Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Process Overview
- 1. Students interested in PLA credit should contact the Lash Center for Teaching and Learning in person (A-115, Fall River) or by phone (ext. 2511) to complete the Student Eligibility Form. This involves a short conversation about the student’s background, academic program, and courses for which the student is attempting to earn PLA credit.
- 2. In some cases, eligibility will be determined through this initial conversation. In other cases, the student will need to meet with the PLA Coordinator and/or Department Chair before eligibility is approved. The student may be asked to bring a resume or other relevant documentation to this meeting. While only matriculated students are eligible to earn PLA credit, the PLA Coordinator will be happy to provide general information about PLA to prospective or non-degree students, as well.
- 3. The PLA Coordinator will discuss the type of PLA credit, if any, is available to the student. BCC offers three types of PLA credit: Credit by Credential, Credit by (CLEP or Departmental) Exam, and Credit by Portfolio.
- An eligible student applying for Credit by Credential for a course that is listed in BCC’s PLA Course Equivalency list will be asked to submit a Credit by Credential (CBC) application and a copy of the required credential(s) to Enrollment Services. Once these items are submitted, the student is registered, and the fee is paid, the Registrar will grant credit. The course and appropriate number of credits will appear on the student’s transcript with a T for transfer credit and the notation, Credit by Credential.
- A student interested in credit through College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Exams will be directed to the CLEP website (https://clep.collegeboard.org/) and BCC’s Testing Center (http://www.bristolcc.edu/students/testingcenter/clepcollegelevelexaminationprogram/) to learn about, prepare, register, and pay for the exams they want to take. While CLEP testing is offered at BCC, students may take CLEP exams at any CLEP Testing Center and have those scores reported to BCC. (See the CLEP Equivalency Policy Fall 2016) for specific exams and scores). Once scores are received, the Registrar or Office of Admissions will grant credit where appropriate. The course and number of credits will appear on the student’s transcript with a T for transfer credit and the notation, Credit by Examination.
- An eligible student applying for Credit by (Departmental) Examination will work with the PLA Coordinator to secure the approvals, schedule, and get preparatory materials, if any. The student must submit a Credit by Examination (CBX) application to Enrollment Services. A course registration number (CRN) is generated and the student must register and pay before he or she can take an exam. A faculty member identified by the appropriate department chair or dean develops and assesses the exam and then sends an evaluation report to the Registrar. If the student earns a pass on the exam, the Registrar will grant credit. The course and appropriate number of credits will appear on the student’s transcript with a T for transfer credit and the notation, Credit by Examination.
- 4. An eligible student applying for Credit by Portfolio will work with the PLA Coordinator or a faculty member identified by the appropriate department chair to develop a portfolio that demonstrates how the student has met the course outcomes through his or her experience outside of the classroom. Typically, portfolios include, but are not limited to:
- a title page,
- table of contents,
- course description and learning outcomes,
- a prior learning assessment essay; and
- supporting documentation
These contents vary based on the requirements or particular courses and departments. The student will work with the PLA Coordinator and/or faculty member to develop this portfolio before submitting it to the appropriate faculty for evaluation. The faculty member will submit a Portfolio Evaluation to the PLA Coordinator and Registrar. The PLA Coordinator will share the report with the student. If the portfolio is approved, the Registrar will grant credit. If the portfolio earns a conditional approval, the student has the opportunity to revise the portfolio based on suggestions made by the faculty evaluator. If the portfolio is resubmitted and approved, the course and appropriate number of credits will appear on the student’s transcript with a T for transfer credit with the notation, Credit by Portfolio. If the portfolio is not submitted, or does not meet approval within a semester, an F, W, or I grade will be recorded.