What is Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)?
Recognizing that knowledge may be acquired in many different ways, Ramapo College offers adult students the opportunity to apply for academic credit for learning that has taken place outside of the traditional college classroom through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Program. The work world, volunteer activities, non-credit courses, workshops, seminars, and other activities often involve significant learning experiences. A student who successfully demonstrates that the knowledge gained through one or more of these activities corresponds to the knowledge gained in a Ramapo College course may be granted academic credit. The most common method for students to demonstrate their knowledge and competency is through a PLA portfolio.
What PLA isn’t:
PLA is not “credit for work or life experience.” Credits earn through PLA are awarded not for the experience itself, but for the knowledge, skills or competencies gained through that experience.
Ramapo College is guided by the 10 standards developed by The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) regarding assessment of prior learning.
Why do PLA?
By utilizing PLA to earn college credit, Ramapo students can not only reduce their time to degree but also reduce costs by earning credits at the discounted PLA tuition rate. Moreover, PLA recognizes and validates the complex learning processes that adult students engage in regularly during their day-to-day lives, and helps students connect academic theory and scholarship to their life experiences.
How do I learn more?
The PLA program is administered through the Degree Completion Program. Students interested in learning more about Prior Learning Assessment should make an appointment with Patricia Laprey, Director of the Degree Completion Program at 201-684-7388 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students interested in developing a Prior Learning Assessment portfolio are strongly encouraged to review the. information in the PLA student handbook and the PLA application packet.
PLA fee structure (2016-2017):
Assessment fee: $100 per credit sought through portfolio which is charged once a PLA contract is signed
Course fee: $181.75 per credit granted which is charged only if credits are awarded
Please visit the Office of Student Accounts website for up-to-date information about PLA costs: Ramapo College Office of Student Accounts
Other PLA resources
Earn College Credit for What You Know offers the latest, most current information on prior learning assessment (PLA) for adult learners, professionals, evaluators, administrators, faculty, and training managers: https://www.kendallhunt.com/cael/
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL): http://www.cael.org/home