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It is possible to grant students college credit towards a degree for what they have learned from such experiences as (1) life experience, (2) work experience, (3) correspondence courses, (4) testing programs, (5) military service--even (6) non-accredited educational coursework from trade schools, technical institutes, business colleges, etc. This has the potential to reduce the amount of time it takes them to earn a degree through the School of Extended Studies.
What is PLA?
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a method of documenting a student’s experiences and to learn more about the knowledge gained from those experiences. The university does not grant credit for experience alone. The student must demonstrate an understanding of theory and application as they pertain to a specific set of competencies. To begin, we don't automatically rule out any experience they have undertaken as an adult! If they have learning from experience then it is possible that they may be eligible to document the learning that occurred through these experiences to receive college credit.
UIW offers several ways to document prior learning:
For students to receive credit they will need to demonstrate that they understand the concepts, theories, principles, and models of the chosen subject as well as the practical applications associated with the subject. For instance, a Church Treasurer wants to request credit for Accounting I. It's not just enough for the Church Treasurer to have paid the bills every week for the past eight years (that's experience), but he/she must also demonstrate to the satisfaction of the faculty evaluator that he/she has the knowledge and understanding of established accounting principles and theories (that's learning) that would equate to the course content of Accounting I as offered at the University.
Criteria for accepting credits
Student Preliminary Steps
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