Prior Learning Assessment
Fisher College Division of
Accelerated and Professional Studies
Site Coordinator of Boston
Site Coordinator of Brockton
Site Coordinator of New Bedford
Site Coordinator of North Attleborough
Fisher College Day Division
Dean of Curriculum Development
Earn college credit for learning that occurs outside the classroom
Fisher College recognizes life and work experiences are a valuable component to your education. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) evaluates training and learning that occurs outside the traditional classroom for college credit. We believe that learning is a life-long endeavor, and that adults continue to learn throughout their careers. Fisher's PLA program provides a convenient and efficient way of earning college credits. Students gain college-level knowledge from a variety of sources. Below is a list of common ways students may be eligible to earn credits through the PLA program.
• Full or part-time employment relevant to specific course content
• Military service
• Non-credit courses
• Organizational membership
• Recreational pursuits or hobbies
• Training programs or in-service courses
• Travel study
• Volunteer work or community service
Students must be admitted and matriculated to a Fisher College degree program. There is an expectation of continuous enrollment and that students will enroll in consecutive terms or semesters and will complete their degree within a period of five years. Bachelor degree candidates may compete for 30 PLA credits. The combination of transfer credits and PLA credits may not exceed 90 credits for bachelor degree candidates. Associate degree candidates may compete for 15 PLA credits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Division of Accelerated and Professional Studies (DAPS) students, please submit an Application For Prior Learning Credit to the DAPS Site Coordinator. Day Division students will submit their application to the Dean of Curriculum Development. Students must schedule an interview with a Site Coordinator or the Dean of Curriculum Development as part of the approval process. They will help the applicant determine how the student’s experience compares to the objectives of the course for which the student wishes to compete. If the application is approved, students will complete the Portfolio Assessment Agreement.
Admitted and approved students will enroll in a section of Portfolio Development Studies, IS 202. This course is designed to assist students in the process of documenting experiential learning with the final goal of producing a portfolio. The student who desires an assessment of prior leaning for credit through portfolio assessment will prepare a well-documented portfolio, detailing learning objectives for which they are requesting credit through appropriate experiences. The student will develop the content of the portfolio under the guidance of a faculty member while enrolled in Portfolio Development Studies. The completed portfolio must be submitted by the end of the semester or term in which the student was enrolled in Portfolio Development Studies. Successful completion of Portfolio Development Studies does not guarantee that the student’s portfolio will be approved for prior learning credit.
Students will be charged tuition for Portfolio Development Studies, IS 202, at the current DAPS or Day Division tuition rate. There is an additional fee of $100 per credit hour petitioned ($300 for a three credit course) for the evaluation process. The fee is used to cover the costs of the evaluation process, and does not in any way indicate that the Prior Learning Assessment will be accepted. The evaluation fee is nonrefundable.
Full-time faculty, who are content specialists, will assess and validate prior learning and will make determination of credit awards, with external assistance if necessary. Students must demonstrate learning outcomes that are appropriate to the subject, course, or program. Credit may be granted only upon the recommendation of faculty who are appropriately qualified. Learning assessed for PLA credit must be linked to established institutional standards for the given course. It may not be linked to time spent. Students may be awarded recognition for demonstrating college-level learning that combines theory and practice, not for experience alone.
Students who successfully complete Portfolio Development Studies, IS 202, will receive credit for a three-credit free elective. The portfolio is assessed as a separate entity. PLA credits are not guaranteed through this process.
PLA credits earned at another institution may not be transferred to Fisher College. Credit awarded through portfolio assessment at Fisher College may not transfer to another institution.