Skip to main content Skip to main content

What is Prior Learning Assessment?

Prior Learning is a term educators use to describe learning and experience that a person acquires outside of a traditional academic environment. This learning may have been acquired through work experience, employer training programs, military training, independent study, non-credit courses, and volunteer and community service.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process by which an individual’s experiential learning is assessed and evaluated for purposes of granting college credit. There are four generally accepted approaches to PLA:

(1) National standardized exams (AP, CLEP, and DANTES/DSST)

(2) Departmental credit by examination

(3) Evaluated non-college programs, (NCCRS or ACE evaluations of corporate and military training)

(4) Portfolio assessment


Take our Questionnaire for Prior Learning

Many departments participate in PLA. Danielle Forrest, the Prior Learning Specialist, can give you more information about each option and can help you integrate prior learning credit into your degree program. Click on side links to learn more.

Office Hours: Although Danielle is often available to meet on a walk-in basis, it's safest to call 303-615-0525 first to make sure she is available. DANIELLE'S OFFICE IS NOW LOCATED IN THE STUDENT SUCCESS BUILDING AT THE REGISTRAR'S OFFICE.  She holds office hours as follows:

Monday and Wednesday 12:00pm - 2:00pm

Tuesday and Thursday 10:00am - 12:00pm

Also available by appointment, including some evening hours.

Get a jumpstart and try the FREE college credit predictor here.

*(credit acceptance is subject to MSU Denver policy)



Edit this page