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Prior Learning Assessment

Earn College Credit for What You Know and Can Do

As a former or current Edmonds Community College student, Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) provides you the opportunity to be awarded college credit based upon the knowledge and skills that you bring as a student. It validates what you have already learned and can reduce the number of courses you need to take. By eliminating duplicate coursework that you might have already completed, PLA can shorten the time required for you to earn your professional degree and save you money.

The very first step for you is to determine the degree or certificate that you will be working on and to have any transcripts from previous college/universities as well as military training transcripts evaluated through the college’s Enrollment Services department. Additionally, if you have completed any AP or IB or CLEP tests, those should also be reviewed for potential credits. 

You will receive written documentation about what credits have been met and which classes are still remaining. 

Prior learning credits are aligned with specific Edmonds CC classes. You will demonstrate your prior learning to an Edmonds CC faculty member through a Course Challenge. The actual challenge will be determined by the faculty member who teaches the course and has determined the best method of assessment based upon the learning outcomes of the course.

The faculty member working with you will discuss all assessment options and time table with you so that you will be fully prepared. Course Challenge assessment options could include any of the following. 

  • taking the mid-term/final of the course
  •  presenting documentation or industry certifications
  • interviews/demonstrations
  • samples of writing or completed projects                                                                                                   
More detailed information is available through the Frequently Asked Questions and other listed links. Our staff will walk you through every step--contact the PLA Director or a faculty member.

What students and faculty say about Prior Learning Assessment

“My faculty member was excellent. She helped me get through everything I needed to challenge a course quickly and successfully. I needed credits to sit for the CPA exam and it helped me achieve my goals.”


“My instructor knew that I could do most of the steps required for my special project because I had been programming forever. He encouraged me in working toward my goal. I came away with the knowledge that I can do this. I was able to complete the project and earned the credits I needed for my certificate.”


“We value the experience, knowledge and skills that individuals bring to Edmonds Community College. We work one-on-one with individuals to review their accomplishments, to answer their questions, and together we develop an academic plan to meet their goals.”