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Office of Prior Learning AssessmentWhat is PLA

What is Prior Learning Assessment

Our office exists to aid ODU students in translating their professional work knowledge into academic credit. Through the use of various mechanisms, we are able to offer students the opportunity to have their prior learning assessed and applied for academic credit. This path may save the students both time and money as they work toward their degree.

Your information will be passed to academic divisions and we can evaluate whether your prior training, an exam or a portfolio will best demonstrate your knowledge and whether that knowledge is applicable toward a particular course or courses in your degree program. Students may "challenge" a course by demonstrating their knowledge of that course, and may receive credit. PLA does not evaluate transcripts, nor provide credit based off transcript evaluation.

Student fees for assessment vary according to the type of assessment. For example:

  • Training fees are billed to students at 20% of tuition costs
  • Exams are billed to students at 30% of tuition costs
  • Evaluation of a portfolio is billed to students at 50% of tuition costs

It is important to note that students must pay this fee and may not use financial aid or VA funds. It is also important to note that every student does not succeed in challenging their course for credit, however, the fee for the challenge will still be assessed, just as a student must pay for a course, even if they are not successful in passing it.

If a CLEP or DSST exam exists for a challenged course, the student must take the CLEP/DSST exam. CLEP/DSST exams are administered through the Credentialing Center. No faculty approval, or approval of the PLA office is needed to take a CLEP or DSST test. For more information on CLEP and DSST scores and course equivalency, click here. Questions about CLEP/DSST scores should be directed to the Office of Admissions.

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