Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

(Formerly known as: Technical Experience Assessment Program (T.E.A.))

The University of Akron Wayne College recognizes that many of our students arrive with learning experiences outside the traditional classroom that may apply to one or more of the required courses in their chosen academic major.  One of the ways students can have their prior learning experiences evaluated for possible academic credit is through PLA portfolio development.  This process is supported by the Higher Learning Commission and the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

What is Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Portfolio Development?

According to the Ohio Department of Higher Education, this “involves the collection of evidence, as well as individual reflection about the learning experience, in support of a person’s claim for credit through prior learning.  Using this method, a student prepares a structured, individualized portfolio that contains documents, artifacts, and other forms of evidence to demonstrate college-level learning.”  At Wayne College this review is based on the official course outcomes and how your experiences meet these requirements.

What classes qualify for this type of review?

List of eligible courses

How does this work?

  1. Meet with the PLA program coordinator or attend an information session. Interested students should set up an appointment through the Student Services office to meet with PLA coordinator Wendy Cundiff.  There will also be an information session that is scheduled at the beginning of each academic semester to provide additional information.  Request to be enrolled in the Brightspace class “WC – Prior Learning Assessment.”
  2. Meet with the academic program coordinator. Request additional information on eligible courses, including the course syllabus, and what types of experiences must be documented to receive credit. 
  3. Complete the Registration Form indicating the course that you want to petition for PLA credit and obtain signatures from the PLA coordinator, the academic program coordinator, and mentor/faculty reviewer. The cost is $100 per course which is payable to the Cashier’s office.  The Cashier’s office will provide a copy of the registration form and payment confirmation to you, the PLA coordinator, the academic program coordinator, and your assigned mentor/faculty reviewer.
  4. Meet with your Mentor/Faculty Reviewer on a regular basis to receive input on the portfolio development. Review the document Portfolio Requirements [link URL], which can also be found in the Brightspace classroom.
  5. Submit your completed PLA Portfolio to your mentor/faculty reviewer for evaluation. S/he will review the documentation/evidence you provide to determine if it meets the learning outcomes of the course.
  6. Mentor/Faculty Reviewer completes Faculty Portfolio Evaluation Form and assigns a status (see below). A copy of the form is provided for the PLA coordinator, academic program coordinator, mentor/faculty reviewer, and the student.
    1. Approved for Credit
    2. Credit Pending Approval (more information needed)
    3. Credit Denied (student not receiving credit will be provided with written documentation regarding deficiencies that precluded credit awards)
  7. Award of Alternative Credit form is completed by the PLA coordinator and submitted to the student and the Dean of Wayne College for signatures. The form will be submitted to the University Registrar for the awarding of credit.

PLA Coordinator:
Wendy Cundiff
Wayne Campus, A-228
330.684.8907 ·  email