PLA FAQ's Print E-mail

Does PLA give credit for experience?

No, college credit is not awarded for experience.  Credit for prior learning is awarded for the learning (i.e. what you know and can do in relation to course/program outcomes) gained from work and life experiences and/or formal study.  Prior learning is any learning that an individual has acquired from formal education, work and/or volunteer experience, personal study and any other life activities (i.e. hobbies travel, training programs, community life, etc.) that resulted in knowledge and skills.  Learners may have acquired college level learning through these significant work and life experiences.  They have learning which may be equivalent to the knowledge, skills, and abilities expected from college courses/programs.  Experience by itself is not necessarily evidence of learning or, of learning that is equivalent to that required in college courses.  PLA provides the learner with the opportunity to prove prior learning to the course/program outcomes.

How many course credits can be awarded through PLA processes?

It is possible to achieve a maximum of 50% credit in a program through the PLA processes.  In most cases, the balance (i.e. 50%) must be earned in actual studies through BRCC.  The number of credits awarded depends upon the nature and extent of the individual’s learning and how well it matches the learning outcomes for courses in a college program.  This information, as well as any exceptions to the 50% policy, is outlined in the BRCC Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Policies and Procedures 3.13.  If warranted, additional credits (i.e. more than 50% in a program) may be granted by the Dean of a School in consultation with Program Chair and PLA Liaison.

How will PLA credit be awarded on a transcript?

Once a student has achieved course credits through PLA, the results are recorded on the student’s BRCC BANNER account and an official college transcript may be requested.  The College records successful PLA on transcripts in the same way in which grades are normally transcribed in a course.  Where this is not appropriate, the word "PASS" will be used.  Transfer of credit from recognized educational institutions will follow College PLA Policy - Transfers between PLA programs and Transfers of Credits to BRCC from Other Post-Secondary Institutions.  Unsuccessful PLA will be recorded as “Not Complete” (NC) in the student BANNER system.  Program Liaison complete the “Results of Portfolio and/or Challenge Process Assessment” form and notify the student in writing for both successful and unsuccessful PLA.

Where can students access information about PLA?

Information and resources are available from your advisor or the PLA Representative ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 225.216.8228), or the College website (\pla).

Is there a PLA appeal process?

An appeal for a PLA process is handled in the same way as an academic appeal and follows the policies outlined in the College Policy S1 Academic Appeals – Academic Division.

Who can earn PLA credit?

PLA credit is available to students of all ages.  You must be admitted as a degree-seeking student at Baton Rouge Community College to receive credit.

What's the difference between PLA credit and transfer credit?

You can receive transfer credits for classes you have taken at another college or university.  PLA credit is earned when you prove competency in a specific area of study, including knowledge you obtained outside of a college classroom.  If you have previous college credit, you can inquire about credit transfer by contacting your advisor or the PLA Office at BRCC at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or 225.216.8228.

Will the credit BRCC awards for prior learning transfer if I want to pursue a Bachelor's degree?

The receiving institution will determine what credits will transfer.  Just like transferring other credits, it is important to discuss this with your academic advisor.

How much does it cost to receive credit for prior learning?

The cost per credit hour varies depending on the PLA credit method that you choose.  There is a $75.00 fee for each PLA portfolio you submit, for example.  It costs $97 to take a CLEP non-essay exam and $107 to take a CLEP essay exam.  There is no charge for your credit earned through certification.

How much PLA credit can I earn?

You can earn PLA credit for multiple classes if you have the right credentials, experience, or knowledge.  In order to complete your degree, however, at least 15 of your total credits must be earned in courses taken at BRCC, and not through PLA credit or advanced placement.

Need more information?  Contact your advisor or the PLA Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at Baton Rouge Community College or call 225.216.8228.

How Do Students Access PLA?

For inquiries about Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), please contact your advisor or the PLA Representative at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; or 225.216.8228.