By Online Learning Tips Staff
The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a way for learners to receive academic credit for college-level learning that has taken place outside of the traditional classroom. Universities have a long history of providing expedited ways for students to complete their degrees; a prior learning assessment is one of those options.
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Universities Have Traditionally Offered Alternate Ways for Students to Receive Academic Credit
Since the 1970s, universities have traditionally offered a variety of ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge gained from real-life experience. The types of prior learning that most people are familiar with include Advanced Placement (AP) or College-Level Exam Program (CLEP) tests, but credit for prior learning also includes Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education (DANTES), DSST exams, or American Council on Education (ACE) recommended credit.
At American Public University, all of these methods for awarding academic credit for prior learning are utilized, but we also have our own Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program.
The Benefits of the Prior Learning Assessment
The focus of prior learning is to acknowledge that not all learning takes place in a university setting. There are millions of Americans who have achieved their learning on the job or through a hobby such as volunteer work. This learning could be transferred to college credit. There are also millions of Americans who have some college credit, but no degree.
Through the Prior Learning Assessment, students can utilize a more flexible pathway to their degree. Students who get involved in a PLA program are more likely to be successful. A Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) study 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.”
At the university, students have an opportunity to develop a portfolio for a specific course within their degree program to petition for credit for what they have learned. Using the PLA portfolio program can save students time and money in the pursuit of their degrees. Students who have successfully completed the Prior Learning Assessment course and submitted portfolios have earned up to thirty credits, saved upwards of 5,000 dollars, and have finished their degree programs between eight weeks and one and a half years earlier than they would have without using the Prior Learning Assessment program. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for the program.
Helping students achieve their educational goals is a priority for us. Our PLA program is one of the most comprehensive and respected programs in higher education, and we stand by ready to work with interested students. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready When You Are
At American Public University, students are priority one. We are committed to providing quality education, superior student resources, and affordable tuition. In fact, while post-secondary tuition has risen sharply nationwide, the university continues to offer affordable tuition without sacrificing academic quality.