PLA Limitations and Criteria

To be eligible to earn Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credit, students must be currently enrolled and meet all the requirements of a Cleveland State Community College student in good standing. Students should not have previously taken or attempted the course for which prior learning credit is being sought. Students should talk with faculty advisors when unsure about PLA options in a particular program of study, especially when considering submitting a Portfolio. Various types of PLA credit may be simple submission of existing transcripts while other forms of PLA may involve registration and fees for additional testing. Specific procedures will be outlined later in this document. Here are basic general limitations related to all PLA credit:

  1. Students must be admitted into a Program of Study

    1. Credit is awarded only to students who have declared an academic program

    2. Students must be currently matriculated within the college

    3. Courses in which PLA is sought must be directly applicable to curriculum requirements of a certificate or degree program of study

    4. Changing majors may result in reassessment of the applicability of the PLA credit

    5. Students must apply for PLA through the Enrollment Services Center

    6. Students should consult with designated advisor about seeking credit for PLA

    7. PLA credits apply toward majors, minors, concentrations, general education requirements and electives that count toward the program of study in the same manner as traditional courses

    8. PLA credits satisfy prerequisite requirements in the same manner as course equivalencies

  2. Other parameters for awarding PLA

    1. A maximum of 50% of the total credit hours required for student’s Program of Study may be earned through any combination of PLA

    2. In all cases a student must earn 25% of credit hours required for a credential in instruction delivered by the institution awarding the credential

    3. PLA credits do not count toward the 25% and do not count toward meeting residency requirements for graduation

    4. Student applies for and follows all procedures to request and receive PLA credit

    5. Any fees associated with PLA credit will be paid in full before PLA credit is posted to the official transcript

    6. PLA credit may not duplicate credit already awarded or replace a failing grade

    7. TBR community colleges or UT universities may accept PLA credits transferred as long as credits are applicable to the degree or certificate the student has declared and the transfer institution’s policy grants credit for the specific type of PLA credit transferred

    8. Although University Parallel programs vary at senior institutions, PLA credit awarded at one institution which meets Common General Education Core requirements and/or Tennessee Transfer Pathway (TTP) requirements, must be accepted as transfer credit toward the degree if the student transfers to a TBR or UT institution in Tennessee, in accordance with the Transfer Guarantee policies related to the General Education Core of the TTP