Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) - Formerly known as Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Guidelines

Prior Learning is a non-college or experience-based learning that has been obtained outside the sponsorship of accredited postsecondary education institutions. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) includes learning acquired from work and life experiences; community and volunteer extension courses; individual study and reading; civic, community and volunteer work; and participation in informal courses and in-service training sponsored by associations, business, government, and industry. PLA is not awarded for EXPERIENCE but for college-level LEARNING which entails knowledge, skills, and competencies that students have obtained as a result of their prior learning experience.

Methods of obtaining prior learning credit include:

  1. Standardized Tests (CLEP®, DSST™, etc. See the most current tests available in the CCA Testing Center) Register for CLEP/DSST
  2. Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB)
  3. Institutional Challenge Exams.  Begin with the appropriate Department Chair. 
  4. Portfolio Reviews.  Begin with the appropriate Department Chair.
  5. Published guides such as ACE - American Council of Education guidelines including military, corporate and other programs.

For more complete Prior Learning Assessment guidelines, please visit the Colorado Community College System Prior Learning Assessment page.

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