Prior Learning Assessment Credit – Staff Information

Advising

Students interested in PLA Credit opportunities will very likely see an Advisor before they see faculty members or Registrars so it is important that all Advising staff be aware of the institution’s PLA Credit practices.  The Advising department should work with other Student Services partners to create a PLA Credit Application form and to ensure that the information students are receiving is timely and accurate. See PLA Credit Manual: Student Support, and Appendix E: Sample.

The PLA Credit Dashboard identifies at least two Advising contact persons at each institution to whom students may send their PLA Credit Report.  These contact people are responsible for either responding to the student themselves or for forwarding the email to the appropriate person in the Advising department. This important task will help to bring students into the college who may not otherwise make the connection. Getting the student to the right person with the right information is crucial to building a strong PLA Credit system.  The Dashboard is also designed to help Advisors by giving them a simple tool to identify current PLA Credit crosswalks.

All Advisors should become generalists when it comes to PLA Credit on their campus. What this means is that you should be able to recognize students who may be eligible for PLA Credit and be prepared to get them started on the process of earning the credit. Knowing the right contact people in each department the student might visit for this service, such as the Testing Center or Registrar’s office, will ensure the student gets the right information and isn’t lost during transitions or discouraged from pursuing the opportunity in any way.

For Advisors who work with current and former Military members, the information is especially important since many of their benefits require them to engage in the PLA Credit process and, especially for active military members, to do so within a limited period of time. Information about this process can be found in the PLA Credit for Military Service Members section of the PLA Credit Manual.

Admissions and Records/Registrar

The important work of transcripting PLA Credit has been updated to include specific instructions for coding courses earned through PLA.  These instructions are located in the PLA Credit Manual under PLA CREDIT Transcripting Procedures.

Those who are responsible for transcripting PLA Credit should work with their other Student Services peers to identify an institutional practice for collecting the documents required for the method of assessment used and for submitting the PLA Credit Application with documentation for transcription. Admissions and Records offices are responsible for keeping student documents based on their institution’s records retention practices.  See PLA Credit Manual for details.

Testing Center

Many students will see the Testing Center as a logical point of contact for PLA Credit information, especially if the credit they are bringing in or hope to earn, is for Standardized Testing or an institutional Challenge Exam. Staff should have a generalist’s knowledge of PLA Credit practices on your campus so that they can properly direct students to services.

Testing Centers that administer standardized tests such as CLEP and DSST should plan to keep their peers in Advising and Admissions and Records informed of any test changes.  On occasion, test vendors may update existing exams or add more to their offerings.  Changes made to any Standardized test that is part of the CCCS PLA Credit Crosswalk Matrix, or any additions to the test list, should be brought to the attention of these departments and also evaluated by faculty subject matter experts to update equivalent course crosswalks.

PLA Credit Resources

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