Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Prior learning is learning gained through life or work outside of structured higher educational courses. Many people learn through their experiences in life such as those in professional endeavors (business, the military, or other work/training experiences) or through other educational experiences (community work, family, travel, or personal study).

PLA is a process through which students identify areas of relevant learning from their experiences, demonstrate that learning through appropriate documentation, and submit their materials so that they can be assessed and possibly awarded academic credit relative to specific course objectives at Middle Georgia State.

Prospective students who fit the following criteria are eligible to participate in PLA:

  • they are adults
  • they are non-traditional students
  • they have other learning experiences outside of a traditional college curriculum.

PLA will reduce the repetition of relevant course-related material for students with prior learning (or with prior degrees). PLA will also reduce the time and money required to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree although it will require the investment of both. Certain PLA components require fees such as testing (e.g., departmental examinations and standardized tests) and portfolio assessment. However, in general, PLA should take less time and money to complete than taking regular classes.

The Department of IT offers a PLA portfolio assessment at a cost of $175.00

The PLA Process

Currently, PLA options are available to Information Technology students for undergraduate Information Technology courses. Students who believe they might be eligible for PLA should contact Dr. Kem Lingelbach, Chair in the Department of Information Technology to determine if their prior learning experiences meet the criteria to earn college credit. The process includes:

  1. Complete the PLA Portfolio Application and review the PLA Portfolio Rubric
  2. Once your application is approved, go to the Testing Center Website to sign up and pay for the PLA
  3. Complete the Academic Honesty Statement and PLA Portfolio and submit to the Department of IT for review
  4. After a faculty panel reviews and approves the portfolio packet, a grade of “K” will be awarded. PLA can be repeated up to 5 times for 15 hours of credit.