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Prior Learning Assessment

Prior learning assessment (PLA) is the practice by which learning that adults have acquired outside the traditional classroom is reviewed, evaluated, and acknowledged; often it is assessed for undergraduate or graduate-level credits. Knowledge gained through nonformal (e.g., professional development) and informal (e.g., workplace, community, and personal) learning experiences are assessed through preevaluated or individually evaluated processes.

Higher educational institutions accept PLA credits toward degrees, depending on their national policies (or on institutional policies for some countries). Prior learning assessment is also known as assessment of prior learning and recognition (PLAR), recognition of prior learning (RPL), assessment of prior learning (APL), and assessment of prior experiential learning (APEL).

Prior learning assessment began in earnest about a half-century ago in a handful of North American colleges and universities ...

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