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Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment

Receive college credit based on your work experience!

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a process through which students identify areas of learning from their past experiences, demonstrate that learning through appropriate documentation, and submit their materials related to specific course objectives so that they can be assessed and possibly awarded academic credit. PLA will reduce the repetition of relevant, course-related material for students with prior learning (or with prior degrees).


Online Programs

Student Guide


Prior Learning Assessment Program

Charles M. Huffman, Ph.D.
Director, Prior Learning Assessment


Springboard Your Program

By earning credit towards the desired program, you can get a jump start towards completion

Save Money

Credits earned will save students on tuition and fees for otherwise required courses

Advanced Potential

By earning credits and credentials, students can open doors to new career opportunities

Receiving Credit for Prior Learning

Interested students are able to earn credit in the following ways:

  • Departmental examination of experience
  • National Standarized Examination such as CLEP, Advanced Placement Credit, DANTE Credit, and more
  • Portfolio Assessment


How can I receive credit for prior learning?

Students have the ability to earn credit from departmental examination, national standarized examination, or portfolio assessment.

How many credit hours can I earn though PLA?

A maximum of 30 semester hours can be earned through any combination of CLEP, credit by departmental examination, correspondence courses, extension work, advanced placement (AP), or PLA by portfolio credit.

How much does it cost to receive credit?

A student may choose to test via standardized examinations which may require testing fees. Please see more details from our Testing Center on registration costs. 

For students choosing to submit a portfolio assessment, PLA by portfolio fees are based on the number of credit hours assigned each course.

Number of Credit Hours Fee
4 $275
3 $250
2 $200
1 $150

Note: PLA Portfolio Fees must be paid prior to the assessment, and are non-refundable.

Adult Learning Consortium

Georgia Southwestern is one of 13 University System of Georgia campuses forming the Adult Learning Consortium. This Consortium is designed to assist in improving adult learner-focused services, programs and outreach to Georgia adults who are interested in completing college.

Whether you have some college credit, have no college credit or simply have valuable work experience, Georgia Southwestern is committed to assisting you reach your educational goals to advance your career.