Prior Learning Assessment at Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College is committed to the idea that people can earn credit for college level learning no matter how it was acquired.

The following principles inform all policies and practices in PLA  [this link opens in a new window] at the college:

  • Credit is granted for verifiable college level learning, but not for the experience itself.
  • Evaluation is done in the context of the student’s degree program.
  • Evaluation of prior learning involves reviewing student materials, interviewing the student and providing a written report.
  • Empire State College faculty provide a final review of the evaluator’s recommendation and award credit as appropriate to the student’s degree program.

The review of the evaluator recommendation is an important step in the PLA process. The college relies on its evaluators to assess student learning and write a recommendation report.

Evaluator recommendations are then reviewed and credit is granted through the Faculty Assessment Committee review process.

Individualized prior learning assessment is not always a linear process. It can be more recursive and may vary with each student’s experience.

The Empire State College iPLA process complies with the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) principles, Middle States standards, and college policy. For further information on how the CAEL principles are put into practice at Empire State College, see the  CAEL Standards in Action page.

iPLA and the Empire State College Regional Administrative Centers

Each evaluator for individualized Prior Learning Assessment (iPLA) is connected to a particular Empire State College Regional Administrative Center.

Evaluators work with the assessment specialist in their center to learn more about the policies and administrative processes associated with a PLA assignment, including PLA Planner .

Who is involved in the iPLA process?

Students, mentors, evaluators, center and collegewide offices and faculty committees are all involved in the iPLA process.

The  iPLA Participants webpage gives details about the specific roles and responsibilities of each participant throughout the iPLA process.

How do I become an evaluator?

See Working as an Evaluator for more information.


Feel free to contact your assessment specialist with any questions you may have.