Prior Learning is a term used by educators to
describe learning acquired outside a traditional academic
environment. This may have been through work experience, employer
training programs, military training and experience, independent
study, non-credit courses, volunteer or community service, and so
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) describes the evaluation of an
individual’s learning for college credit, certification, or advance
standing toward further education or training. The Council for
Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) defines PLA as follows: "The
recognition of learning gained from experiences that may be granted
credit or otherwise certified. The assessment of learning attained
through experiences irrespective of the time and place in which
they occurred" (Fiddler, Marienau, & Whitaker, 2010, p.
Fiddler, M. Marienau, C., & Whitaker, U. (2010).
Assessing learning: Standards, principles, and procedures
In order to apply for experiential learning credits, students
must enroll in the Prior Learning Assessment course that is offered
each term in order to learn how and what to submit for review and
consideration to receive Prior Learning credits. Faculty from
colleges and universities across the country in each content area
will evaluate prior learning portfolios and recommend credit
awards. These recommendations will be recorded on a National
College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) transcript.
The maximum number of credits for experiential learning which
may be awarded to a student is 15 credits. Some
types of experiential learning for which credit will be awarded
include: Management and Computer Information Systems experiential
learning gained through certificate programs or self-taught
learning. Learners successfully completing the Prior Learning
Theory and Practice course will receive 3 elective credits.
PLA 100 Prior Learning Theory and Practice
Tuition for PLA 100 is $250 per credit hour totalling $750 per
course and includes your first ePortfolio evaluation. This can be
covered through Financial Aid.
There will be a $125 charge for each additional portfolio review
and evaluation for up to 12 credits in one content area.
For more information about the Prior Learning Assessment course
and program offered by the Council for Adult and Experiential
Learning, please contact your Academic Advisor. Your Academic
Advisor will be able to enroll you in this course.