Prior Learning Assessment Credits

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is based upon the theory that learning occurs in a variety of settings, within and beyond the classroom, and that students bring various learning experiences from their life, work, and their service to their community. PLA is a method of documenting students’ experiences and a process to facilitate the student’s demonstration of their understanding of theory and application as they pertain to specific discipline competencies. PLA is validated in a variety of methods: military training, professional certification, credit by examination (AP, CLEP, DANTES), challenge examinations, and portfolio evaluation.

Portfolio Evaluation Policies:

  • Portfolios may not be submitted for any course for which equivalent tests (AP, CLEP or DSST/DANTES) or challenge examinations exists.
  • Students may apply a maximum of 24 credit hours earned through portfolio evaluation toward a bachelor's degree.
  • A maximum of 30 semester hours may be earned in combination of PLA, correspondence, credit by examination, or challenge examination.
  • The credits awarded by PLA will not count as residency or toward the required 36 upper division credits.
  • Because of the time required for submission and evaluation, students may NOT submit a portfolio evaluation request during their last semester.
  • Students will pay $125 per credit requested for the submission, evaluation, and award of portfolio credits in addition to the cost of the three-hour portfolio course. Payment of the PLA evaluation fee must be submitted with the evaluation request.
  • PLA credit will not be awarded for a course in which the student has previously earned either credit or a grade (to include an F, W, AU, P/S, or I/IP).
  • PLA credit will not be granted when the student has credit for courses at a more advanced level than that of the UIW course requested.
  • Credit will be awarded only if the course and/or credit is required for the degree or when elective credits are needed to reach the requisite hours required for the degree.
  • Credit will only be awarded for courses which are offered at UIW.
  • PLA credits are only applicable to the undergraduate programs.
  • The UIW equivalent course title and credit hours awarded and a grade of S will be recorded. No other grades will be recorded.
  • PLA credits may not apply toward all degree programs and the acceptance of PLA credits is contingent upon departmental approval.

Eligibility for Portfolio Evaluation:

  • Students who have earned at least 24 college-level credit hours in total may submit a portfolio. The objective is for students to present a paper worthy of the level of credit we are assessing. A student with this number of credits should have completed their composition courses as well as other courses that will produce a well-written portfolio using a logical and thoughtful process.
  • Students must be enrolled at UIW, have all official transcripts on file and articulated, and complete 12 credit hours of UIW coursework before submitting a portfolio for evaluation.
  • Students may start the portfolio process before the completion of 12 hours, but the portfolio may not be submitted for official review until the student has accumulated a minimum of 12 credit hours at the University.