What Will You Become?
Iowa Western Community College

Credit for Prior Learning

Iowa Western Community College recognizes that students come to us with knowledge and skills gained through a variety of previous educational, life and work experiences. Whether the knowledge and skills were gained while attending high school or college or while in the military or at work, Iowa Western Community College assesses the learning experience. Credit for Prior Learning provides students an avenue to receive credit for these past experiences and accelerate the completion of educational goals.

For more information, please contact Records and Registration (712.325.3277 or registrar@iwcc.edu). 

To schedule or cancel a testing appointment: 1.800.432.5852, ext. 3277 or 712.325.3277 option #4.

Advanced Placement, CLEP, DSST

Students may earn and apply credit hours toward an associate degree, diploma or certificate by meeting minimum score requirements, as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) College Credit Recommendation Service, on approved subject-matter tests of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), and DSST (formerly DANTES).

  • All test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to the College. Credit will be transcripted only after the term of initial enrollment has begun.
  • Only credit that can be applied toward the student’s degree requirements will be transcripted.
  • Credit received by standardized examinations may not be used to satisfy the residence credit requirement for any degree, diploma or certificate.
  • The credit is recorded on the student’s transcript without a grade, and, therefore, will not be calculated in the student’s G.P.A.

List of AP Exams accepted
List of CLEP Exams accepted
List of DSST Exams accepted

Credit by Exam

An Iowa Western Community College student may, by requesting and receiving approval of the appropriate academic dean, challenge an Iowa Western Community College course for which there is no College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test. Credit by departmental examination is a means of being granted alternative credit by satisfactorily demonstrating subject-matter competency through an examination developed, administered, and evaluated by college faculty. Before seeking approval to take a departmental examination, a student should be prepared to show evidence that he or she has attained equivalent knowledge and skills through work experience, training, or non-credit programs and courses.

  • The student will be assessed 50% of tuition for a challenged course and must pay prior to attempting the departmental exam; charges are not rescinded, nor is payment refunded, if the student does not successfully challenge the course.
  • A course may be challenged by departmental examination one time only.
  • A course may not be challenged if the student has already received a grade in the course at Iowa Western Community College.
  • The credit for a successfully challenged course, defined as a grade of “C” or higher on the departmental examination, is recorded on the student’s transcript with a grade of “T” and, therefore, will not be calculated in the student’s G.P.A.
  • Credit received by departmental examination shall be used to fulfill degree, diploma and certificate requirements. Course credit by departmental examination may not be used to satisfy the residence credit requirement for any degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • Students challenging courses are hereby given notice that credit awarded by departmental examination may not be accepted for transfer by other institutions.

Military, Certifications/Licensures

An Iowa Western Community College student may be awarded credit for applicable armed service school experiences and training, non-collegiate institution training, or earned professional certifications and licensures. Where applicable, credit shall be awarded in accordance with The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service, the ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services, or other approved organizations.

  • Credit will be transcripted only after the term of initial enrollment has begun.
  • Only credit that can be applied toward the student’s degree requirements will be transcripted.
  • Credit received through training by non-collegiate institutions shall be used to fulfill degree, diploma and certificate requirements.
  • The credit is recorded on the student’s transcript without a grade, and, therefore, will not be calculated in the student’s G.P.A.
  • Credit received through training by non-collegiate institutions may not be used to satisfy the residence credit requirement for any degree, diploma or certificate.

Air Force – Students need to order an official transcript from the Community College of the Air Force to be sent to Iowa Western Community College.  Request Transcripts

Army/Navy/Coast Guard – Students need to submit an online request at JST Transcripts to have an official transcript sent to Iowa Western Community College.

Iowa Western Continuing Education to Credit

A student who completes a pre-approved non-credit course section at Iowa Western Community College may be eligible to earn semester hour credit that can be applied toward a degree, diploma or certificate. In order for credit to be awarded, the non-credit course must meet the competencies of a credit course, as determined and approved by the appropriate academic dean, as well as the Vice President of Academic Affairs, prior to the start of each course section offering.

  • The student must successfully complete the course, as defined in the pre-approval process, in order for credit to be transcripted.
  • The credit is recorded on the student’s transcript without a grade, and, therefore, will not be calculated in the student’s G.P.A. Credit received by non-credit course completion shall be used to fulfill degree, diploma and certificate requirements.
  • Credit received by non-credit course completion may be used to satisfy the residence credit requirement for any degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Transcription of such credit doesn’t indicate acceptance to the College; a student must submit an application for admission and meet all requirements for admission in order to enroll in credit courses.