Alternative Options for Earning Credit

PLA (Prior Learning Assessment)

What is PLA?
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a process for evaluating and assessing a person’s existing knowledge and competencies obtained through prior nontraditional education, training, and/or work experience for college credit. 

Who Should Use PLA?
Prior Learning Assessment is available to anyone who has knowledge or experience that aligns with a particular class currently taught at Green River College. Individuals with knowledge and skills obtained through work experience, on-the-job training, military experience and training, industry certification, apprenticeships, etc., are eligible to complete the PLA process for credit consideration.

How is Credit Awarded?
An individual’s knowledge and competencies will be evaluated in relation to the competencies of the program and will be awarded credit for demonstrated learning outcomes that are appropriate to the course. Grades (either decimal or Pass/No Credit) will be determined by the faculty member conducting the assessment and posted to the student’s transcript. A maximum of 25% of a program’s course requirements may be earned through the Prior Learning Assessment process.

Credits earned through Prior Learning Assessment at any Washington Community and Technical College will be accepted toward the appropriate course or program at any other Washington Community and Technical College. If you plan to transfer to a four-year institution, it is recommended to check the transferability of credits earned through Prior Learning Assessment.

How is Prior Learning Assessed?
Students will be assessed through the course challenge process. This can be accomplished through testing, demonstration, written documentation, oral interview, or other appropriate method by which the faculty member determines the student’s understanding of the subject matter

How Much Does it Cost?
A cost of 1 or 2 credits at the current tuition rate will be charged for each course assessed through the PLA process, depending on the method of assessment required to determine an individual’s knowledge and competencies.

What is the Process?
Students who wish to receive credit(s) for prior learning should contact a full-time faculty member within the program for which they wish to receive PLA evaluation and complete a Prior Learning Assessment Request form (provided by the faculty member). The faculty member will work with the student to determine the best method of evaluating competencies and learning outcomes that are appropriate to the specific course.