Common Questions & Answers

Leverage Your Experience From Day One.

What do you consider Prior Learning?

Different types of PLAWe have identified ten different types of experience that we consider prior learning.

We value your life experience. We consider certificates and licenses, workshops and trainings completed for work or pleasure, military, federal, and state training, and we count Continuing Education Credits (CEU's). Your experience may count for up to 90 credits toward a Bachelor's degree. 

RWU | UC accepts work and life experience because experiential learning is at the core of what we do. We understand how education creates inclusiveness in our communities and country, so we also place a high value on community service and volunteer experiences.

- Gena Bianco, JD., Dean of University College

What experience counts?

RWU | UC may award you college credit for workplace training and education programs, professional licenses, certifications, challenge exams, and other credentials. Reviewed training is typically offered by corporations, government agencies, labor unions, and professional associations, or done through a portfolio process.

You can browse out lists of already approved experiences to see if you already qualify for college credit.

Find Your Experience

How do I get credit for these experiences?

Students may apply PLA credits to any part of a degree program, including the area of study. These credits must be appropriate and not exceed the limitation of transferable credits from any one source, and students must successfully complete the reviewed learning experiences within the specified effective dates of the review and submit appropriate documentation. You will fill out a Approved Prior Learning Credit Request Form for experiences found on our lists, as well as though that you want us to review for credit through the PLA Portal

What Makes RWU | UC unique regarding PLA?

RWU | UC recognizes what makes you unique, and allows considers your life experiences, and volunteerism and community work in addition to those more official types of prior learning stemming from the workplace.  That's why we have the portfolio process. You can find more about this on the PLA Portal.

What if my experience is not on the list?

It's ok! We will assess your experience and determine if college credit can be awarded. All you have to do is complete the Prior Learning Credit Request Form, provide necessary information about the experience and we will take it from there. You can find more information on the PLA Portal.

PLA Portal                  Credit Request

What are other opportunities to earn credit outside of a classroom?

We would like to explore these options with you! In addition to Prior Learning, we offer internships, individualized studies, study abroad opportunities, short term domestic trip courses, and independent research projects. Talk to your advisor about these opportunities.

Does it matter how long ago I received my credential?

Nope. We will take the credential from whenever you earned it. We also know that your prior life experience doesn't have an end date- so whenever and however you learned it doesn't matter. You do have to provide evidence that you met the requirements for the credential, or that you can meet course outcomes if you are choosing the Portfolio option. You can get more information on the PLA Portal.

Students smile in libraryHow long does it take to get credits posted?

For new Prior Learning Assessments (experiences not found on our approved lists), and the Portfolio option, we have found that 14 business days from submission to response is needed for a credit determination. However, in many cases we have been able to turn decisions around in a shorter time frame than 14 days.  If your experience is found on our lists, and fits within your degree plan, it may take up to a week to process it.

When should I begin the process?

Today! You should start thinking about your experiences and browse through our approved trainings, certificates, licenses, and work experience to get an idea of the type of experience we accept. Only students accepted and enrolled can begin the Portfolio. You can get more information on the portfolio process here. If you are not sure about how your experience fits with your plans for college, you can reach out to a Pathway Specialist with the button below.

Inquire 

How are credit determinations made?

There are many factors that go into a credit determination. The process differs slightly based on if your experience is a license/certificate, workshop/training, or Portfolio. Considerations include the amount of time spend in a classroom setting (seat time), how many content hours spent working with a subject matter expert, how the credential was assessed by those who offer it, and NECHE standards. Course outcomes and educational/professional /industry standards are matched through this consideration. 

Do all requests for prior learning credit get approved?

While we want you to leverage your experience to further your educational goals, there are some experiences that simply do not equate to college level learning. If we find that the experience you have submitted can not be accepted for credit, we consider how we can bundle it with other experience to provide a more organic and robust request for prior learning.  All Prior Learning Requests will get one of four determinations:

  • Experience is approved, with the credit amount noted
  • Request for additional materials for incomplete requests
  • Suggestion to under take the portfolio option or a more robust submission
  • Denial of credit

Current students can submit a Approved Prior Learning Credit Request  for any prior learning credit they would like assessed that is on our lists. If it is found on our lists, upload some basic biographical information, RWU information, and provide the name of the prior learning or credential before uploading the evidence of successful completion by completing the Prior Learning Request Form.

