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Earn College Credit for Prior Learning

At SUNY Empire State College, you can earn college credit for prior college-level learning gained through work and life experience. In addition to traditional transfer credit from other colleges and universities, we offer additional ways to earn credit for prior learning, all of which save you time and money — and help put your degree within reach.

Professional Learning Evaluations (PLE)

PLE at SUNY Empire is a recommendation for college-credit for college-level learning you’ve acquired outside of a college, university, or other traditional classroom. Any matriculated SUNY Empire student who provides necessary documentation can incorporate approved PLE credit into their degree program. There is no charge for PLE credit.

PLE can include:

  • Professional licensure, credentials, certifications
  • Seminars, in-service training, apprenticeships

View a full list of current professional learning evaluations.

Individualized Prior Learning Assessment (iPLA)

SUNY Empire grants credit to degree-seeking students who can demonstrate and verify college-level learning acquired through life or work experience.

College-level learning might include:

  • Work experience
  • Volunteer work
  • Hobbies and recreational activities
  • Training programs / in-service courses
  • Military service
  • Independent reading and study

PLA by the Numbers:

  • More than half of students who complete an associate or a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Empire receive PLA credits.
  • On average, students who receive PLA credits AND complete an associate degree receive approximately 20-25 credits. This can cut your time to degree by 2-3 terms and provide a savings of approximately $7,000.
  • On average, students who receive PLA credits AND complete a bachelor’s degree receive approximately 30-35 credits. This can cut your time to degree by 3-4 terms and provide a savings of more than $10,000.

At SUNY Empire, you can earn college credit for:

Standardized Exams:

  • CLEP
  • AP
  • DANTES
  • DSST

…and other standardized college-level examinations

Military Training and Occupations:

  • Joint Services Transcript (JST)
  • Community College of the Air Force (CCAF)

Professional Learning Evaluation (PLE):

  • Professional licensure, credentials, and certifications
  • Seminars, in-service training, and apprenticeships

Individualized Prior Learning Assessment (iPLA):

  • Work experience
  • Volunteer work
  • Hobbies/recreational activities
  • Independent reading/research

SUNY Empire charges a one-time iPLA fee of $700 to all students who request iPLA. This fee covers all iPLA requests you submit throughout your tenure as a matriculated undergraduate student at SUNY Empire.

More Information

Learn more about SUNY Empire’s Professional Learning Evaluations (PLE).

Learn more about SUNY Empire’s Individualized Prior Learning Assessment (iPLA).

Find out how much credit your knowledge is worth. Call 800-GO-TO-ESC and speak with a recruiter today!

For information about relevant learning evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) the National College Credit Recommendation Services (National CCRS), or Thomas Edison Credit Examination Program (TECEP), view the student degree planning and prior learning assessment guides.