Prior Learning Assessment Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)


What is Prior Learning Assessment?

Prior Learning Assessment is the evaluation of college-level or experience-based learning that an individual has achieved outside of traditional classroom environment that can be used to demonstrate college-level learning for academic credit awards.


What are the Benefits of Prior Learning?

Students who participate in the Prior Leaning Assessment program save time and money and avoid having to complete courses already mastered, completing their education goals at a higher rate.


Prior Learning Eligibility

You must be a student at FCC, have earned a high school diploma or GED, and must declare a major in a degree or certificate program.


If you are requesting ‘Portfolio’ or ‘Institutional Departmental Exam’ credit.
  • You must be enrolled in a minimum of three (3) credits (excluding the PLAC 101 course) in the same semester you are pursuing PLA credit.
  • You must be completing a program through reverse transfer.
Prior Learning Guidelines
  • Students may earn up to 75% required for a program of study through all Prior Learning Assessments pathways.
  • Students must earn at least 25% of the credits required for a program at FCC.
  • A maximum of 15 credits can be earned through ‘Portfolio Assessment’.
View and download the PLA Handbook



Discover the Value of Your Experience

PLA is specific to each individual’s learning history. Please consult Dr. Renee Davis (Phone 301-846-2587) to discuss what’s needed for you to receive credit for your prior learning experience. View specific information for different learning types below.



Evaluation methods for your experience

Frederick Community College (FCC) maintains a number of methods to evaluate prior experience. Learn more about specific industry, credential, and testing options below.



Portfolio Assessment

A Portfolio evaluation is a course-by-course evaluation where students show that the knowledge gained through experience is equivalent to college-level learning and course learning outcomes.

Students must be able to identify and document all experiences and learning. A student’s prior learning portfolio is a collection of materials or artifacts compiled to demonstrate college-level learning relevant to their academic program of study.
Students will be required to enroll and complete the Prior Learning Assessment Course (PLAC101) and will be assessed the  current tuition rate for a one-credit course.

Additionally, students who request a Portfolio evaluation will be assessed 50% of the current tuition per credit awarded.



Portfolio Development & Assessment Eligibility