Getting Started

Prior Learning Assessment Credit

You may be able to earn credit for your prior learning (non-college) or experience-based learning.

two factory workers in hard hats looking over documents that may earn prior learning credit for their on-the-job experience

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credit is awarded for college-level learning: knowledge, skills, and competencies.  PLA includes skills gained from work and life experiences such as:

  • Correspondence and extension courses
  • Individual study and reading
  • Civic, community, and volunteer work
  • Participation in formal courses and in-service training sponsored by associations, business, government and industry.

Standards for Awarding Prior Learning Assessment Credit

  • PLA credit may be awarded if the following standards have been met:
    • Admission to MCC
    • Declaration of a degree or certificate (changing declared degree or certificate will result in the reassessment of the applicability of PLA credit).
    • Prior learning is equivalent to college-level learning.
  • PLA credit may satisfy course prerequisite requirements.
  • All work evaluated for PLA credit must meet or exceed ‘C’ level work.
  • PLA credit will be assessed by faculty subject matter experts as determined by MCC.
  • PLA credit may only be awarded for courses and credits required in declared major or certificate, but a mandatory 25% of degree/certificated credit must be earned at MCC.
  • PLA credit is specifically noted on the transcript as such and is considered transfer coursework (and not institutional coursework):
    • PLA credit is not calculated into your grade point average (GPA).
    • PLA credit is noted on your transcript and will have a grade of ‘PLA’.
    • If the PLA credit assessment determines that the prior learning does not warrant the awarding of credit, or if the standardized/institutional exam is not passed, the PLA credit does not appear on your transcript.

PLA Cannot:

  • Duplicate any previously awarded credit.
  • Be used to satisfy the MCC or degree/certificate residency requirements. PLA credit is not included as part of your semester enrollment for the purposes of financial aid, veteran benefits or any other purpose predicated on total hours of enrollment for a given semester.
  • Students may not apply for PLA for a course in which they are currently enrolled.

Methods of Awarding Prior Learning Assessment Credit

  • National Standardized Placement Tests (CLEP, AP, IB, DSST, UExcel, and other nationally recognized industry testing, training, licensing or certification programs.)
  • Institutional Challenge Examinations which are faculty-developed assessments (objective tests, essays, oral, hands-on or simulated demonstrations to evaluate student competencies specific to the course being challenged.)
  • Published Guides (Military, ACE, Workforce Training and other Non-Accredited Training documented on the National College Credit Recommendations Service)
  • Faculty Evaluated Local Industry and Workplace Training
  • Development of Portfolios

PLA Credit Cost Matrix

  • Standardized Test: No cost for transcript evaluation. Testing fees may apply.
  • Published Guide: No cost for transcript evaluation.
  • Challenge Exam: $45 per credit.
  • Portfolio Assessment: $65 per credit.

Next Steps for Requesting PLA Credit

Contact the Dean of Workforce Development and CTE at (970) 542-3166 to start the process.