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.
SUNY Empire recognizes the following forms of prior learning assessment:
- Standardized testing such as CLEP, TECEP, DSST (DANTES) and Excelsior College’s UExcel exams.
- Evaluations of training and other sponsored learning activities by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS).
- Internal SUNY Empire Professional Learning Evaluations (formerly known as ESC Generics) of selected training, licenses and certificates not evaluated by ACE or NCCRS.
- Individualized prior learning assessment, which is evaluated by a qualified evaluator.
Empire State University evaluates learning within the context of the student’s proposed degree program.