Advising Information

Are You Eligible for Prior Learning Credits

Did you know that you may be eligible to earn college credit for experience and skills you already have?  Perhaps you did volunteer work that taught you accounting skills, or maybe you speak Spanish natively. In fact there are a number of resources available that can help you evaluate learning and skills that you already have that may be eligible for college credit.

Credit (or other recognition) students can earn for their prior learning can be determined through several different types of assessments. There are four generally accepted approaches to Prior Learning Assessment (PLA):

  • Standardized exams such as: Advanced Placement Examination Program (AP exams); College Level Examination Program Exams (CLEP exams); Excelsior College Exams (UExcel); and the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests, or DSST Exams
  • Evaluated non-college programs. The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) and the American Council on Education (ACE) conduct evaluations of training that is offered by employers or the military. Many employers also work directly with local postsecondary institutions to evaluate their companies’ training. The result of these evaluations is credit recommendations for anyone satisfactorily completing that training.
  • Individualized assessments. In this method, students prepare a portfolio or demonstration of their learning from a variety of experiences and non-credit activities. Then, faculty with appropriate subject matter expertise evaluate the student’s portfolio to determine a credit award.
  • College faculty-developed exams, also called “challenge exams,” allow students to earn credit by taking examinations faculty create for courses offered at a given institution.

You can learn more about Prior Learning Assessment options by visiting Credit for Prior Learning

Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a program created by the federal government in 1998 to help people enter or return to employment. The program is designed to assist adults and youth ages 14 to 21 with career planning, assessment, career exploration, and with finding and keeping a job

To qualify for training assistance, you must:

  • Apply for, be determined eligible, and enroll in the WIA program before training begins.
  • Participate in an assessment process before training begins to determine that you lack marketable skills to compete for jobs in your identified occupation.
  • Obtain labor market information that demonstrates the training you’ve selected will lead to a job currently in demand.

For more information regarding your potential eligibility please contact your nearest American Job Center