Next Steps: Preparing for your college application

Once you've chosen a college, here's what's next in the college enrollment process.

Placement Test

Every community college in New Jersey requires incoming students to take a placement test called ACCUPLACER®. Click here for online resources to help you prepare for the exam and for information about in-person prep classes.  (NOTE:  Thomas Edison State College does NOT require a placement exam.)

College Application

You will need to complete and submit an application either online or in-person to your college of choice. At any of the 19 NJ Community Colleges, be sure to enroll in the Associate in Applied Science in Technical Studies degree program. At Thomas Edison State College, speak with the NJ PLACE liaison regarding the best degree program for you.  Whichever college you choose, it's important to speak to the NJ PLACE liaison at that college before submitting your application. This will make the process go much smoother.

Apprenticeship Transfer Credit Forms

Whether you have already completed your apprenticeship or you are actively registered as an apprentice, you will need to complete and submit paperwork to a participating college to prove your eligibility for apprenticeship transfer credit.  If you plan to earn your degree from..

  • One of NJ's 19 community colleges:  Download the Evaluation of Transfer Credits Form and send it to the USDOL NJ State Office of Apprenticeship. Once that office has processed your form, they will mail the "Official USDOL Completion of Apprenticeship Form" to the college you've selected. Be sure to list the NJ PLACE Liaison as the college "Official" unless the liaison instructs you otherwise.  Most colleges will not transfer credits from your apprenticeship without receiving this verification from the USDOL.
  • Thomas Edison State College:  With the exception of recent Carpenter apprenticeship graduates (see below), the college requires you to purchase an American Council on Education (ACE)  transcript which will be used by college evaluators in awarding transfer credit toward an associate and/or bachelor degree.  The college has several degrees programs of study which may be related to your apprenticeship so be sure to contact the NJ PLACE Liaison at Thomas Edison for specific guidance.

Carpenters who have completed an apprenticeship through the NJ Carpenters Apprentice Training & Educational Fund since November 2010 do NOT need an ACE transcript.  Your program was re-evaluated for college credit in 2012 by Thomas Edison State College's Office for Assessment of Professional and Workplace Learning.  To receive credit at a community college, follow the community college instructions above.  To receive credit at Thomas Edison State College, download and complete the appropriate form below:

National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Machining Level I or II credential holders may qualify for college credit toward as associate or bachelor degree at Thomas Edison State College depending on which credentials you have completed.  To learn more, reference the Machining Level I and II college credit reviews, then contact To receive credit for NIMS Machining Level I and/or II credentials, download and complete this NIMS Transcript Request Form.

NOTE for Active Apprentices:  Each college and/or apprenticeship program has its own policy on when credits for your apprenticeship program will appear on your transcript – during or after the completion of your program. However, you will receive credits for college courses as you successfully complete them. Colleges granting students apprenticeship credits during their apprenticeship program will work with your training center to certify course completions.


Still Have Questions? For More Information and Answers to Some of Our Most Common Questions click here.