Prior Learning Assessment

Earn College Credit for Your Prior Learning

PLA Policy

POLICY NUMBER: VIII-3: "Objectives: Curriculum and Instruction."

The College is committed to a belief in individual learning through such means as advanced placement, credit by examination, and individual study.

There are multiple ways to earn use PLA to earn credits. These are some of the most common ways students earn credit for learning outside the classroom:

PLA Video: Earn College Credit for What You Already Know

How can your life experiences help propel you toward a college degree? Learn how three adult learners leveraged their experiences to earn college credit for what they already knew through prior learning assessment..

Standardized Credit-by-Exams

There are a variety of exams in which students can earn college credit for prior learning. The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), the DSST Examination Program (DSST), Excelsior/UExcel tests, the Advanced Placement Program (AP) and the International Baccalaureate program (IB) are all examples of these tests. The exams are designed to assess a student's overall knowledge in a certain area.

Institutional Credit-by-Exams

Students may earn college credit through successful completion of an institutional credit-by-exam (iCBE). Such assessment shall certify levels of knowledge and skills consistent with the content of the course competencies and performance expectations established in the curriculum of the College for that course. The assessment of competencies shall take place through means consistent with generally accepted examination techniques of measuring college-level learning.

Military Training

Miami Dade College awards applicable credit for validated military service training, experience, or coursework that is recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE). Boot camp, basic training, officer training school, and other courses offered by the military are often eligible for college credit.

Portfolio-based Assessments

Putting together a portfolio that demonstrates college course-equivalent learning is a great way for some students to earn college credit. The portfolio consists of a brief experiential learning resume, a learning narrative, and supporting documentation of verified learning. The type of proof will depend on what kind of learning you have done.

Some volunteer work or community activities offer the kind of learning opportunities that quality as prior learning. Workforce training, on-the-job learning and other work experience can be assessed and applied towards college credit.

Certifications and Licenses

MDC can evaluate workforce and corporate training for academic credit. On-the-job training that is equivalent to college learning can be applied toward a degree. MDC also has articulation agreements in multiple industries to recognize college credit for workforce training.