Earn college credit for your life experiences

What is Prior Learning Credit Assessment (PLCA)?

The knowledge that you have gained outside the classroom is extremely valuable. At Carlow University, we have a process for turning this learning from professional experience into academic credit. You can save time and money as you earn your degree while earning up to 30 credits at Carlow for your previous experiences.

What types of prior learning can be evaluated?

  • Work experience and job skills
  • Employer training programs
  • Military service
  • Independent study
  • Volunteer or community service
  • Open source courseware study or other self-study
  • Other training or skills 

How does PLCA work?


Carlow University offers an online course that provides you with the guidance and structure needed to prepare Learning Portfolios that reflect the knowledge and expertise you have learned outside of the classroom. Your completed Portfolio will then be assessed and credits will be awarded based on whether your knowledge matches what you would have learned in college courses. The credits you earn may be directly applied to your degree credit count.



The Basics  

  1. A small, 6-week class
  2. Taught online
  3. Worth 3 credit hours, plus any additional credits you earn through portfolios

What You'll Do 

  • Complete weekly graded assignments.
  • Identify areas of college-level knowledge-such as several years of experience in marketing. 
  • Match those areas with courses in our catalog, such as Marketing 101.
  • Create a Learning Portfolio for that area of knowledge. In our example, you may be able to show that you already know as much as a student who takes the Marketing 101 course.

How to Get Involved 

If you'd like to learn more click here or contact the Admissions Office at admissions@Carlow.edu or by calling 412.578.6059.