Transfer and Experiential Credit
Get college credit for what you already know.
You're an experienced adult with valuable skills, so why should you start your SJC degree with a blank slate? Through Prior Experiential Learning Assessment (PELA), qualified students who have gained college-level knowledge and competence through learning experiences outside of a traditional classroom can earn credits toward their degree.
Transfer Credit and Prior Learning Assessment Policies
- Adult learners can transfer up to 90 credits from accredited four-year traditional colleges and universities
— or —
- Adult learners can transfer a maximum of 82 prior learning credits from the following educational experiences:
- traditional college coursework
- training programs
- professional certifications
- credit by examination
- Prior Experiential Learning Assessment (PELA)
- Credits from educational institutions that are not regionally accredited but are approved New York State collegiate programs may be accepted.
- Students pursuing a degree in Professional Studies may earn a maximum of 27 credits through Prior Experiential Learning Assessment (PELA). Through PELA, eligible students can register for an experiential portfolio seminar and work with the Prior Learning Assessment coordinator to document and thoroughly assess prior learning experiences.
Therefore, many students begin their degree program at St. Joseph’s College with more than half the credits they need to graduate. To earn a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph’s College, students must complete a minimum of 30 credits* in residence.
* Certain majors may require a minimum of 32 credits be completed at St. Joseph's College.
Credit for Prior Experiential Learning
Professional Studies students, except for Nursing majors, with extensive and varied experiential learning may participate in the Prior Experiential Learning Assessment (PELA) Program, which gives students the opportunity to apply for credit for their prior experiential learning. Validated learning, not the experience alone, is the basis for awarding credit. Professional Studies students do not receive credit for “having lived,” but rather for having mastered—through professional, creative, volunteer or other experience—knowledge and skills that are deemed to be at the college level and are applicable in the context of the student’s degree program.
St. Joseph’s College recognizes that adult learners, through their professional training and experience, attain knowledge and skills that can translate into collegiate credit. Professional Studies students with comprehensive experiential learning may participate in the Prior Experiential Learning Assessment Program (PELA), which gives students the opportunity to earn credit for their prior learning by:
- enrolling in GS 111L Experiential Portfolio Seminar, which is a mentored course designed to facilitate the assessment of prior learning for the purpose of developing an experiential learning portfolio — a collaborative effort between the student and PELA coordinator. Students have the unique opportunity to meet at their convenience via telephone, email, video conferencing and in person with the PELA coordinator to receive assistance in their pursuit of PELA.
Human Services Major
“SJC's PELA program allowed me to turn my ‘on the job experience’ into college credits, and I am grateful. I am also honored and humbled to have earned the largest number of PELA credits applicable to my program, while simultaneously pursuing a dual degree. All along, my PELA coordinator guided me through the process.”