Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Credits - Graduate Programs

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credits provide students the opportunity to validate their relevant learning in a written document called a portfolio. The portfolio information is organized to correspond as closely as possible to comparable courses from Misericordia University inventory of graduate offerings. Emphasis is placed on the satisfactory presentation of the student's knowledge relative to each course's learning objectives. Eligibility for PLA application will be determined by the appropriate program director. For challenged courses, a faculty assessor from the involved department will be selected by the appropriate program director.

The assessor will review the portfolio according to the following criteria: the learning will be demonstrated to be college level; the learning is current, particularly in quickly-changing fields; the learning must be able to be generalized and transferred, i.e., it can be applied outside of the specific context or situation in which it was acquired; the learning must be measurable; the learning must have actual learning outcomes, not merely the experience; the credits awarded will not duplicate other earned credits.

Students who request assessment of their prior learning must:

  1. Be matriculated at the university with a declared major;
  2. Limit requests for assessment to those course areas that will fulfill degree requirements in their declared graduate major;
  3. Have had all transfer credits officially evaluated prior to attempting this credit option;
  4. Submit the designated fee for each PLA assessment being evaluated made payable to the department assessing the PLA portfolios(s).

Students who have been awarded prior learning assessment credits at another institution will not automatically be awarded such credit in transfer. Students have the opportunity to present their portfolios, with updated information, to the appropriate program director for consideration.

In no case may the number of PLA credits brought into a graduate program at Misericordia University after matriculation exceed twelve (12), nor can the combination of PLA credits and/or transfer credits exceed twelve (12).

The PLA decision of the department is final.