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Finding Success With Prior Learning


How can you apply your prior learning towards your degree?

Just ask B.S. Information Technology student, Robert Flowers. Throughout his twenty seven year career, Rob has been a police officer, held management positions, network engineering positions, private security positions, and teaching positions. He is currently an Enterprise Architect.

Rob began his career in law enforcement; and then went into private security where he started learning about computers. From there, Rob began learning all he could about computer networking through independent study and on-the-job trial and error. He recently participated in the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program at American Public University. Rob was able to demonstrate prior learning in computer science and networking based on what he had learned through experience. Rob completed seven portfolios (21 credits) towards his degree via the PLA portfolio program!

[How to Apply Prior Learning to Your Studies]

PLA is a great way to put your prior learning to the test and demonstrate your mastery of specific courses in your academic plan. Portfolio is not the only method by which to demonstrate prior learning. Rob also passed College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests to obtain credit in subject areas he was very proficient in such as Computer Science and Productivity Applications.

CLEP exams are available in a variety of subjects from general education courses, such as English and Mathematics, to specialized areas like computer science and networking. No matter what method of prior learning assessment you choose, PLA can help you earn your degree faster and save you money. Check with your school of choice and their transfer credit and prior learning assessment offices for specific policies, procedures, and fees, as they vary from institution to institution.

By Liz Jackson
Manager & Advisor, Prior Learning Assessment at American Public University System