If you’re coming back to earn a degree after spending time obtaining real-world experience in your chosen field Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) might be for you.
PLA is an academic process of identifying, documenting, and awarding college credit for a student’s knowledge and skills gained from previous experience(s), such as:
- Workplace training
- Volunteer activities
- Civic duties
- Major life experiences
- Lifelong learning
PLA can help you save time and money by reducing the amount of courses you have to take. Students must analyze their past experiences and decide which college course(s) match those experiences. Once identified, follow the PLA process:pre-approval, portfolio development, and final evaluation to have earned credits applied to your transcript.
If you have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and have completed ENG 111 with a C or better, and have significant experience, make an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss. You will then need to fill out the PLA Eligibility Form, meet with a Financial Aid officer as well as the PLA coordinator.
Once approved, you’ll need to enroll in and complete PLA 200: Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio Seminar, which is structured to help you develop your PLA portfolio, and submit it for evaluation.
3 things to know:
- PLA does not qualify for Financial aid.
- Every PLA participant must participate in the PLA 200 Portfolio Seminar, no exceptions.
- Portfolio evaluation takes four to six weeks. Each course being evaluated will has an assessment team consisting of a subject matter expert and a PLA-certified faculty.
Prior learning Assessment example
- PLA 200 course (1 cr.): Regular Tuition
- PLA Portfolio Assessment Fee: $50/credit hour
- PLA Credit Hours Earned: ½ Regular Part-Time tuition
Example: Student wishes to obtain PLA credit for two courses, each being 3 credits totaling 6 credits:
- PLA 100 course fee: $650 (part-time), full-tuition (full-time)
- Portfolio Assessment fee: $300 (6 credits @ $50/credit hour)
- PLA Credits Earned (6 cr): $1950 (6 x $325)