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See if our FAQs below answer your questions. If not, reach out to us by clicking here!

What is PLA?
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a process that enables learners to demonstrate what they have learned and translate that learning into college credit. PLA validates knowledge acquired through life experience, work experience, military experience, civic engagement, individual study and reading, and participation in classes or training sponsored by business and industry, professional organizations, and/or government agencies. Credit is awarded for college-level knowledge gained from experience and not for the experience itself. College-level learning is validated through PLA when learners prove their mastery of the knowledge, skills, competencies, and abilities in a specific area of study offered by the college.

Who do I talk to if I think I’m eligible for prior learning credit?
Please enter your name and a little bit of information about yourself in the “For more information link” or call

How will PLA affect my GPA?
Credits earned through prior learning assessment are not calculated into a student’s GPA.

What are the benefits of PLA?

  • Increased motivation to graduate
  • Increased persistence in a degree program
  • Lessened time-to-degree
  • Increased institutional course credit earned
  • Cost savings

How many credits can I earn through PLA?
All students are expected to complete the residency requirement of at least 15 credit hours of coursework at Clark State for an associate degree or 12 credit hours for a one-year certificate program. Credit equivalencies such as transfer and PLA credit do not count toward the residency requirement.

A student is limited to receiving 50% total credits for a degree or certificate from PLA. Additionally, credit equivalencies may not exceed one half of the required technical course credits for the degree, the one-year certificate, or the departmental certificate program being pursued unless recommended by the faculty and approved by the division dean or designee.

All PLA credit is subject to time limitations for certain courses and/or majors. Limitations are determined by the profession/industry standards and the discretion of faculty, division dean or designee.

To apply for PLA credit the student must be admitted to Clark State with an eligible declared major.

Students may only apply for PLA credit for courses directly applicable to curriculum requirements in the student’s declared certificate or degree program.

Will my PLA credits transfer to another college?
A student who intends to use credit for PLA in a course to meet Clark State degree requirements and intends to transfer to another institution should check the requirements of the receiving institution.

How much does PLA cost?
The cost of a proficiency exam that requires a written only portion is $25/credit hour for up to a maximum total of $75 (for 3 or more credit hours). If the course requires a skills only exam, the cost is $50. The cost of a proficiency exam that requires a written and skills response is $25/credit hour for up to a maximum total of $75 (for 3 or more credit hours) and $50 for the skills portion of the exam.

How will PLA be coded on my transcript?
Courses approved for credit through the proficiency examination process shall be reflected on a transcript through the notation of “PR”.

The Records and Registration Office posts the approved credit to the student’s academic record with a notation of “CR”.




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