College Credit for Lifelong Learning
“Adult students who receive PLA [Prior Learning Assessment] credit are two and a half times more likely to persist to graduation — and complete their degrees — than students who do not receive PLA credit….Many PLA students also shortened the time required to earn a degree, depending on the number of PLA credits earned.”
--Fueling the Race to Postsecondary Success, The Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL) Research Brief, August, 2011
At Eastern, we recognize that over their lifetimes — often outside the formal classroom — people learn many things and develop valuable skills. And some of the things and skills you have learned may be very similar to what is taught in various college-level courses.
Because Eastern wishes you to continue to build a strong educational foundation, and to reach your future goals as quickly as possible, the College offers several pathways — including the statewide Board of Governors Adult Degree Completion Program — for you to earn college credit for your life experiences that are comparable to college-level learning.
The Assessment Of Prior Learning program allows students to earn college credit for learning that occurs outside of the traditional college setting. To earn such credit, the student — working with Eastern advisers and faculty — must show that the “non-traditional” learning is comparable to college-level learning and meets requirements for the degree program in which the student enrolls.
(Learn more about Prior Learning Assessment at WV’s Credit For Prior Learning webpage: https://plawv.com)
“Non-traditional” learning that qualifies for college credit equivalence may include learning and skills acquired through any or all of the following :
- Military training
- Work and life experience
- On-the-job and vocational training
- Personal development and enrichment activities such as private reading and serious hobbies
- Independent study
- Schools and institutes that are not accredited
- Special licensure, certification and formal training programs
To validate and award credit for "non-traditional" college-level learning, Eastern will use testing instruments and assessment measures including, but not limited to, the following:
- Standardized tests scores (CLEP, DSST/DANTES, etc.)
- Evaluation of sponsored instruction in a non-college setting (ACE: The American Council on Education); National CCRS: National College Credit Recommendation Service; etc.)
- Assessment of credit for military training
- Demonstration of college-level learning through portfolio review
- Instructional-based challenge examinations
- Special assessment of licensure, certification and formal training programs
For more information about how to apply for College Credit for Lifelong Learning, please contact
Monica Wilson, Dean of Student Access and Success, at 304-434-8000; or toll free: 877-982-2322.