Find Your Experience

If the credit you want to assess has not previously been evaluated for credit, you'll use the same form but note that your experience is not on our approval list. You will be required to provide additional information.

Please make sure that you upload the necessary documents to have your experience counted for college credit. Neglecting to provide documentation of completion, training or credential will result in your requests being denied. It is our policy not to review a duplicate request for credit.

As a current student, you're eligible to submit an application for credit by portfolio. For more information on the process for a portfolio review can be found on the PLA Portal.

RWU | UC will take up to 90 credits for an undergraduate degree. However, based on the courses transferred in from accredited institutions and other prior learning, in conjunction with your degree plan, we may not be able to except all 90 credits.

If you are a matriculating student, any credit award will be posted to your transcript within 10 days of determination. Other institutions may or may not accept prior learning credit in the case of a transfer. You should confirm with the transfer institution directly. 

Current students can submit a Approved Prior Learning Credit Request  for any prior learning credit they would like assessed that is on our lists. If it is found on our lists, upload some basic biographical information, RWU information, and provide the name of the prior learning or credential before uploading the evidence of successful completion by completing the Prior Learning Request Form.

Find Your Experience

If the credit you are asking to be assessed has not previously been recommended for credit, you'll use the same form but note that your experience is not on our approval list. You will need to provide additional information.

Regardless, whether your request for prior learning credit is found on our lists or needs to go through assessment, you'll have to provide evidence of successful completion of your training or credential. In the prior learning credit request there will be a place for you to upload documents.

Please make sure that you upload the necessary documents to have your experience counted for college credit. Neglecting to provide documentation of completion of training or credential will result in your requests being denied. It is our policy not to review a duplicate request for credit.

As a returning student you're eligible to submit an application for credit by portfolio. For more information on the process for a portfolio review can be found on the PLA Portal.

RWU | UC take up to 90 credits for an undergraduate degree. However, based the courses transferred in from accredited institutions and other prior learning, in conjunction with your degree plan, we may not be able to except all 90 credits.

As a visiting student, these credits are posted to your official RWU transcripts after the drop period of the semester which you submitted the request for credit. Other institutions may or may not accept prior learning credit in the case of a transfer. You should confirm with the transfer institution directly

New or potential students can submit a Approved Prior Learning Credit Request  for any prior learning credit they would like assessed that is on our lists. If it is found on our lists, upload some basic biographical information, RWU information, and provide the name of the prior learning or credential before uploading the evidence of successful completion by completing the Prior Learning Request Form.

Find Your Experience

If submitted with your application for university acceptance, standardized credits -or experiences  found on our lists- are posted to your official RWU transcripts as you are admitted. You may also request PLA credits after you have been admitted and at any time during your matriculation. Standardized credits will be posted to your official RWU transcript within seven days of the request being processed.

If the credit you are asking to be assessed has not previously been recommended for credit, you'll use the same form but note that your experience is not on our approval list, provided additional information along with the evidence of successful completion of training or credential. Your credit will be posted after the drop period of your first semester or the semester in which you requested credit.

Please make sure that you upload the necessary documents to have your experience counted for college credit. Neglecting to provide documentation of completion of training or credential will result in your requests being denied. It is our policy not to review a duplicate request for credit.

After you have have been admitted and enrolled in at least six credits, you can submit a Prior Learning Assessment by Portfolio. More information about the Portfolio can be found on the PLA Portal.

RWU | UC take up to 90 credits for an undergraduate degree. However, based the courses transferred in from accredited institutions and other prior learning, in conjunction with your degree plan, we may not be able to except all 90 credits. You should also note that other institutions may or may not accept prior learning credit in the case of a transfer. You should confirm the transfer institution directly.