Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process of earning college credit for college-level learning acquired from other sources, such as professional training, military training, or industry certifications. BRCC offers several options for students to earn credit using prior learning assessment. BRCC is a member of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning  and uses many of the guidelines and recommendations offered by them. To view examples of what types of PLA may be accepted by BRCC, take a look at this database. The final determination of what prior learning will be accepted for college credit rests with the most appropriate academic department. For further assistance, please send an email to (or call 225.216.8228) to request an appointment.


Educational Experiences in the Armed Services
BRCC may award credit for military experiences based on the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. A student may receive college credit if the training parallels a discipline area offered through BRCC, and the credit meets a program requirement or is used as elective credit. The appropriate BRCC academic department will maintain final approval for all matters related to awarding credit.

Request your Joint Services Transcript now or email JST for additional assistance.

Credit for Professional Certification and Training Programs
The American Council on Education (ACE) evaluates training programs offered by business, industry, and government, and publishes its credit recommendations in The National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs. If a student had received training which appears in the guide, he/she may receive college credit if training parallels a discipline area offered through BRCC, andcredit meets a program requirement or is used as elective credit.

Departmental Credit by  Exam
Students may apply for Departmental Credit by Exam in certain courses by obtaining the appropriate form from BRCC (email request to, completing the necessary applications, meeting the requirements of BRCC, and by paying the required fees. Fees are not refundable if a student fails to obtain credit.

       Students may not request:

Some academic departments have additional requirements which must be met before credit is awarded through departmental credit by exam. When credit is granted, a notation of "credit by exam" with a grade of "P" and the number of credits appears on the student's transcript. These credits are not used in computing grade point average. Credit by evaluation may not transfer to other colleges and universities and students are strongly encouraged to check with the transfer institution to determine eligibility.

Portfolio Evaluation
A portfolio is a detailed documentation illustrating college-level learning. Evaluation by portfolio is a process through which a student documents that college-level learning has been obtained through non-college experiences.  BRCC allows learners to receive college credit through portfolio for prior learning that do not have a standardized mechanism for college credit evaluation. Preparation and content of the portfolio are the responsibility of the student but BRCC offers assistance and advice. Portfolio evaluation may result in the award of credit for one or more specific BRCC courses. The prior learning knowledge must be matched to an existing BRCC course. The academic department that houses the existing class will maintain final approval for the credit awarded. A fee of $85 is assessed for review of the portfolio regardless of whether credit is awarded. To set an appointment to discuss credit by portfolio or for assistance in preparing the portfolio, please email ( or call (225.216.8228).


If you are an adult learner who attended college in the past, “stopped” out before receiving a degree, and would like to pick up where you left off, BRCC is the place for you.

Research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic indicates a strong association between credential attainment and labor market success. In 2015, workers with an associate’s degree earned an average of $819 per week while workers with a high school degree had weekly median earnings of only $692. Over the calendar year that equals more than $6,600. People with higher levels of education were also more likely to be employed.

We want to talk about the many options you have to complete that degree now. Combining credit earned in the past, with options like prior learning experience, industry based certifications, and/or credit by exam, you are closer to earning that degree than you may think. So let’s get together and talk about getting it done.

To schedule an appointment to review your current situation and create a plan that will allow you to graduate, send an email with your name, phone number, and a brief description of your current situation to You can also call us at 225.216.8228. We will work with you to create a schedule that is personalized for your needs and respects your other commitments. Creating opportunities for adult learners, now that is innovative learning.