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Sample Prior Learning Assessment Assignments

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We invite faculty to share activities you have found effective in prior learning assessment. Please send to


  • "Writing a Prior Learning Assessment Essay," Joyce Howland, Mentor, Genesee Valley Center
  • "NFC PLA Workshop Materials (Part I and  Part II)," Maggie Schultz, Director of Academic Support and Kameylah Hakim, Assessment Specialist, Niagara Frontier Center
  • "PLA Request," Shared by Cathy Leaker, Mentor, Metropolitan Center
  • "Writing the Prior Learning Essay," Jeffrey Lambe, Long Island Center

  • Sequencing: First go over requirements for degree
  • Writing class around PLA essay
    • drafting
    • revising
  • Sharing PLA essays with students
  • Mindmapping to identify areas of learning
    • areas become paragraphs
  • Bringing students together


  • Colvin, J. & CAEL Staff. (2006). Earn college credit for what you know (4th ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.
    Suggested by Bernard Smith, Director of Academic Review, Center for Distance Learning
  • Halden-Brown, S. (2003). Mistakes worth making: How to turn sports errors into athletic excellence. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
    Suggested by (info. to come).
  • Hoffmann, T. (2006). Defining college-level learning: Prior learning assessment workbook for students. A step-by-step guide for articulating knowledge derived from life experiences. Retrieved from
    Suggested by Nan Travers, Director of Collegewide Academic Review, Coordinating Center