• Adult students can use their life experience to accelerate their degree plans through the Prior Learning Assessment portfolio process.

    Prior Learning Assessment -- Earn Credit for your Life Experiences

    CCU’s College of Adult and Graduate Studies offers a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) portfolio program designed to help adult students earn college credit for knowledge and expertise that is not represented in a traditional academic setting. This learning may embody a level of understanding that would warrant college-level learning, resulting in semester hour credit.

    CCU’s Prior Learning Assessment course helps students identify possible areas to earn college credit as well as criteria for submitting their portfolio. Download the Prior Learning Assessment flyer (PDF) for details.

    Students may earn up to 31 semester hours through the Prior Learning Assessment portfolio process. View tuition and fees for Prior Learning Assessment.

    PLA can be a very rewarding option for adult learners, as they see the potential for validating life experience in an academic arena.

    Please Note: PLA is not the same as transfer credits. For information about transferring in credits, please contact an enrollment counselor.

  • Prior Learning Assessment FAQs

    What is Prior Learning Assessment?
    Prior Learning Assessment is an opportunity for adult degree completion students to explore some of their non-traditional learning experiences to identify areas of learning that may warrant college-level credit. The PLA 200 course walks students through the requirements to build a Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio that represents learning that has taken place through life experience, career training, and in other non-traditional learning environments.
    How many total hours can I earn through Prior Learning Assessment?
    Students may earn a total of 34 semester hours through Prior Learning Assessment. Three elective semester hours may be earned through PLA 200, the Prior Learning Assessment course. Upon completion of the course, students may submit up to 31 semester hours of life learning papers through the portfolio process.
    What types of life experiences can I use to write life learning papers?
    Students have developed strong life learning papers through their career field, ministry, and volunteer experiences. In the Prior Learning Assessment course you will explore these topics in greater depth. Some examples of paper topics include: customer service, office management, youth ministry, adult ministry, para-educator experience, and photography.
    May I submit Prior Learning Assessment narratives to meet general education requirements?
    Students may submit life learning papers in four approved General Education areas: three semester hours in oral communications, three semester hours in creative arts, three semester hours in behavioral/social sciences, and three semester hours in computer science. (Documentation may not be older than five years for the computer science general education requirement.) 
    May I submit Prior Learning Assessment hours to meet elective hour requirements?
    Yes, this is where Prior Learning Assessment can be used to its best advantage.
    May I submit Prior Learning Assessment hours to meet major course requirements?
    No, Prior Learning Assessment may only be used to meet approved general education and elective hours.
    May I submit Prior Learning Assessment hours for coursework I have taken at other institutions?
    You may not write life learning papers for coursework you have accomplished at other institutions. Instead, you should request to have those credits transferred to CCU by submitting official transcripts from all of the accredited institutions you have previously attended. See special resources for Transfer Students for additional information.
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    College of Adult and Graduate Studies

    Phone: 303-963-3311

    Email: agsadmission@ccu.edu