Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Be recognized for what you know

You have gained experience and knowledge through your professional and personal life. You can have this learning recognized and used to support your path to your undergraduate degree through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).

There are many forms of experience that lead to college level learning. These include your professional career, training, community and volunteer work, self-directed learning projects, personal life experiences and much more.

Save time, save money

By participating in PLA, you could graduate up to 2.5 years earlier, and save as much as $16,000 off the cost of your degree.

Four ways to earn Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

At Lewis University, up to 30 credits of PLA may be awarded and includes:

Key policies

Students must be at least 24 years of age, have earned 12 credit hours of coursework at Lewis, and be degree-seeking at Lewis in order to be awarded credit for PLA.

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).

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. PLA credits may not duplicate other credit that appears on a student's transcript. 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.

PLA must be completed before the student's final semester at Lewis.

All students interested in earning college credits by completing a Prior Learning Portfolio are required to attend a free, 1 hour “PLA Orientation Workshop."

A detailed description of Prior Learning Assessment can be found in the Lewis University Undergraduate Catalog.

For further information, contact Dr. Anne Rapp at (815)836-5778.