Prior Learning Assessment

Introduction to Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a term used to describe the assessment of college level learning that is gained outside a traditional academic environment. It is learning and knowledge students acquire while living their lives, such as by working, participating in employer training programs, serving in the military, studying independently, volunteering or doing community service, and studying open source courseware. PLA is a means of evaluating what a student already knows at the college level, derived from these experiences, which can determine competencies for advanced standing toward further education or training and/or college credit.

Cleveland State Community College values the diversity of students. This diversity includes the unique experiences, interests, and intellectual pursuits that lead to the acquisition of knowledge that may be at the college level. College-level learning is the same whether acquired in the traditional college classroom or through non-collegiate sources. This equivalency is validated by academically sound and rigorous prior learning assessment methods. The purpose of this document is to outline procedures and explain the terms and conditions under which PLA is considered, accepted, documented and awarded at Cleveland State Community College.