UA offers credit for past academic and work experience to earn degrees faster and with less money


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The University of Akron (UA) is proud to introduce an enhanced pathway to earn a college degree quicker and with less cost through its credit for prior learning initiative. This empowers adult learners with a unique pathway to accelerate their journey towards earning an undergraduate degree or a certificate. Awarding university credit for prior learning and professional work experience encompasses a diverse range of methods that recognize and evaluate learning acquired outside of the traditional academic environment, catering to individuals from various backgrounds and work experiences.

This initiative aims to streamline the path to degree completion, providing a convenient and cost-effective option for individuals seeking to further their education or start it. Adult learners can utilize their past educational achievements, work background, military involvement, and professional certifications to eliminate taking classes containing concepts and topics they’ve already consistently and intensely experienced for years in the workplace.

UA's vision of “adult learners” is inclusive, covering individuals older than the traditional student who began college at age 18, or who may have attended some college education but did not finish their degrees. Adult learners also include those seeking to resume their education at UA, working professionals aspiring to rise in their careers or find a new one, and veterans and active military service members.

“The University of Akron’s increased focus on rewarding individuals for what they already know academically or professionally is another example of the University living into its mission, serving the region and finding new ways to make higher education more affordable and more accessible for all students,” said Dr. Gwyneth Price, senior vice provost for academic and faculty affairs. “By valuing the learning experiences of individuals, students can come back and finish off a degree, or shorten their time to graduation, or use available credits to expand their horizons. UA’s credit for prior learning initiative can open a variety of doors that can lead to bright futures."

Individuals who qualify to receive credit for prior learning at UA:

  • Have strong work experience;
  • Served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • Received formal training or professional certifications;
  • Left college before graduating to work in their desired field; and
  • Want to finish a college degree that they had started.

“Receiving academic credit for my professional experience while earning a college degree has opened new possibilities for my career before I retire,” said Jim Reed, a team supervisor at Frito-Lay in Wooster, Ohio.

Reed is expected to graduate in December 2024 with a Bachelor of Organizational Supervision.

“Without this affordable pathway, I would not be graduating for another two years,” Reed added.

A concierge team comprised of dedicated UA faculty and staff members will help individuals document their prior learning and work experiences and discuss options for how to attain academic credit to create their own unique pathways toward earning their degrees or certificates.

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Email to start your academic journey.

Media contact: Cristine Boyd,, 330-972-6476