Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is process of earning college credit from learning you've developed in your work, training, volunteer experiences, self-directed learning projects, and personal life. Credit is not granted for experience but for the college-level learning that is documented. At Lewis University, up to 30 credits of PLA may be awarded and includes:
Prior Learning Assessment at Lewis University provides a system for working with adult students (age 24 and up) if they are enrolled in an undergraduate degree program offered by the four Colleges or in an accelerated undergraduate program delivered through the School for Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE).
By participating in PLA, a student who studies at the rate of 6 credits per semester can shave as much as 5 semesters or 2.5 years off from the time to degree completion.
This process can save as much as $16,000 from the cost of the degree. Click here for fees.
If you have college-level learning from your experiences, you can have this learning recognized and used to support your path to the degree.
Students may apply for PLA credit after they have earned 12 credit hours at Lewis; all credits earned through PLA must be completed prior to the student's last semester at the University.
A total of 30 undergraduate credits may be awarded for all forms of PLA, including the University Studies portfolio, portfolio for course credit, successful completion of AP, CLEP or DSST tests, departmental challenge examinations, and certificated credits for license holders (i.e. nursing and aviation). Consult your College or degree program for specifications on how PLA credits may be applied to the major or minor.
PLA credits earned are posted on a Lewis University transcript on a pass/no credit basis and do not apply to a student's grade point average or consideration for honors at graduation. Credits earned through PLA are not considered for meeting the 32-hour residency requirement at the University; PLA credits also do not satisfy the transfer credit hour requirement for admission into an accelerated degree program.
Students wishing to earn college credit through PLA must register for it through the School for Professional and Continuing Education. At the time of application, fees are collected from the student for whichever PLA method they are pursuing.
All students interested in earning college credits by completing a Prior Learning Portfolio are required to attend a “PLA Orientation Workshop” prior to registering. The free, 1½ hour orientation workshop includes detailed information about the processes, time commitment, and other relevant details about earning credit by PLA.