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Getting Credits

Life Experience Has Likely Provided You With College Credits.
Here are a Few Ways to Cash Them In.
Lets begin by discovering how much college credit you have already earned. It’s important to understand we are discussing college credit earned, because it is quite possible you already have qualified for credits through work and life experience.

The American Council on Education (ACE) offers adult learners the opportunity to earn credit for past work and military job experience. Many nontraditional students can demonstrate college-level knowledge and competencies. Such learning

  • is gained from experiences outside postsecondary education
  • often merits academic credit.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) provides a range of options from recognition of military and workforce training to national examinations and portfolio development. With more options comes the increased likelihood for greater numbers of learners to complete credentials. You can earn college credit for things like your scuba diving training that you received a certificate or that certificate you received at work for the diversity training you went through. It is important to research your options and make sure that St. Edward’s will accept the credits you are seeking to transfer. This website takes you to a menu to help adult learners in understanding the recommendations of using ACE Credit for prior learning and how the ACE transcript is used.

Here is a PDF of the programs overview for students, colleges and industry perspectives. It has testimonials from previous students who have used the program to get through their undergraduate programs and the road blocks many faced.

The New College Portfolio Program
St. Edward’s University offers New College students a process in which life experience can be transferred into college credit, saving both time and money. By matching up the knowledge gained from the good, the bad, the ugly, and the mundane parts of our life with the knowledge requirements of many college courses, many weeks and thousands of dollars per course can be saved.

It begins with the completion of an online Portfolio Workshop (PORT 1032) that provides instructions on the process and aids in identifying courses students might qualify for earning credit. Once a course is identified, a syllabus is requested. Students then use a template from the software platform iWebfolio to construct their class portfolio in an attempt to earn credit for that class.

Here is the St. Edward’s University FAQ on the Portfolio Program; it is a must read for anyone interested in speeding up and cheapening down their time in college.

For all other inquiries, contact the Portfolio Guru:

Lori Eggleston Thorp
Director, New College Support Services
St. Edward’s University
3001 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704

Taking a Test For Your College Credit
Without a doubt, earning college credit by taking and passing an exam is as simple as it gets. Not necessarily easy, as quite a bit of studying is needed, but the concept and benefits are crystal clear.

The tests cover a variety of subjects, with completion and passing of the exam earning the student 3 to sometimes 6 college credit hours, depending on the subject. This avenue to college credits is extremely cost effective, ranging between $115 to $130 per exam. There are two primary exams St. Edward’s accepts, the CLEP and DSST:

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 1.07.28 PMThe College Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers more than 30 exams in five areas:

  • Business
  • Composition and Literature
  • Foreign Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Science
  • Social Science

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 1.05.03 PMDefense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DSST)  offers more than 35 exams in six areas:

  • Applied Technology
  • Business
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Science
  • Social Science

St. Edward’s testing schedule varies. Contact 512-637-1996 or visit for details and test date and times.

Austin Community College offers DSST Monday-Fridays by appointment between the hours of 9am and 3PM. CLEPs are offered Monday-Friday at 2:00pm by appointment. For more information on CLEPS and DSST through Austin Community College and to schedule an appointment Contact Business Testing:

512-223-7395, email or visit their website for details.

For additional information on DSST exams visit:

For additional information on CLEP exams visit:

And don’t forget, military veterans are almost always exempt for paying for CLEP courses; for you guys, it is free, (‘Murica!). It is also important to add that for many spouses of military veterans, the fee for CLEP exams are also waved.

The Other Universities in Town
The University of Texas offers a program with transferable credits through their University Extension. This program allows adult learners to take courses online and in the evenings. The great thing is that you do not have to apply to UT to do so. The courses are self-paced and the cost is $550.00 to $660.00–a lot less than the courses offered at St. Edward’s (you simply select the desired course online and place it in your shopping cart). Find more information at:

Austin Community College offers classes in the evening and weekend and has several locations throughout Austin and the surrounding areas. The cost for a 3 credit course in under $100.00 and most courses can be transferred to St. Edward’s. You can also earn an Associate’s degree in the meantime by taking 60 credit hours through ACC. For more information, visit

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