Credit for Life Experience

The NCC faculty recognizes that adults have experienced many learning experiences through study outside of the classroom. This may have been reached through independent study, work experience, on-the-job training, vocational training programs and other non-traditional means. The opportunity to earn credit for these experiences requires students to demonstrate their achievement and validate the learning they have acquired, which can reduce the amount of time and credits required to obtain a degree.

Awarding course credit equivalency will be based on the recommendation of faculty and a committee’s evaluation of the student’s documentation of how their experiences are directly related to learning outcomes of specific courses.

The Office of Adult Learning is charged with overseeing the Credit for Life Experience Portfolio application process. Questions and all application material should be sent to Dr. Kristina Testa- Buzzee,, 203.857.7220 on West Campus room W116.


The Credit for Life Experience program at NCC is restricted to applicants who are enrolled in a degree or certificate program of study. An application or an evaluation of experiential learning and payment of the portfolio application fees does not guarantee that credit will be granted. Students who are seeking credit for life experience based on courses they have audited without other significant supporting life experience are not eligible


  • It is suggested that students meet with Dr. Kristina Testa-Buzzee,, W116, 203 857-7220, prior to paying the portfolio assessment fee, to explore the possibility of credit for a particular experience.
  • Complete the application and create a portfolio for evaluation.
  • Meet with your major program coordinator, chair or director to review the application beforesubmission and to receive the signature of the program coordinator and/or director in support of their application. If you are applying for credit for life experience for a course outside of your major you must also obtain a signature in suppot from the appropriate program coordinator, chair or director.
  • Pay the portfolio assessment fee of $15 Per course at the Business Office.
  • Submit your application and portfolio to Dr. Kristina Testa-Buzzee,, W116, 203 857-7220.
  • The suggested deadlines are Fall Semester- October 15; Spring Semester- March 15.

Updated 2/25/2015

Policies and Regulations

  • The college will not grant credit wherever nationally recognized examinations for credit exist. In such cases, applicants will be directed to take the subject examination through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
  • Credit will be granted for equivalent courses required in the applicant’s curriculum. No credit will be awarded via the portfolio review outside of subject areas encompassed by the approved curricula for NCC.
  • The amount of credit granted will depend on, but not limited to: (1) the equivalent course credit, (2) evaluation of direct evidence of experience, e.g. length of instruction, and (3) depth and extent of experiential learning.
  • The total number of credits granted for experiential learning shall be in agreement with the current Board policy regarding the granting of credit. Under the current policy, no more than 50% of the credits required for a degree shall be awarded for prior experiential learning which includes experiential learning and credit by exam.
  • The committee on Experiential Learning review applications and will make every effort to arrive at a decision for the request of credit prior to the conclusion of each semester.
  • The applicant will be notified by mail and email regarding the disposition of his/her case within two weeks of the Committee meeting.
  • The portfolio will become part of the applicant’s student record and all self-assessment documentation will be treated as official college documents with the normal assurances of security and confidentiality. Be sure to make a copy of your documents for your own files.

Appeal Process

The college provides the following appeal process for applicants that have been denied the request for credit:

  • The applicant must submit a letter to the Committee explaining reasons for his/her appeal and any additional documentation if appropriate.
  • The appeal will be reviewed by the Committee and recommendation sent to the college president of his/her designee for the review and decision.

PLEASE NOTE: Norwalk Community College, in granting experiential learning credit, does not guarantee that it will transfer to another institution. In many cases, each college or university has its own policies and procedures for evaluating and granting credit for experiential learning.

Portfolio Checklist

  •   Read the information on Policies and Procedures for award Credit for Life Experience.
  •   Complete the Application and Prepare the Portfolio
  •   Seek the Signature of the Program Coordinator Department Chair.
  •   Pay the $15.00 per course academic evaluation fee in the Business Office and attach receipt to the application.
  •   Letter explaining life experience as it relates to the subject for which you are seeking credit be sure to draw a direct connection between course outcomes and the experience. It is highly recommended that you obtain the course syllabus from the Academic Affairs Office (West Campus, Room 106.)
  •   Detailed resume to include: education, employment history, continuing education units, professional activities, association memberships, civic and social activities, honors, etc
  •   NCC Transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable)
  •   Verifications such as: professional certificates, CEU’s
  •   Supporting Evidence could include but not be limited to:
    •   Job description
    •   Letters of commendation
    •   Letters of verifications from superiors, peers, patients, clients
    •   Promotion evaluation
    •   Evidence of suggestions adopted
    •   Licenses
  •   Community Service if available Commendations or awardsNewspaper and magazine clippings Letter of verification from co-volunteers Hobbies or recreational
  •   Other Examples of Supporting Evidence Books publishedPictures painted Music written Programs performed Patents obtained

 Scores of licensing exams
 Membership in professional or

trade organizations  Military separation
 Bill of sales
 Work samples
 Certifications

  •   Submit your application & portfolio to the Department Chairperson or Program Coordinator for each of the course subjects for which you are seeking credit. These individuals will provide a recommendation totheCommitteeregardingyourrequestfor credit.
  •   Lastly, return your portfolio to The Office of Adult Learning, w116, who will meet with the Life Experience Committee to decide your eligibility to receive credits.