Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) embraces the premise that college-level learning can occur both in and out of the classroom, from employment or career training, to community and personal experience. Many adult students who come to MCNY do so with specific knowledge and experience that may correspond to college-level courses. Prior learning assessment (p.l.a.) gives students the opportunity to earn credits by applying their prior life experience towards a college degree in one of the college’s three schools – the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education (ACSHSE), the School for Business (SB), and the School for Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA).
P.L.A. credits only apply to undergraduate degree programs and are not guaranteed. Students must apply for p.l.a. and be approved by a school’s dean or a program’s director upon enrollment. Once approved, students will be exempt from taking the specific required course(s) for which credit has been awarded.
The number of credits awarded will depend on the degree program, the number of credits transferred, the extent of a student’s life experience, and the quality and thoroughness of the portfolio that a student submits for consideration. A bachelor’s degree candidate who has transferred 90 credits is not eligible for this program. A student entering an associate’s degree program can earn up to six credits upon enrollment, if qualified. A student entering a bachelor’s degree program can earn up to nine credits upon enrollment, if qualified. If a student is awarded p.l.a. credits, he or she may apply for advanced standing in certain programs (see the college’s Student Handbook) but will be limited to 30 credits and will be required to pay additional fees. There will be no duplication of credits awarded.
Is PLA Right for You?
- If you answer “yes” to many of the following questions, p.l.a. is right for you.
- Do you have five years of full-time experience in your field of study?
- Did you obtain this full-time experience within the past ten years?
- Is your previous work experience related to specific courses for which you are seeking credit?
- Are you an active member or veteran of the military?
- Have you earned college-level credits that can be transferred towards an undergraduate degree at MCNY?
- Have you provided official transcripts of previously earned credits for evaluation?
- Have you earned credits for college-level writing courses?
- Do you hold certifications, licenses, training, or workplace or industry credentials that might be applicable to college-level coursework?
- Have you completed any noncredit or open courses?
- Do you have any expertise that has qualified you to teach credit-bearing college courses?
- Do you engage in any volunteer work for which credit might be earned?
- Do you have at least five years of formal or informal part-time or full-time work experience?
- Are you able to produce evidence of learning (letters of support, samples of work, training certifications)?
- Do you hold professional certifications, examinations, CLEP, DSST, UExcel?
How to Apply: New Students Only
Deadline for submitting application portfolio: Submissions are due upon application for admission to the college or prior to enrolling for the first term of study in an undergraduate program.
The student who applies for p.l.a. credits is required to submit a portfolio with his or her application for admission to the college. This portfolio must document the student’s previous experience within the field and demonstrate how the experience directly relates to the program of study by aligning previous learning with courses’ learning objectives and outcomes. This portfolio can include professional certifications, examinations, CLEP, DSST, UExcel or military experience.
- The student will assume responsibility for the completeness and thoroughness of the portfolio. Incomplete portfolios will not be evaluated. The portfolio must include documentation that learning took place. While portfolios may vary based on a program and a student’s experience, they must meet the following requirements:
- In the portfolio, the student will need to provide a learning autobiography that demonstrates to the evaluator that learning occurred through significant personal and professional activities and events.
- The portfolio must include self-assessment, relevance to a course or Purpose, preparation, presentation, and documentation.
- Specific documents that should be included are letters of support, certificates, licenses, CLEP, DSST, UExcel or evidence of military experience, and evaluations in support of a claim of learning and knowledge reflective of a course’s learning objectives.
- The portfolio must include two letters of reference from supervisors or directors familiar with the student’s skills and performance in the field for which he or she is seeking exemption. These letters must be on company letterhead and signed. These references should
- state the student’s years of experience,
- describe the student’s strengths,
- provide examples of how the student performed his or her job, and
- list the student’s training.
- The portfolio should be prepared according to the standards detailed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (also known as “APA style”).
- The portfolio will be evaluated by a school’s dean or a program’s director. If it is determined that the student’s knowledge of a subject is at the undergraduate level and deserving of a grade of C or better, credit will be awarded. If this is not the case, credit will be not be awarded, and the student will need to enroll in the appropriate courses.
Fee for Assessment of Prior Learning
The college will charge the student a non-refundable assessment fee of $150 for every course ($150/course) for which credit for prior learning is requested. This fee is subject to change.