Austin Community College (ACC) recognizes the vast knowledge and skills of its diverse student population through prior learning assessment. The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Program gives students an opportunity to petition course credit for experiential learning, non-credit course completion, professional development, licensure/certification and challenge exams. Course credit is awarded when content mastered through an experience is comparable to the student learning outcomes of an ACC course. Participants benefit from reduced program costs and time toward degree completion.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a process for assessing learning gained outside a traditional academic environment. This could be learning acquired through military service, employer training programs, independent study, non-credit courses, open courseware, or volunteer or community service. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a means of evaluating what a student already knows at the college-level derived from these experiences for college credit, certification, or advanced standing toward further education or training.

To be eligible to earn PLA credit, a student must be currently or previously enrolled at ACC and meet all ACC admissions requirements. They should not have previously taken or attempted the course that is the same as the PLA credit for which they are applying. PLA credit is only awarded when it applies to ACC programs of study.

See Prior Learning Assessment and Prior Learning Assessment Guideline/Procedure.