Transfer Student Services

Adult Learner Services

Make Your Comeback with Adult Learner Services at CSU!

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Who are Adult Learners?

An Adult Learner is a new or returning student entering college over the age of 25. These students may work full-time, support a family, have dependents, or needed to discontinue their education for personal reasons. They are a diverse group that may take on many responsibilities in their life. Working towards your Bachelor’s degree can be an intimidating journey, but the benefits are worth it! With our growing community of Adult Learners and the abundance of resources available, we are here to help you improve your future and achieve your goals. CSU has a longstanding tradition of serving adult and returning students.

Ohio College Comeback Compact

Cleveland State University is a proud participant of the Ohio College Comeback Compact. This program is designed to help you return to your previous institutions or transfer to another participating university to finish your degree or certificate program.  If you are eligible for participation, the Compact will allow for the release of your transcript to facilitate the transfer or re-enrollment process. 

The program is open to eligible students who previously attended any of the participating institutions below, who have been out of college for at least a year and maintained a 2.0 cumulative GPA before they left, and who owe no more than $5,000 to the institution. 

Participating Institutions
  • Cleveland State University
  • Cuyahoga County Community College
  • Kent State University
  • Lakeland Community College
  • Lorain County Community College
  • Stark State College
  • University of Akron
  • Youngstown State University

Contact us to see if you are eligible to participate in the Ohio College Comeback Compact! You can reach us by email at or by phone at (216) 875-9709.

Awarding Non-Traditional Credits

We want you to know the various options you have as a returning student in order to get the most out of your previous experiences. We composed program and credit comparison charts to display the flexibility of our schools and colleges to guide you toward the right decision on what to study. We also created a document to explain other forms of non-traditional credits (such as military credits, CLEPs, and credit by exams) accepted at Cleveland State University. Learn more at the links below: 

CSU CLEP Offerings

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a computer-based series of subject-specific tests offered by The College Board. These tests allow students to demonstrate subject mastery in order to earn college credit. Students are not required to attend Cleveland State in order to take CLEP tests at CSU’s Testing Services. Students should consult with an academic advisor from their institution to determine which CLEP test(s) to take. Please direct all questions regarding the use of CLEP credit for degree requirements to your academic advisor. For more information about CLEP exams, click HERE.

For free study courses to prepare for a CLEP exam, click HERE. Each course includes online lectures, quizzes, tests, and textbooks, free of charge. The courses are designed to prepare students for the major CLEP tests offered, including subjects such as History, Computer Science, Math, English, and Economics. 

CSU Credit by Exam Offerings

Select departments may accept credit by examination for specific courses. The subject material to be covered, the method of examination, the minimal acceptable score/grade for passing, and the number of semester credit hours to be granted will be determined by the academic departments. For more information about Credit by Exams, please contact the faculty advisor in the desired department. To view courses that offer Credit by Exam, click HERE.


Credit for prior learning experience is available to students in the College of Urban Affairs whose prior learning meets the criteria established by the faculty for academic credit toward the bachelor's degree. AAPLE (Assessment and Accreditation of Prior Learning Experience) allows you to earn academic credit for significant prior learning. AAPLE begins with UST 190: Analysis of Experiential Learning in Urban Affairs. This two-credit course teaches you the essentials of portfolio writing and acquaints you with the various majors in the college. For more information on the Assessment and Accreditation of Prior Learning Experience (AAPLE) program, click HERE.

Military Credit

Military personnel may be evaluated for transfer credit eligibility upon receipt of an official transcript from the appropriate dispensing body. Army, Navy, and Coast Guard personnel obtain Joint Services Transcripts (JST) from the American Council on Education (ACE). Air Force personnel obtain transcripts from the Air University – Community College of the Air Force. ACE/JST transcripts make credit recommendations for each completed course. In general, CSU will give semester credit for courses assessed as either Lower Division electives or Upper Division electives. For more information, click HERE.