Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) 

Undergraduate degree seeking students in the BSPM program are eligible to earn a maximum of 45 credits in a bachelors’ degree program for learning experiences that took place outside of the classroom, through work experience, training programs, or volunteer opportunities. Students must be admitted into the degree program and must submit a PLA form/fee and successfully complete the PLA requirements within their first two semesters. Credit/Non-Credit approvals through the PLA process are considered as part of your incoming credit/non-credit requirements and therefore cannot be taken or applied at the completion of your program. 

The PLA process helps students identify learning outcomes and develop a portfolio that documents learning so that they may demonstrate how previously acquired knowledge aligns with the learning necessary to earn college-level credit/non-credit. During the PLA process, a school representative will work closely with students to ensure that their PLA portfolio content is accurately documented PLA. Students will not be awarded credit/non-credit fulfillment for a PLA portfolio without successful completion of the PLA requirements.  

What is PLA? 

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a learning reflection process of evaluating your past experiences but does not include past completed coursework. Submitting examples and work experience, volunteering, and other related areas, in which you can demonstrate knowledge, will be considered for undergraduate college credit/noncredit requirement. 

PLA Process and Requirements: 

To receive PLA credit/non-credit requirements, students must complete the following within the first two semesters: 

  1. Complete PLA Form and submit $500 Fee. 
  2. Provide PLA Digital Portfolio (PDF Format) including the following: 
    1. PLA Request Form 
    2. Letter of Transmittal (Introduction to PLA Request), which must include personal/professional autobiography. 
    3. Resume 
    4. Letter of Recommendation(s) 
    5. Examples Related to Credit/Non-Credit Requests. 
      1. Examples must be cross-referenced to PLA Requests:  
        1. Certificate(s) 
        2. CEU Credits 
        3. Non-Credit Courses 
        4. Sample Writing/Reports 
        5. Work Projects 
        6. License(s) 
        7. Training Programs 
        8. Independent Learning  
    6. Combining multiple experiences will be considered.  
    7. Table identifying which examples from above cross-reference request(s). 
  3. PLA portfolio is given to appropriate school Dean for review/approval. 
  4. School provides results of PLA to student. 

Motivational Message 

This is an opportunity to earn credit/non-credit requirements for prior learning experiences. Now is the time to truly brainstorm and reflect on past learning, whether formal or informal. If you have completed training or workshops now is the time to showcase learning to earn PLA towards your degree. Consider other Military experience not already accepted for credits. If you have certifications bring that into the mix. Even self-paced learning may count. PLA can save you time, money, and other resources. PLA can speed up graduation, as well. You will need to articulate your past learning experiences, organize your thoughts, and develop a portfolio that truly stands out.  

Obtaining Help 

Reach out to the School of Management for contact information. You will be provided with the PLA form and PLA checklist. Additional PLA resources and online links to PLA learning materials can be provided, as well.  

Contact: Cindy P. Stevens, Interim Project Management Program Director, 617-989-4388,