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Prior Learning Assessment

Prior learning is the knowledge and skill gained through work and life experience; military training and experience; and formal and informal education and training at in-and out-of-state institutions.

WVC acknowledges opportunities for mastering specific skills and competencies that can be gained outside of a formal classroom experience. Prior learning can be achieved through education, work, or life experiences.

Currently enrolled students may earn college credit when they demonstrate by examination or evaluation that their professional experience or substantial prior learning meets the specific outcomes of a WVC course. Not all courses at WVC are designated appropriate for credit by examination or evaluation and each department determines the evaluation method required for students to demonstrate mastery of the course content. Prior learning credits can be awarded through one of the following options:


The following restrictions apply to awarding prior learning credits:

  • For Course Challenges or (non-crosswalked) Industry Certifications and Licensures, students must be currently enrolled at WVC and have 15 transcribed credits with a 2.0 or better GPA to be eligible for prior learning assessment (PLA) consideration. For AP, CLEP, DSST, IB, (crosswalked) Industry Certifications and Licensures or military credit there are no credit or GPA requirements.
  • There is no assurance that any PLA credit will be granted.
  • Prior learning credits cannot duplicate credits that have already been awarded.
  • PLA credit is limited to a maximum of 30 credits (crosswalks/challenge exams) required for WVC degrees or certificates. Experiential Learning (portfolio) is limited to 25% of total credits for degree.
  • Prior learning credits do not count towards the minimum residency requirement of 33% of degree or certificate credits must be taken at WVC.
  • Credits for all prior learning receives a “P” grade and will not affect the GPA.
  • A non-refundable fee application fee of $25 plus $10 per credit attempted must be prepaid for Course Challenge and (non-crosswalked) Industry Certification or Licensure assessment.

For further information about process and fees for prior learning credits, contact the WVC PLA Coordinator at 509.682.6632.