Rock Valley College

Credit For Prior Learning at RVC

Rock Valley College defines Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) as learning obtained outside of the traditional college classroom. All potential students, from high school to returning adult, may benefit from Credit for Prior Learning. Credit for Prior Learning can provide you with the opportunity to receive credit for these past learning experiences, save money on tuition, and accelerate the completion of your educational goals. 

Credit may be earned using one or more of the following: Examinations (AP, CLEP, Dantes/DSST, Proficiency), International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, IL State Seal of Biliteracy, military service, technical training, professional certificates, and Federal licenses.

Rock Valley College residency requirements must be met for all students earning CPL credit towards a degree.

Credit earned through CPL will not be awarded for the same course more than once.

Each type of CPL recognized by Rock Valley College has its own credit awarding criteria and is subject to change.

If your academic goals include transferring to another academic institution, it is your responsibility to verify the acceptance policy at that academic institution.

Rock Valley College offers several opportunities to earn credit for knowledge obtained formally or informally demonstrated by successful completion of designated standardized exam.  

Credit may be awarded through one of the following Credit by Exam programs:

CLEP  - The College-Level Examination Program  is a national program of credit by examination that gives you the opportunity to receive college credit for what you already know.

DSST - The DSST Testing Program allows you to earn college credit for specific subject area learning acquired outside of the traditional classroom. 

AP - The College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, allow students, while enrolled in high school, the opportunity to earn credit  or advanced standing at most of the nation's colleges and universities, including Rock Valley College. 

IB - The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program allows students enrolled in this high school program the the opportunity to earn credit  or advanced standing at Rock Valley College.

Note: For all of the recognized testing programs, official transcripts must be submitted directly from the specific credit by exam testing program. Rock Valley College residency requirements must be met for all students using credit-by-exam towards a degree. Credit earned by examination will not be awarded for the same course more than once. Each testing program recognized by Rock Valley College has its own credit awarding criteria and is subject to change.


RVC is committed to recognizing  the educational and training skills acquired during your military service.

The RVC Veterans Affairs Office can assist you with this process and explain the policy for awarding college credit for military education and duties.        

In recognition of basic training, all military personnel without a dishonorable discharge will receive four (4) Fitness, Wellness, and Sport (FWS) elective credits.        

Specific technical training can be evaluated for course credit equivalency on an individual basis. 

Obtaining Military Transcripts: 

  • Army, Army National Guard, Navy, Marine Corps and US Army Reserve - transcripts are provided by the Joint Services Transcript (JST).

  • Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve - all current and former active duty, guard, and reserve Air Force members can order a transcript free of charge through the CCAF online system.

  • Coast Guard - official documentation of military learning experiences should be sent to your home college.

To Submit Transcripts to RVC:  Transcripts should be submitted to the RVC Records and Registration Office:

Attn: Records & Registration Office
Rock Valley College
3301 N. Mulford Rd. 
Rockford, IL 61114-5699

Rock Valley College respects learning that has taken place within various work settings. College credit may be granted within specific industries.

Fire Science: College course credit may be granted for the successful completion of Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) approved course programs (Illinois or Wisconsin), Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, National Fire Academy (NFA), Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI), Department of Defense, Emergency Medical Technician (National Registry), and Illinois Department of Public Health courses/certificates (Policy 209).

Criminal Justice: Credit for successful completion of Law Enforcement Academy Training and Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards (Board Certified Training) may be granted.