Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Albany Technical College recognizes that individuals can develop mastery of course competencies through non-traditional educational environments such as: employment, military and corporate training, professional certifications, noncredit courses, and other life experiences. The term "prior learning" is utilized to describe these methods of learning. ATC accepts credit for prior learning when the equivalency is validated by academically sound and rigorous assessment.

Credit will be awarded only for demonstrable college level learning, and not for experience. The burden of proof lies with the student to demonstrate through testing or appropriate documentation, such as transcripts and certificates, submitted to designated College authorities, that the learning meets specific learning objectives and standards set forth in course syllabi and programs approved by related accrediting bodies. Prior Learning may have been required for professional competence; is reasonably current (some learning is time sensitive); is comparable to courses offered in colleges or universities; implies a conceptual (theoretical) and practical understanding of the course(s). Any credits awarded through PLA must be in accordance with the Standards of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC Standard 10.7) and policies and guidelines of the Technical College System of Georgia.

Contact the Vice President of Academic Affairs at (229) 430-3518, for more information.

Student requirements for PLA:

1. Students must be admitted as Regular degree/diploma seeking students to a TCSG institution;

2. Student must declare a program of study (major);

3. Student must consult with program faculty advisor about the possibility and advisability of seeking credit for prior learning;

4. Student must consult with the program faculty advisor to confirm that PLA credit will directly apply to the curriculum requirements of the declared major;

5. Student must register for specified prior learning opportunity, pay any required fees, and meet defined learning objectives, standards, and scores for credit to be awarded;

6. Posting of credit to the student academic transcript will occur following one semester hour completed at the TCSG institution where admitted;

7. Student must recognize that any change of degree/diploma program will result in review of all transcripted credit, including PLA. Transfer and PLA credit must apply directly to the curriculum being studied. Any deviation may result in the loss of credit obtained utilizing PLA;

8. PLA credit cannot be utilized to fulfill residency requirements of the institution. The TCSG requires that a minimum of twenty-five percent (25%) of graduation requirements for a particular program of study be completed at the Technical College granting the award. Contact the Registrar for specific program residency requirements.

9. PLA credit cannot be used for courses where accreditation or college policies prohibit its use;

10. PLA credit cannot duplicate credit for other courses;

11. Transferability of PLA to another institution cannot be guaranteed;

12. In the event of an appeal, student must follow posted appeal process. Recommendations and scoring by ACE, CLEP, and other external bodies are under the auspices of the evaluation body and cannot be appealed at the college level.