The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program is administered through the Accelerated (ABE) Program and follows guidelines recommended by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL.) Students with extensive documented work and/or life experiences may apply to receive up to 27 hours of college credit for prior learning. The Prior Learning Assessment Office (located in the Academic Building at the Normal campus) assists students in reviewing past work/life experiences to determine if college-level learning has been acquired. If students are judged to have the potential for credit awards, the PLA Office works with the student to prepare and submit petitions, documentation, and portfolios outlining their experiences.
Other documentation and submission details may include:
- US Corporate training records to be sent to the PLA Office from a Human Resources or training department on company letterhead. The letter must state the course title, course description and dates of attendance, and must be signed with the title, address, and phone number of the person signing. Students should include copies of any certificates earned.
- US Military training certificates. All military basic training has been approved for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE), along with many other types of military training.
- Professional licenses and certificates from an approved program by the American Council of Education (ACE). A copy of the license or certificate and the standards, such as the testing or course work used in granting the credential, should be sent to the PLA Office.
Upon payment of appropriate assessment fees, these documents may be reviewed by certified assessors, faculty members, and outside experts to determine what credit may be awarded. If credit is awarded, the appropriate awards are forwarded to the Office of the Registrar for application to the student’s degree requirements.