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Prior Learning Assessment Program (PLA)

Ramapo College will grant academic credit through assessment of  prior learning  at the undergraduate level.

Matriculated undergraduate students at Ramapo College of New Jersey are eligible to apply for, and may acquire credit for, knowledge that they have gained outside the traditional academic setting through work, training, community service, and other accomplishments.  The process of Prior Learning Assessment involves the development of a portfolio reviewed by an identified faculty member who confirms that the prior learning for which the student wishes credit is relevant to a particular program’s or course’s learning outcomes.  Credit by PLA portfolio is available to all undergraduate students, but is most commonly used by adult learner.  Ramapo follows the standards developed by The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) regarding assessment of prior learning ( The following procedure outlines the steps by which a PLA portfolio review begins and culminates with the awarding of credits.

Reviewing PLA portfolio policies with student General information about earning credits through PLA portfolio is made available to students at transfer and adult orientation sessions.   Any matriculated undergraduate student interested in earning credit through PLA portfolio must schedule a meeting with the Director of the Degree Completion Program (DCP) to discuss courses for which he or she is requesting PLA credits.  The DCP Director provides the student with the PLA Student Handbook, as well as the Application Packet and other resources, and reviews the following policies with the student:

  • Students may earn a maximum of 16 credits through PLA portfolio in an undergraduate program.
  • Credits awarded through PLA portfolio are treated as transfer credits. Transfer credits are comprised of transfer courses from previous institutions, CLEP credits, and PLA portfolio credits. Undergraduate students who have already reached the maximum amount of 80 transfer credits may not earn credits through a PLA portfolio.
  • Students must adhere to the College residency requirement and thus may not earn credits through PLA as part of their final 32 credits of degree.
  • PLA must address the outcomes of a specific course in the current Ramapo catalog. Portfolios may be submitted for 100-300 level courses only and may not be used to substitute for a capstone course.
  • Courses petitioned through PLA must not duplicate transfer credit or any other coursework used to fulfill degree requirements. Students who enroll in a Ramapo course and do not earn a passing grade may not petition to earn credit for that same course through PLA portfolio.
  • The credit request for a PLA portfolio must match the amount of credit normally awarded for the course being petitioned.

Additional information is available at

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