Credit for Life Experience

At Northwest Christian University, we understand that you may have acquired college-level knowledge as a result of your extensive life and work experiences. Our Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program is a course-based process where students demonstrate that they possess college-level knowledge of a subject that has been acquired outside of the traditional classroom setting, such as at work, on-the-job training, volunteer service, or other types of experience.

The Prior Learning Assessment Process is Simple

  1. Complete PLA 205 Portfolio Analysis (3 credits). This is a writing intensive eight-week course resulting in the creation of a portfolio. Students will define academic and career goals, discover areas of potential credit and develop an essay and other means of documenting learning. This course will also teach students how to use the Kolb/Fry model of experiential learning to construct their essays. NOTE: If students have only a limited number of professional training items and do not wish to take the Portfolio Analysis course, they may consult the PLA Coordinator for instructions about how to compile a Professional Training Submission.
  2. Upon completion of PLA 205, students have the option of submitting their portfolio for evaluation by a content evaluator. The cost per credit for evaluation is $50.
  3. Students who successfully complete PLA 205 may continue to seek additional credits through PLA 206 ($100 fee, no credit earned). During this 8 to 16-week time frame, each student receives individualized guidance from the PLA Coordinator and Content Evaluators. A maximum of six essay submissions is allowed per session. The cost per credit for evaluation is $50. Students can earn a maximum of 30-semester credits through the PLA process.

Here is what a recent NCU graduate had to say about the program…

“Being a working mom, I am so grateful to Northwest Christian University for offering such an outstanding program that offers the opportunity to gain college credit from past working experiences. For me personally, being allowed to complete a large portion of my elective credits by utilizing the PLA process allowed me to start my major  years earlier than I anticipated. Having the flexibility of online and night courses allowed me to continue my management career during the day, and the school work requirements were reasonable enough that my personal and family time was only minimally affected. If you are considering continuing your education, and are a busy working mom like me, NCU is the place to be!” Joy Woodke

Would you like to learn more? You can reach us at (541) 684-7343 or by e-mail.