Biology 3 or better
BSCI 100 (4)
4 or better BSCI 150 (4)
5 or better BSCI 150 (4) & BSCI 160 (4)
Calculus AB 3 or better MATH 185 (4)
Calculus BC 3 or better MATH 185 (4) & MATH 195 (4)
Calculus BC-Subscore 3 or better MATH 185 (4)
Chemistry 3 or better
CHEM 100 (4)
4 or better CHEM 101 (4)
5 or better CHEM 101 (4) & CHEM 102 (4)
Chinese-Language 3 or better CHIN 101 (3) & GELANG CC (General Education World Language w/ Cultural Competence) (3)
Comparative Government & Politics 3 or better GEPOSC or GESOCSCI (General Education, Political Science or Social Science) (3)
Computer Science A 3 or better CMIS 106 (3)
Computer Science AB 3 or better CMIS 106 (3), CMIS 201 (3), & CMIS 202 (3)
Computer Science Principles 3 or better CMIS ELECT (Computer & Information Sciences Elective) (3)
English-Lang/Comp 3 or better ENGL 101 (3)
English-Lit/Comp 3 or better ENGL 102 (3) placement into ENGL 101 (0)
Environmental Science 3 or better BSCI 105 (3)
European History 3 or better HIST 102 (3)
French-Language 3 or better FREN 101 (3) & FREN 102 (3)
German-Language 3 or better GERM 101 (3) & GERM 102 (3)
Human Geography 3 or better GEOG ELECT (Geography Elective) (3)
Italian-Language 3 or better ITAL 101 (3) & ITAL 102 (3)
Japanese-Language 3 or Better GELANG (General Education World Language) (6)
Latin 3 or better LATN 101 (3) & LATN 102 (3)
Macroeconomics 3 or better ECON 200 (3)
Microeconomics 3 or better ECON 202 (3)
Music Theory 3 or better MUSC 103 (3) *Students who earn a minimum score of 3 on the aural and non-aural components may choose to receive credit for MUSC 106 (1) and MUSC 111 (3) instead of MUSC 103.
4 or better Music majors: credit determined by program manager
Music Theory-Aural subscore 3 or better MUSC 106 (1) *Students who earn a minimum score of 3 on the full Music Theory exam may choose to receive credit for MUSC 103 instead of MUSC 106 and/or MUSC 111.
Music Theory-Non-Aural subscore 3 or better MUSC 111 (3) *Students who earn a minimum score of 3 on the full Music Theory exam may choose to receive credit for MUSC 103 instead of MUSC 111 and/or MUSC 106.
Music Listening & Literature 3 or better MUSC 101 (3)
Physics 1 3 or better PHYS 121 (4)
Physics 2 3 or better PHYS 122 (4)
Physics B 3 or better PHYS 121 (4) & PHYS 122 (4)
Physics C Mechanics 3 or better PHYS 151 (4)
Physics C Electricity & Magnetism 3 or better PHYS 252 (4)
Precalculus 3 or better MATH 165 (4)
Psychology 3 or better PSYC 101 (3)
Research 3 or better HONR 102 or ELECT (1)
Seminar 3 or better HONR 102 or ELECT (1)
Spanish-Language 3 or better SPAN 101 (3) & SPAN 102 (3)
Spanish-Literature 3 or better SPAN 201 (3) & SPAN 202 (3)
Statistics 3 or better MATH 120 (3)
United States Government & Politics 3 or better POSC 104 (3)
United States History 3 or better HIST 201 (3) or HIST 202 (3)
5 or better HIST 201 (3) & HIST 202 (3)
World History: Modern 3 or better HIST 122 (3)

Cambridge AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education)

The Cambridge AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) program is an international, advanced secondary curriculum and assessment program equivalent to the British system of “A-Levels and AS-Levels.” To qualify for college credit, students must earn an appropriate passing score on the nationally administered exam. Students interested in determining if they have earned FCC equivalent credit should contact FCC Registration & Records Office in Jefferson Hall. A Cambridge AICE score report at the pass level is generally sufficient for the awarding of equivalent FCC credit.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES Standardized Subject Tests (DSST)

CLEP and DSST are national credit-by-examination programs providing individuals the opportunity to earn credit in a non-traditional format. General and Subject exams are available in many different disciplines. FCC’s Testing Center administers CLEP and DSST exams by appointment. For more information about taking a CLEP or DSST exam, contact the Testing Center at 301.846.2522.

FCC also accepts CLEP and DSST and awards credit based on the exam taken and score earned. Refer to the following charts for exams accepted by FCC. For more information, contact Career and Academic Planning Services at 301.846.2471 or a Transfer Evaluator at 301.846.2595.

