What is PLA?

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process of evaluating and awarding credit for college-level learning acquired outside of the traditional classroom.

This type of learning is also known as informal and non-formal learning. Prior learning is sometimes referred to as experiential learning. In many other countries the term "recognition" is included (e.g., prior learning assessment and recognition).

There are many ways that students can be evaluated for their learning. Some assessments are pre-evaluated, such as those conducted by the College Board, the American Council on Education (ACE), and the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS). Another strategy uses a portfolio process to assess the individualized nature of a student's learning.  

Empire State College recognizes the following forms of prior learning assessment:

Empire State College evaluates learning within the context of the student’s proposed degree program.