Prior Learning Assessment
At Thomas Edison State College, we value the college-level knowledge you may have acquired outside the traditional college classroom. We have a long history of helping students earn credit for that knowledge. We are pioneers of prior learning assessment—giving you credit for what you have already learned. Our National Institute on the Assessment of Adult Learning has taught many educators and institutions about portfolio assessment for accomplished and knowledgeable adults!
Our Portfolio program is a course description-based process where students demonstrate that the college-level knowledge of a subject that they already have acquired is equivalent to the knowledge they would have been gained by completing the course.
You may have acquired this knowledge through your past work, independent reading and study, training programs or in-service courses, volunteer service, cultural or artistic pursuits, hobbies and recreational pastimes, community or religious activities, organizational memberships, adult education, non-credit courses, study abroad, military training not evaluated for credit by ACE, or other experiences. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) enables you to articulate this knowledge and potentially earn credit for it. Students work with a PLA mentor who is a subject matter expert. With the mentor’s guidance you develop and electronically submit a portfolio that details and verifies your knowledge of the subject.
Because you will be demonstrating the knowledge you have already acquired, typically no textbook is required. This is knowledge you already have! Course objectives, or learning outcomes, and a schedule will guide you in the development of your narrative, and will be available for you to view at the start of the term. The course mentor will also assist you in determining what additional evidence is needed to support your submission.
Note: Credit cannot be earned through the PLA portfolio process for the following: practicum courses, physical education activity courses, field experiences and internships including student teaching, cooperative education, senior seminars, lab courses not accompanied by related lecture/theory courses and “special topics” courses. Also note that English Composition and most Math courses are not well suited for portfolio assessment—but Thomas Edison State College offers TECEP exams for most of those.
If you have additional questions about the PLA process, please contact us at [email protected].
Create an Account to Apply Today
Our simple online tool helps you plan.
Attend an Information Session
Information Sessions are held throughout the year and provide prospective students with the opportunity to meet College staff and learn more about the admissions process, financial aid, enrolling and what it is like taking an online course.