Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) in Interdisciplinary Studies

What is PLA?

Students come to us with a vast array of work experience and training, and we recognize that not all college level learning has resulted from traditional classroom attendance. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a term used to describe learning gained outside a traditional academic environment. It is not credit for time on the job - it is an accredited system to measure what the student has learned through prior experience and assigning college level credit to that learning.

How can I earn PLA credit?

  • The IDS portfolio development course (IDS 2001) provides a means by which experiential learning can be turned into college credits. IDS 2001 is a three-hour credit course, which may be repeated twice for credit.
  • Students enrolled in IDS 2001 Portfolio Development are mentored through the development of their portfolios and upon completion, student portfolios are submitted to the appropriate faculty member in an academic department for assessment. Students have up to one academic year following the course to submit portfolio for consideration. The assessment fee is $450 per portfolio. This fee is in addition to the course tuition.
  • One of the important implications of the PLA standard is that paying the assessment fee is not a guarantee of credit. Always check with your advisor before beginning the assessment process.
  • Students who are interested in earning Prior Learning Assessment in Interdisciplinary Studies should call the IDS Main Office at 504-280-6566 to make an appointment with one of the IDS Academic Counselors. Students may also view more information about Prior Learning Assessment on the website for The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)