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Adult Degree Program > Prior Learning Assessment
Prior Learning Assessment

The ADP provides a nationally recognized method of allowing college credit for learning that may have been attained through work, seminars, training programs, military education, and certification programs. Many students and employers find this program extremely attractive because it provides a means to potentially earn college credit from non-traditional sources. It is a customized program so individual results will vary. Credit for PLA will not count toward University residency requirements.

The underlying purpose for awarding credit for prior learning is to eliminate duplication of a student’s educational effort while maintaining a high standard of educational quality to insure the student’s future occupational success. Athens State’s integrity and accreditation will be maintained as an institution of higher education, through valid and reliable evaluation of prior learning by appropriate university personnel.

Credit Methods for Prior Learning Assessment

Students may be awarded credit for prior learning using any of the following four methods or a combination of these methods.

  1. Credit for Non-Traditional Learning
    Athens State University is a member of the American Council on Education’s CREDIT College and University Network. As a member, Athens State recognizes a variety of methods in the determination of non-traditional learning. These include:
    • ACE National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training Guide
    • American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to Military Training

  2. Nationally Recognized Examinations
    • College Level Examination Program Testing (CLEP)
    • DANTES Subject Standardization Tests (DSST)
    • National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI)
    Athens State University College Credit by Examination Equivalents Credit Hours
    Download the brochure by clicking here. adobe reader icon

    Inclement Weather Guidelines:
    In the event of inclement weather the University Testing Center will be closed when Athens State University is closed. Please refer to local news media outlets or the University’s webpage for weather related delays and closings. When the University re-opens, all candidates will be contacted to reschedule affected appointments.


  3. Portfolio Assessment

    Credit for prior learning by portfolio assessment is designed to provide those students who have acquired knowledge through legitimate means outside an academic environment, to establish this legitimacy through careful explanation and insight into the knowledge they have gained. This is both an opportunity for the student as well as a significant responsibility. Students wishing to earn credit by portfolio assessment must be prepared to describe, reflect, and synthesize their learning experiences carefully. A student may be awarded up to 32 semester hours based on the portfolio assessment.

    Credits earned for a portfolio may be used as general elective credits to assist in reaching the 124 minimum credits required for a degree. Credits earned from the portfolio cannot be applied to the General Education requirements or to any of the professional core classes required for specializations. Students should seek advising assistance regarding specific program requirements.

    The student must complete a 3-credit hour orientation class (ADP 301) during the first semester of enrollment at Athens State University that will assist the student in defining their goals, identifying areas of competency, and investigating the portfolio process. The student will have 6 months following the completion of the course to complete and submit the portfolio.

    Letter grades are not assigned to prior learning credit earned through the portfolio. These credits will appear on the Athens State transcript as “TR – Non-Traditional Credit”. Credit for prior learning assessment will be posted to the student’s transcript at the completion of the student’s graduating semester of enrollment at Athens State.

    Credit cannot be awarded through the portfolio process for the following: practicum courses, physical education activity courses, field experiences and internships to include student teaching, cooperative education, senior seminars, capstone courses, lab courses that do not include related lecture/theory courses, and special topics courses. Courses where there is an existing exam (either national or Athens State-developed) will not be considered for portfolio assessment.

  4. Course-Specific Challenge Exams Developed by Athens State Faculty
    Faculty in each of the 3 Colleges at Athens State may develop course-specific challenge exams designed to assess the student’s competency. These challenge exams will be identified and developed by faculty and a listing will be made available to students.



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