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Credit for Prior Learning

Your Degree is Closer Than you Think!

Rio Salado has partnered with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and its LearningCounts program to help students earn college credit for what they already know.

You have already learned from life experiences including work, volunteering, military service, job training, independent reading, open source courseware study, and hobbies. You can use that knowledge to earn college credit by creating a learning portfolio.

Create a Learning Portfolio

Rio Salado's partnership with provides you the opportunity to submit a Learning Portfolio for evaluation. You can create a learning portfolio in many ways:

  • Writing about your learning
  • Making a video of yourself performing a task
  • Providing a product of your work
  • Having a third party verify your knowledge

Once completed, you submit your learning portfolio for review by a college faculty member. If what you have submitted is at the same level as what a successful student in a college-level course could produce, the faculty expert will recommend that you be awarded college credit.

Steps for Submitting a Learning Portfolio saves you time and money by helping students like you earn credit for what they already know. And you can do it all online.

  1. Talk to a Rio Salado advisor: Your first step is to make sure your degree plan is up-to-date and accurate to avoid any duplication of credit.
  2. Talk to a College Credit Specialist: (optional) You have the option to speak one-on-one with a specialist to find out which option is right for you. This is a free service.
  3. Enroll in the CAEL 100: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice course. The course can be taken either as Instructor Led or Self-Paced. Please review these options on the Learning Counts Site.     
  4. Create your portfolio: You will learn how to compile your portfolio and get it ready for evaluation by a faculty expert.  You can also use this portfolio to showcase your skills to employers.
  5. Request a portfolio assessment: Once you complete your portfolio, you can submit it for review by a faculty from colleges and universities across the country.  College credits are awarded upon successful evaluation.