Prior Learning Assessment | Central Baptist College

Prior Learning Assessment

According to the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).

“Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process of earning college credit for college-level learning acquired from other sources, such as work experience, professional training, military training or open source learning from the web.”

How PLAs Work

Most commonly, PLAs evaluate the knowledge a student has gained in high school, careers, employer training programs, military service, independent study or community service. There are four ways students can take advantage of PLAs:

  1. Students may submit a portfolio that demonstrates credit-worthy mastery of a subject and submit to CAEL.
  2. Take a subject-specific examination from CLEPDSST, or through the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs.
  3. Attend colleges that offer credits for course substitutions.
  4. Apply for non-standard learning credits from the American Council on Education (ACE), an umbrella organization that reviews courses for their educational standards.

Most colleges label students older than 25 as “nontraditional students.” This demographic is most likely to benefit from prior learning assessment credits.

In addition to these students, however, high school students in accelerated courses can also earn college credits. In particular, these students have the options to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school, pass CLEP exams prior to college, or participate in state-sponsored programs that allow high school students to attend college classes.

PLA at Central Baptist College

Central Baptist College (CBC) is a proud partner with CAEL in order to allow students to earn their degree faster by awarding credit in the following ways.

  1. Portfolio-based Assessments, American Council on Education (ACE) credit awarded by non-collegiate agencies, civilian and military.
  2. CBC also accepts credit from Advanced Placement Exams from high school, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams, and DSST Credit by Exam (formerly known as DANTES).

If you wish to speak with our PLA advisor before you start the application process please e-mail Gwenda Williams, CAEL certified PLA Coordinator, at

We also encourage you to complete an application for admission to start working with your enrollment counselor to find a degree that is suitable to your needs, including any PLA options to help obtain your degree sooner.