Academic Planning_Credit for Prior Learning
Use this document to learn about credit for prior learning (also known as prior learning assessment ).
What is Credit for Prior Learning?
Credit for Prior Learning (or Prior Learning Assessment) is a term used to describe various methods that colleges and universities incorporate to evaluate learning that has occurred outside traditional academic settings. It is used to grant college credit toward further education or training. This is particularly valuable for adult/non-traditional students who have had several years of experience at a job or who have studied a specific field in their adult years.
How Does Credit for Prior Learning Work?
Colleges and universities may offer credit for prior learning to students who wish to earn credit for work or studies they have completed on their own. Some colleges offer a portfolio option, an assessment type of exam or an evaluation of training.
Steps toward Credit for Prior Learning
Check with faculty and staff at your institution to find out whether credit for prior learning is available to you. If so, make sure your prior learning will meet specific requirements within your program of study.
If needed, consider a workshop to help with portfolio development so that you can provide a comprehensive account of your prior learning.
Complete a portfolio that documents your previous learning as it relates to the requirements in your major or to electives or general education. You will likely need to include learning outcomes and competencies you gained through the learning process.
Alternatively, complete an assessment or evaluation of training required by your college to meet certain requirements.
Submit the portfolio (or assessment or evaluation) to the appropriate faculty member or administrative office for review. There is generally a fee for this process.
Obtain results of your submission and if accepted, ensure you receive credit for the prior learning you completed. If not accepted, complete the class(es) you had planned to complete through prior learning.
Next Steps: Consult with your advisor to discuss ways you can earn college credit through prior learning. There are fees associated with this option.