CLEP Exams

Examinations Score Needed Credits Course Equivalent
General Examinations
College Mathematics 50 3 MATH 101
Humanities 50 6 ARTT 105, ENGL 205
Social Sciences/History 50 6 SOCY 101, HIST 101
Subject Examinations
Financial Accounting 50 6 ACCT 100, ACCT 101
Information Systems 50 3 CMIS 101
Introductory Business Law 50 3 BMGT 211
Principles of Management 50 3 BMGT 227
Principles of Marketing 50 3 BMGT 225
Composition & Literature:
American Literature 50 6 ENGL 203, ENGL 204
Analyze & Interpret Literature 50 3 GEELCT (General Education Elective)
College Composition 50 3 ENGL 101
College Composition Modular 50 3 ENGL ELECT (English Elective)
English Literature 50 3 ENGL ELECT (English Elective)
Foreign Languages:
French, Level 1 50 6 FREN 101, FREN 102
French, Level 2 50 12 FREN 101, FREN 102, FREN 201, FREN 202
German, Level 1 50 6 GERM 101, GERM 102
German, Level 2 50 12 GERM 101, GERM 102, GERM 201, GERM 202
Spanish, Level 1 50 6 SPAN 101, SPAN 102
Spanish, Level 2 50 12 SPAN 101, SPAN 102, SPAN 201, SPAN 202
Spanish with Writing, Level 1 50 6 SPAN 101, SPAN 102
Spanish with Writing, Level 2 50 12 SPAN 101, SPAN 102, SPAN 201, SPAN 202
History & Social Sciences:
American Government 50 3 POSC 104
Human Growth & Development 50 3 EDPS 210
Introduction to Educational Psychology 50 3 EDUC ELECT or PSYC ELECT (Education or Psychology elective)
Introductory Psychology 50 3 PSYC 101
Introductory Sociology 50 3 SOCY 101
Principles of Macroeconomics 50 3 ECON 200
Principles of Microeconomics 50 3 ECON 202
US History I: Early Colonization-1877 50 3 HIST 201
US History II: 1865 to the Present 50 3 HIST 202
Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East-1648 50 3 HIST 101
Western Civilization II: 1648-Present 50 3 HIST 102
Science & Mathematics:
Biology 50 4 BSCI 100
Calculus 50 4 MATH 175
Chemistry 50 4 CHEM 100
College Algebra 50 3 MATH 145
Precalculus 50 4 MATH 165
Natural Sciences 50 3 GEBSCI or GEPHSC (General Education Science, No Lab)


Exams not listed may be eligible for credit. Email for more information. 

Exam Title Minimum Score Course Equivalency Credits
Art of the Western World 400 ARTT 105 3
Business Ethics and Society 400 PHIL 208 3
Criminal Justice combined with Intro to Law Enforcement 400 (Students MUST take both exams and earn the minimum score in each exam) CCJS 101 3
Environmental Science 400 BSCI 105 3
Fundamentals of College Algebra 400 MATH 101 3
Fundamentals of Counseling 400 HUMS 203 3
Health and Human Development 400 HLTH 150 3
Human Resource Management 400 BMGT 223 3
General Anthropology 400 ANTH 101 3
Introduction to Business 400 BMGT 103 3
Introduction to Geography 400 GEOG 101 3
Introduction to Geology 400 GEPHSC 1 (GenEd Physical Sci No Lab) 3
Introduction to World Religions 400 HUMN 204 3
Lifespan Developmental Psychology 400 EDPS 210 3
Principles of Public Speaking 400 COMM 103 3
Principles of Statistics 400 MATH 120 3
Principles of Supervision 400 BMGT 227 3
The Civil War and Reconstruction 400 HIST 212 3

International Baccalaureate

FCC will evaluate International Baccalaureate (IB) subject examinations with scores of 5, 6, or 7. The Students may be awarded up to 30 credits toward the associate degree, but those planning to transfer need to consult with potential transfer institutions regarding each institution’s policy on required scores and credits awarded. FCC does not assess any fees or tuition for International Baccalaureate (IB) evaluations and credit awards. To request an official candidate score report to be sent to FCC, see the International Baccalaureate website at Students must have official results sent to the FCC Registration & Records Office in Jefferson Hall.

IB Exam FCC Course Equivalent/Credits Awarded
IB English (HL) 5+ = ENGL 102
5+ and Completion of full-diploma option = ENGL 101 & ENGL 102
IB Math (HL) 5+ = MATH 120 (3) and MATH 185 (4); Placement into MATH 195
IB Math (SL) 5+ = MATH 165 (4); Placement into MATH 175 or MATH 185
IB Math Studies 5+ = MATH 101 (3)
IB Biology (HL) 6+ = BSCI 150 & BSCI 160
IB Biology (SL) 6+ = BSCI 100
IB Chemistry 5 = CHEM 101;
6+ = CHEM 101 and CHEM 102
IB Physics (SL) No credit
IB History of the Americas 5 = HIST 201 or HIST 202;
6+ = HIST 201 & HIST 202
IB History of Europe 5+ = HIST 102
IB Economics (SL) 6+ = ECON 200 & ECON 202
IB Spanish 5+ = SPAN 101 & SPAN 102
IB French 5+ = FREN 101 & FREN 102
IB Latin 5+ = LATN 101 & LATN 102
IB Music Determined by program manager
IB Art 5+ = ARTT 104
IB Computer Science 5+ = CMIS 106
Full IB Diploma (indicates successful completion of the Theory of Knowledge course and the Extended Essay) ENGL 101