Prior Learning Assessment

Portfolio Development

At Thomas Edison State College, we value the college-level knowledge you may have acquired outside the traditional college classroom.

In our Portfolio program, students demonstrate that what they already know is equivalent to what they would have learned in an equivalent college course. The program is designed to be as flexible as possible to meet your needs

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. A portfolio enables you to identify and articulate this knowledge, and potentially earn credit for it. Students learn the process of identifying areas of course-equivalent learning and portfolio development skills through the PLA-100 and PLA-200 courses.  The resulting portfolio is submitted for review by Subject Matter Experts for award of credit.

Because this is knowledge you have already acquired, no textbook is required. This is knowledge you already have! Our Office of Prior Learning Assessment/Portfolio will provide you with the established learning outcomes (course objectives) for the courses for which you wish to earn credit based on your prior learning. 

Note: Credit cannot be earned through the PLA portfolio process for certain types of courses, including physical education activity courses, and any course that must be fulfilled through direct current experience, such as practicum courses, field experiences and internships including student teaching, cooperative education, senior seminars, and lab courses not accompanied by related lecture/theory 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 students who have prior learning in most of those courses, and the College accepts CLEP, DSST, and Excelsior exam credits where appropriate.

If you have additional questions about the PLA process, please contact us at