Prior Learning Forum

Giving Credit Where Credit Is  Due: Policy Strategies for Turning Life Experience Into College Credit

Prior learning assessments, or PLAs, measure what a student has learned outside of the college classroom, evaluate whether that learning is college level, and then determine the equivalent number of college credits. However, prior learning policy is not uniform across the state community college system. The 3-hour forum explored how other states have addressed this issue and efforts to move toward a more uniform approach.

The lead presenters were Amy Sherman, Associate Vice President for Policy and Strategic Alliances at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and Becky Nickoli, Ivy tech Community College, Indiana (below). State policymakers, former students, community and career college leaders participated in two panel discussions. Thank you for your participation!
















Latest Research

  • Economic Opportunity Center Feasibility Study

    The City of Seattle in cooperation with SkillUp Washington, Impact Capital and SouthEast Effective Development (SEED) examined the feasibility of integrating multicultural service delivery at a single location accessible along the light rail line. This project stemmed from the legislature’s interest in replicating the Opportunity Center for Employment and Education model located on the campus of North Seattle Community College. Examined here is the possibility of creating a similar Center in Southeast Seattle that could help people get an education, get a job, or grow a business, and the findings suggest that such an Economic Opportunity Center is needed in and desired by the community.

    Download the Executive Summary: EOC: Executive Summary

    Download the Full Report:EOC: Final Report


    To request a hardcopy of the Executive Summary or the full report, please email Ashley Plaga at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it