How can Prior Learning Assessment Help Me?


Learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom

It happens through work. Through certifications or licenses you earn for your job. Through your experiences in pursuing a personal passion.

At Youngstown State University, we believe in meeting students where they are in life — and giving them a path to earn college credit for what they already have learned and achieved. 

What is Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)?

PLA is Credit for prior learning, a term for various methods that colleges, universities, and other education or training providers use to evaluate learning that has occurred outside of the traditional academic environment.  It is used to grant college credit, certification, or advanced standing toward further education or training. 

What can credit for prior learning do for you?

  • Adult learners who earn credit through prior learning are 17 percent more likely to complete their degrees, compared to those without PLA credits.
  • Adult learners who go through the process of earning credit for prior learning say the process was a positive experience, made them feel validated as learners, and improved their self-confidence.
  • Students who earn credit through prior learning save time and money. If you earn credits through PLA, that can save you money toward your degree at Youngstown State University. 

How does credit for prior learning work?

Students can earn credit for prior learning by demonstrating college-level knowledge they gained outside the classroom.

Working with Youngstown State University, students can earn credit through documented trainings and certifications, department challenge exams, experience gained on the job, etc.

Need more detail on how students can get college credit for knowledge acquired outside college?

Please contact:
Kimberly J. Verdone
Degree Audit Manager, Prior Learning Assessment
Phone: 330.941.1518