Prior Learning Assessment

Earn credit for what you have learned outside the traditional classroom!

Please note the following update to the video content:
Associate degree students can now earn up to 42 credits through any combination of transfer credit, PLA, and national tests. Bachelor degree students can earn up to 90 credits, and master degree students can earn up to 21 credits. For additional information, refer to the Transfer Of Credit section of the University catalog.

What is PLA?

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an evaluation process used to determine if learning achieved outside of the traditional classroom meets the requirements of academic equivalency for college-level credit toward Western International University® (West) academic programs.

PLA Workshops

Join West for our quarterly online workshop to learn how our complimentary PLA service can help you earn college-equivalent credit toward your degree. A live, online workshop is held the third Wednesday evening in January, April, July and October. You can fax or email your transcripts, licenses, and continuing education materials from non-college training courses for an on-the-spot preevaluation of your professional training and experience. It's time to get the credit you deserve!

Click here for additional workshop details, or contact our PLA team at (602) 429-1158 or for more information on submitting prior learning for evaluation.

About PLA

PLA is a complimentary service that students can take advantage of at any time during their academic programs. For best results, students are encouraged to use this complimentary service very early in their programs.

Western International University offers two opportunities for PLA: Professional Training Portfolio and Experiential Learning Essays.

Professional Training Portfolio (PTP)

The Professional Training Portfolio documents learning through corporate training courses, professional exams or licenses, continuing education units, or unaccredited college transcripts. You may view the PLA pre-evaluated list below to see if your educational or training program qualifies. For complete details on how to submit these items for evaluation, visit the Resources tab or email us at

Prior Learning Assessment Pre-Evaluated List

Experiential Learning Essay (ELE)

Experiential Learning Essays are a way for students to demonstrate their knowledge gained through personal and professional experiences and researched sources. Students write on an approved topic to express learning gained outside the traditional classroom that would be equivalent to learning outcomes for a specific course. Each Experiential Learning Essay topic will have required sub-topics that students must incorporate throughout their work. You may view the approved list of essay topics and the essay template below. For complete details on how to create and submit an Experiential Learning Essay for evaluation, visit the Resources tab or email us at

Essay Topic List

Essay Template