Individualized Expert Evaluation

Empire State College provides individualized assessment of prior learning for enrolled students earning degrees from the college. During educational planning you will work with your mentor to determine whether you have prior college-level learning that will require individualized evaluation. You need to reflect on the nature of your experiential learning and on ways to present a convincing claim that this knowledge is worthy of college credit. With your mentor's guidance, you should ask yourself:

  • What do I understand now that I did not understand before?
  • What skills or competencies have I gained through this experience?
  • What different techniques or approaches am I aware of?
  • How do the various ideas, principles or concepts support the approaches that can be taken?

For each topic identified for which you are requesting credit, you will usually complete the following process:

  • write an essay describing what you know about this topic and how you learned it;
  • gather documentation;
  • submit the essay and documentation to your mentor for review

With your mentor's approval this material will be submitted to an expert evaluator in the field through the center's Office of Academic Review. In formulating a prior learning recommendation, the evaluator:

  • reviews the student's request and any supporting materials
  • interviews and/or consults with the student
  • may ask the student to provide additional supporting materials or documents of her/his learning.

The evaluator's report and recommendation will determine:

  • whether college credit is recommended and how much credit, at what level and what requirements it meets
  • what the title of the learning components will be if the credit is awarded.

Although the expert evaluator makes credit recommendations, the final decision on credit awarded resides with the faculty academic review committee.

Charges for individualized prior learning assessments are based on the term of your first matriculated enrollment and the number of credits you request. Please visit www.esc.edu/fees for complete information on the Individual Evaluation (IEF) and Individualized Prior Learning Assessment (IPLA) fees.

The Individualized PLA Student Guide is available online.