Prior Learning Assessment

Earn Credit for What You Know

In keeping with the mission of VSU, the university has adopted Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) standards to assist students in identifying and evaluating learning they have acquired outside the traditional college classroom for possible college credit.  The Council of Adult and Experiential Learning defines PLA as: “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.” (Assessing Learning, 2nd edition, By Morry Fiddler, Catherine Marienau, and Urban Whitaker, p.12).

Prior learning is learning gained through life or work. Many people learn through their experiences in life such as those in

  • professional endeavors (through business, the military, or other work and training experiences); or other
  • educational experiences (through community work, family, travel, or personal study).

The PLA process guides students as they

  • identify areas of relevant learning from past experiences,
  • demonstrate learning through appropriate documentation,
  • submit materials for assessment, and
  • possibly gain academic credit relative to specific VSU course objectives.

For more information on how PLA credit can assist you in reaching your goals, view the PLA Handbook web version.  A PDF copy of the 2014-2015 PLA Student Handbook is also available.

The PLA 2000 Documentation Course is offered online to assist students learn to prepare portfolios as part of the PLA Program.

Preface, Introduction, Description  of Courses

Preface & Acknowledgements (Provides background information on the development of the PLA Program at VSU)


Description of Courses

PLA Documentation Course Information