Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Center for Individualized Learning (2016), prior learning is a term used by educators to describe learning that a person acquires outside of a traditional academic environment. This learning may have been acquired through work experience, employer training programs, military training, independent study, non-credit courses, and/or volunteer/community service.
Prior learning assessment (PLA) is the process by which an individual’s experiential learning is assessed and evaluated for purposes of granting college credit.
Valdosta State University defines Prior Learning Assessment as:
“A process through which students identify areas of relevant learning from their past experiences, demonstrate that learning through appropriate documentation, and submit their materials so that they can be assessed and possibly awarded academic credit relative to specific course objectives.”