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Prior Learning Assessment

Students interested in applying for PLA should contact the director for a PLA discussion.  A brief meeting is held and materials are requested.  For an assessment of PLA to be made documentation will be required:  Not all of the following is required in every case.

  • A current resume.
  • Written documentation from employers, etc. that the claims or information on the resume is accurate (e.g. confirming dates of service, not commenting on the employee’s performance).
  • Copies of relevant licenses, certificates, diplomas, transcripts, etc.
  • A paper from the student demonstrating how their PLA met one or more of CLD’s major outcomes and/or its primary abilities.
  • All of these materials are presented in a Portfolio. 

What kinds of learning-experience would qualify for PLA?  Any prior learning-experience will be considered, although some experiences are preferable to others.  Overall, the goal is to demonstrate that major learning outcomes have been met through comparable knowledge and experiences outside of the classroom.  For example learning experiences may include:

  • Working with a non-profit organization, local civic organization, or government agency
  • Holding public office
  • Service on a non-profit board of directors
  • Management experience is preferable to direct service [only] and full-time employment is preferable to part-time employment or volunteerism. 
  • Grant-writing, fundraising or proposal review
  • Any sustained acts of volunteerism at work or in the community. 
  • Holding relevant licenses, certificates, registrations, and completion of relevant coursework or special training
  • Publishing reports or articles

More specifically students are asked to evaluate the extent to which the PLA experience involved more particular learning experiences, such as:

  • Work with/for the board of directors or upper management
  • Participation in a legislative process
  • Program development
  • Budgeting, financial management, purchasing, billing, accounting
  • Contract negotiation
  • Program/Project/Grant management
  • Conducting needs assessment
  • Conducting program evaluation
  • Maintaining information (e.g. data bases, record-keeping, reporting)
  • Human resource responsibilities (e.g. hiring, orienting, supervising, training, conducting performance appraisals, taking disciplinary actions)

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