PLA is an assessment system used to evaluate the competencies that students have acquired through formal and informal education and the world of work. Springfield College offers a process to validate college-level knowledge acquired through prior learning for undergraduate online and regional students in their first year, sophomore, and junior year. The Academic Advising Center oversees PLA and monitors policies and procedures that are consistent with principles established by the Council on the Assessment of Experiential Learning (CAEL). All credit awarded for prior learning is considered transfer credit. Transfer credit does not contribute to the 45-credit residency requirement for undergraduate students. Complete policy language regarding transfer credit is available in the Residency Requirement policy.
There are a number of licensing and certification programs that meet the criteria for awarding college-level credit at Springfield College. A complete list of pre-approved PLA and course equivalencies can be found in the Pre-Approved PLA Handbook. Students must show evidence of passing a listed licensing/certification exam. Licensing/certification exam results will only be considered if they are current at the time of the evaluation. The Academic Advising Center will verify the pre-approved PLA and submit a transfer credit award to the Registrar’s Office. Transfer credit will be reflected on a student’s official transcript for the Springfield College equivalent course. The maximum number of transfer credits listed will only be awarded if there is no duplication of coursework taken at Springfield College or earned from other transfer credit awards.
Students are eligible to receive transfer credit for professional training that can be documented through licenses, certificates, and/or letters verifying the training content and time involved. Springfield College typically awards 1 credit for 20 hours of documented professional training. Students can earn a maximum of 15 credits from professional training.
For consideration, students must register for SPCO 299: Professional Training Review. SPCO 299 is a 0-credit, ungraded course that generates a $200 evaluation fee billed per semester of enrollment. In SPCO 299, students are required to submit at least one of the following documents for each professional training to be evaluated:
- Certificate of training that includes training date(s), number of hours, title of the training, and name of training agency
- Employer transcript that includes training date(s), number of hours, and title of the training
- Letter of documentation must be written on letterhead or be notarized and must include date(s), number of hours, description of training, and signature of the training instructor, the student’s supervisor, or a representative of the training agency.
Upon completion of the professional training evaluation, the Academic Advising Center will submit a transfer credit award to the Registrar’s Office. Transfer credit will be reflected on a student’s official transcript as SPCO 199: PLA Training for the awarded number of credits.
Claim for Credit
Students are eligible to receive transfer credit by writing a claim for credit that demonstrates their mastery of a college-level course’s learning outcomes gained from prior learning experience(s). The courses eligible to claim for credit can be found in the PLA Claim for Credit Handbook.
To begin the claim for credit process, students must enroll in SPCO 307: Prior Learning Portfolio Development to learn how to write a claim for credit and submit one 3-credit claim for evaluation. Upon submission of a claim, subject matter experts will review and evaluate the claim to recommend a transfer credit award. SPCO 307 is a 3-credit, letter-grade course that also generates a $500 evaluation fee upon enrollment in addition to the tuition cost of the course itself. Upon successful completion of SPCO 307, the Academic Advising Center will submit a transfer credit award for the 3-credit claim to the Registrar’s Office. Transfer credit will be reflected on a student’s official transcript for the Springfield College equivalent course.
Students may also submit claims for up to 12 credits in the subsequent semester only. Students can earn a maximum of 15 credits from the claim for credit process, which includes the 3-credit claim submitted while enrolled in SPCO 307. When these additional claims are approved for transfer credit, the Academic Advising Center will submit another transfer credit award to the Registrar’s Office and the transfer credit will be reflected on a student’s official transcript for the Springfield College equivalent course.