WHAT IS PRIOR LEARNING ASSESSMENT?
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process of earning college credit for college-level learning acquired from other sources, such as work experience, professional training, military training, or open source learning from the web.
WHY PRIOR LEARNING ASSESSMENT?
- PLA Saves Time - Students saved on average between 2.5 and 10.1 months for bachelor's degrees and up to 4.5 months for associate degrees!
- Increases Graduation Rates - PLA students were 4 times likelier to graduate than their non-PLA peers!
- Higher GPA - Students who take advantage of PLA credits tend to have higher GPA's than their non-PLA peers!
PLA ASSESSMENT METHODS
- Credit by examination (CLEP/IB/AP)
- Development of a portfolio of prior learning with supporting documentation
- Transfer credit evaluation
- Training and certifications evaluation
- Placement exams
- Work sample evaluation
- Prepared speeches
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM A CANDIDATE?
Here are some general characteristics of PLA candidates:
- Adult students over the age of 24 with a GED or high school diploma
- Degree-seeking students with unfilled credits
- Students who have worked under the direction of a supervisor or have worked as supervisors or managers
- Learning acquired that is closely matched to the outcomes or competencies required to pass a college course
- Students whose lifelong experience is closely related to their educational goal
HOW PLA CONTRIBUTES TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS
The Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL) conducted a study on PLA and adult student outcomes. The study examined data on 62,475 adult students at 48 colleges and universities across the country. CAEL found that graduation rates are two and a half times higher for students with PLA credit. PLA students also had higher persistence rates and a faster time to degree completion.