Kalamazoo Valley Community College

PLA Policy
Acknowledge the Knowledge
Acknowledge the knowledge from your past and earn college credit today!
Prior Learning Assessment Policy

To be eligible for Prior Learning assessment a student must have a KVCC application on file and be actively seeking a certificate or degree. Before meeting with the PLA Office, a student must first meet with an Academic Counselor to establish a Program of Study. Credit for Prior Learning is only available for courses which are in the student's current Program of Study.

The PLA Office will advise students of the PLA options and help them select which assessment option is best. The PLA Office will uphold PLA policies and coordinate the process between the student, Faculty, and the Admissions, Registration and Records Office.

KVCC follows the academic standards of the Council of Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) when assessing prior learning experience:

  • The determination of competence levels and credit awards will be made by academic experts in the field of the specific subject matter.
  • Prior learning credit is awarded for college level learning not for experience.
  • Knowledge learned must have a balance, appropriate to the subject, between theory and application.
  • Prior learning credit is appropriate to the academic context in which it is accepted.

Prior learning credit may be specific course credit, an elective credit in a specific area or it may be a general elective.  Program requirements should be reviewed to determine how PLA credits will apply toward graduation.

Successful completion of a portfolio or proficiency exam will result in appropriate course credit posted to the student's transcript.  A credit grade (CR) will be awarded for proficiency exams and a numeric grade will be assigned for portfolios evaluated at a 2.0 or better grade level.

PLA credit will be awarded by semester based on when the completed portfolio is submitted or the proficiency exam is requested.  The semester the credit is earned will be determined following the time frame listed below. 

Submission Dates

July 1 - October 31
November 1 - March 31
*April 1 - June 30

Semester Credit is Awarded

Fall
Winter
Summer

*Additional time should be allowed for awarding PLA credits during the Summer semester because assessment is dependent on the availability of evaluators.

Students will be allowed up to 45 prior learning credits toward an Associates Degree and up to 15 prior learning credits for a Certificate.  Students must complete 15 credit hours of registered classes at KVCC to be awarded a Certificate or Associates Degree.

The credits awarded are granted toward a KVCC degree.  KVCC does not guarantee the credits awarded through the prior learning assessment method will transfer to other institutions. All institutions reserve the right to review credits to determine how awarded credits apply at their own institution.