Credit for Prior Learning
Earn credit for your experience. SF State recognizes that college-level learning is not confined to the classroom and honors the learning accomplished in the workplace, in the military, in law enforcement, through volunteer and service work and elsewhere. Students with such experience can earn credit through an assessment of their knowledge and skills — a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). Credit earned through prior learning assessment can expedite your degree completion.
Who Is Eligible?
Criminal Justice Studies students in the following fields may be able to receive credit for their professional experience and training:
- Law Enforcement
- Military Training and Service
- Other Related Fields
If you have relevant experience that is not listed, please contact us to find out if you may be eligible for assessment.
A career in law enforcement comes with a great deal of training. Find out if the training you have received may be eligible for Credit for Prior Learning by checking the Pre-Approved Credentials List.
Pre-Approved Credentials that May Be Eligible for Credit for Prior Learning
|Course Abbreviation||Course Title||Units||Accepted Certification||Requirements|
|C J 400||Police and Public Policy||3||Proof of Training, Certificates, Letters from Employers, 4 - 6 page papers summarizing their duties, responsibilities and experiences.||Police Officer or County Sheriff with Patrol Duties, Academy Graduation and 5 years experience|
|C J 401||Criminal Profiling||3||Proof of Training, Certificates, Letters from Employers, 4 - 6 page papers summarizing their duties, responsibilities and experiences.||Law Enforcement Officer with Investigative Responsibilities in Enforcement Operations, Gang Unit, Investigations, Specialized Units (Robbery, Homicide, SVU, etc.)|
|C J 405||Organized Crime||3||Proof of Training, Certificates, Letters from Employers, 4 - 6 page papers summarizing their duties, responsibilities and experiences.||Officers assigned to specialized units investigating Gangs, Narcotics, Members of Task Forces, Investigators from agencies at local, county, state and federal agencies.|
|C J 410||Crime Scene Investigation||3||Officers who do preliminary investigations, collect evidence and process. Civilian or sworn. Evidence or Crime Scene Specialists and Techs.|
|C J 450||Jails and Prisons||3||County Sheriff Officers, Deputies and Correctional Officers with trainingand experience at local, county Jails, State and Federal Prisons, Private Prison Systems.|
|C J 470/SOC 452||Juvenile Justice||4||SROs, Officers assigned to schools, Investigators in Juvenile Justice, Youth Counselors, including Probation and Attorneys.|
|C J 480||California Corrections System||3||County Sheriff Officers, Deputies and Correctional Officers with trainingand experience at local, county Jails, State and Federal Prisons, Private Prison Systems.|
|C J 502||Criminal Procedure||3||Police and Sheriffs with training and more than 3 years experience. Attorneys, Paralegals, Interns with police and DA and Probation.|
|C J 550||School Violence and Discipline||3||SROs, Officers assigned to schools, Investigators in Juvenile Justice, Youth Counselors, including Probation and Attorneys.|
|C J 600||Youth Gangs in Community Context||3||SROs, Officers assigned to schools, Investigators in Juvenile Justice, Youth Counselors, including Probation and Attorneys.|
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Military Training and Service
SF State is proud to recognize the learning accomplished during military service and encourages all active duty and veteran students to submit their Joint Services Transcript (JST) for transfer review.
SF State accepts the American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations when evaluating your JST. In cases where the ACE recommendation does not align for credit, a Portfolio Assessment might allow you to petition for course credits.
If the experiential learning you possess is not easily tested in a traditional fashion, developing a PLA Portfolio, a research paper that explores your prior learning and how it aligns with the learning outcomes of a course offered at SF State, might be an option.
A successful PLA Portfolio demonstrates prior learning equivalent to taking the class and offers the professor who would teach the petition course the opportunity to determine whether your experiential learning fulfills the desired learning outcomes. The Center for Adult and Returning Students helps students arrange for PLA Portfolio development and offers an online class that provides support and direction through the writing process.
PLA Portfolio credit is granted on a credit/no credit basis and will not affect your GPA nor count toward fulfilling your residency requirement. Please note that a fee is assessed for each PLA Portfolio submitted for review.
The best candidates for Portfolio Assessment are those who:
- Have flexibility in their degree plans
- Have at least 4 - 5 years of professional experience in an area that aligns with a course at SF State
- Feel comfortable writing a 5- to 10-page paper
If you have identified a course or courses that you are interested in petitioning via PLA Portfolio, please contact us for additional information and support.