Prior Learning Assessment Program
The Prior Learning Assessment program, also called the portfolio program, respects and honors learning that is gained through work, volunteer, or other life experiences. Course credit is awarded to students who create portfolios to demonstrate they have learned the same materials through experience that other students learn in the classroom. Faculty evaluators review the portfolios to determine whether the student should receive credit.
All students who are seeking to earn Prior Learning Assessment program credit from Ohio University MUST be current Ohio University students and must enroll in and successfully complete the Ohio University class UC 2030: Portfolio Development. Only portfolios created by students from the UC 2030 course that represent experience that matches an Ohio University course can be evaluated by Ohio University faculty for credit. Read through the information below to find out how to apply for admission to Ohio University and how to enroll in UC 2030.
For questions about the Prior Learning Assessment program, please contact the PLA coordinator, Justin Kish, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Enroll
Any undergraduate degree or nondegree student enrolled at Ohio University can participate in the program. If you are not an Ohio University student, apply for admission.
To get started, a student should contact his or her Ohio University academic advisor who will help the student determine:
- If the student’s experience appears to match an Ohio University course in the Undergraduate Catalog.
- If the course helps the student complete degree requirements.
Students who are a good candidate for the Prior Learning Assessment program will need to send the prior learning assessment (PLA) coordinator a resume and DARS report. The PLA coordinator will review these materials to decide if the student should register for UC 2030, a print-based course that teaches students how to create a portfolio.
Permission is required to register in UC 2030. A course registration form is used to register for the course, and only Ohio University students with permission will be registered.
UC 2030 must be successfully completed by the student prior to submission of any portfolios for review. Students have eight months to finish UC 2030 and two years to submit all portfolios for evaluation. The time it takes to complete an individual portfolio varies depending on how much time is spent on each portfolio and the number of portfolios the student develops.
The PLA coordinator will contact the course instructor to request a syllabus to help the student develop the portfolio. The faculty member who teaches the course will likely be the person evaluating the student’s portfolio. If the instructor is unavailable, the PLA coordinator will work with the academic department chair to find an alternate reviewer.
The faculty evaluator has the option to require additional work from the student after evaluating the completed portfolio. If additional work is assigned, the portfolio will be re-evaluated by the instructor and credit awarded if the work is satisfactory. The student will not receive a grade for the portfolio; credit for the course will be awarded as CR.
Students who successfully complete UC 2030 will earn 3 credit hours regardless of whether portfolios are submitted for evaluation. The student also may earn credit for the completed portfolios if the instructor deems the portfolio acceptable. Up to 30 hours of portfolio credit can be earned toward a bachelor's degree and no more than 15 toward an associate degree.
- More than 90% of course credits requested are granted.
- Portfolio credit has been awarded for more than 700 Ohio University courses.
- Examples of successful portfolio subject matter include business, communication, technology, and more.