About Us

The Prior Learning Assessment office opened in October 2014 with Michele Rice as director.

To increase student access and success, Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) ensures that Penn State appropriately awards college-level credentials in a way that upholds the academic integrity and excellence of programs that lead to a Penn State degree. This is accomplished through these responsibilities:

  • Providing leadership for the University-wide efforts in PLA
  • Collaboratively developing processes for implementation and administration of PLA
  • Working with faculty and professional staff to develop criteria, tools, and record-keeping for PLA
  • Working with admissions, the registrar, and advising staff to promote a widespread understanding of PLA policies and processes and the role that prior learning can play in student success
  • Planning and coordinating activities and communications on PLA opportunities to prospective and current students, faculty, and staff
  • Serving as the primary point of contact on PLA for students, faculty, and staff
  • Making use of applicable data to examine, understand, and improve the prior learning process, including the academic progress and degree completion by students who have made use of PLA

Guiding Principles for Prior Learning Assessment at Penn State