Did you know that your work and life experience may qualify you for college credit?

Goals:  To meet the needs of students (and employers) for clear documentation of previously acquired knowledge, skills and or abilities which will enable students to proactively prepare to best use their learning, abilities and attributes in their personal and professional lives.

Students who come to Lorain County Community College with prior learning may be able to demonstrate their prior learning in a variety of ways:

  • Interviews – with faculty in the discipline in which credit may be earned
    Documentation – presenting prior training, education, service, awards, certifications, other documents which validate prior learning
  • Observation – faculty members observe students requesting prior learning credit – students actually demonstrate their skills, abilities, etc.
  • Challenge – some courses may have comprehensive exams which students may take to demonstrate prior learning; others may ask for the development of a prior learning experience portfolio with your prior learning responses to LCCC course outcomes; still others may ask you to take a portfolio development course which can help students learn how to develop a portfolio for prior learning assessment.

Criteria for Assessment of Prior Learning Assessment for Credit:

  • Credit is awarded for college level prior learning, not experience.
  • Credit is granted that meets Lorain County Community College academic standards.
  • Assessment is completed by faculty qualified in subject area/disciplines in which students request consideration of prior learning.
  • Credit earned through assessment of prior learning cannot be duplicated for any other mechanism for earning credit (in other words, one cannot use credit for the same course at other institutions).
  • Credit can only be awarded once per course.
  • Assessment may produce no credit awarded (with appropriate explanation for the decision).
  • Awards for college level credit are appropriate when prior learning documentation meets actual course outcomes.
  • Ideally, credit is awarded for learning, which includes both theory and application.  Partial credit may be granted which may or may not meet a complete course requirement (this may result in one needing additional courses to meet minimum requirements).
  • Fees paid by the student reflect service/processing, not the cost of actual credit.
  • Prior learning credit may or may not be transferable except when it is part of a total degree or in collaborative agreements.
  • The maximum number of credits possible through prior learning assessment varies. Students must meet a minimum requirement of hours at LCCC in order to have prior learning credit transcribed.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to develop and present in an appropriate manner, the materials for prior learning assessment.

Students interested in pursuing credit through Portfolio development will demonstrate the following:

  • Portfolios must demonstrate that the knowledge and skills were acquired with a level of academic rigor similar to a college environment.
  • That there was a significant exploration of theory.  In addition to fact knowledge, the student became familiar with the conceptual framework – both historical and philosophical – in which the skills and knowledge reside.
  • That the student experienced the material as an inquiry, not only a reservoir of facts.  In other words, academic research played a role in learning.
  • The academic research employed in learning resulted in a research product, such as a paper, plan, presentation, etc.

Students interested in pursuing prior learning assessment may use the PLA Worksheet to help get organized for a meeting with your PLA coordinator.