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Experiential Learning Credit

Background Information For Awarding Experiential Learning Credit/Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

NGS awards credit for student learning or achievement and not for experience alone.  Please submit an updated resume along with proof of certifications, training awards or other documents to be used in consideration for experiential credit/PLA. Sources of experiential credit/PLA include:

  • Undergraduate credits acquired from courses at the 300 level or above (Official transcript)
  •  Joint Services Transcript/SMART Transcript (Military)
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) results https://clep.collegeboard.org/
  • Official certifications, letters of commendation, job performance assessments, recommendations for promotion, samples of work, licensure/credentials

Download the Application for Experiential Credit/Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) here.

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Standards for Experiential Learning:

4.33 The evaluation of student learning or achievement and the award of credit or certification of competencies are based upon clearly stated criteria that reflect learning objectives and are consistently and effectively applied.  They are appropriate to the degree level at which they are applied.

4.34 Credit awards are consistent with Commission policy and the course content, appropriate to the field of study, and reflect the level and amount of student learning.  The award of credit is based on policies developed and overseen by the faculty and academic administration.  There is demonstrable academic content for all experiences for which credit is awarded, including study abroad, internships, independent study, and service learning.  No credit toward graduation is awarded for pre-collegiate-level or remedial work designed to prepare the student for collegiate study.

4.35 Credit for prior experiential or non-collegiate sponsored learning is awarded only with appropriate oversight by faculty and academic administration and is limited to 25% for credentials of 30 credits or fewer.  When credit is awarded on the basis of prior experiential or non-collegiate sponsored learning alone, student learning and achievement are demonstrated to be at least comparable in breadth, depth, and quality to the results of institutionally provided learning experiences.  The policies and procedures for the award of credit for prior or experiential learning are clearly stated and available to affected students.

4.36 Students complete at least one-fourth of their undergraduate credits, including substantial advanced work in the major or concentration, at the institution awarding the degree.

4.37 The institution that advances students through their academic programs through transfer or articulation agreements, prior learning assessment, credit recommendation services, or other extra-institutional arrangements evaluates the effectiveness of such arrangements to ensure student achievement in institutionally offered coursework validates the suitability of the credit awards.

** NEASC Commission on Institutions of Higher Education Standards Effective July 1, 2016


Ten Standards for Assessing Learning from The Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL):

  1. Credit or its equivalent should be awarded only for learning, and not for experience.
  1. Assessment should be based on standards and criteria for the level of acceptable learning that are both agreed upon and made public
  1. Assessment should be treated as an integral part of learning, not separate from it, and should be based on an understanding of learning processes.
  1. The determination of credit awards and competence levels must be made by appropriate subject matter and academic or credentialing experts.
  1. Credit or other credentialing should be appropriate to the context in which it is awarded and accepted.
  1. If awards are for credit, transcript entries should clearly describe what learning is being recognized and should be monitored to avoid giving credit twice for the same learning.
  1. Policies, procedures, and criteria applied to assessment, including provision for appeal, should be fully disclosed and prominently available to all parties involved in the assessment process.
  1. Fees charged for assessment should be based on the services performed in the process and not determined by the amount of credit awarded.
  1. All personnel involved in the assessment of learning should pursue and receive adequate training and continuing professional development for the functions they perform.
  1. Assessment programs should be regularly monitored, reviewed, evaluated, and revised as needed to reflect changes in the needs being served, the purposes being met, and the state of the assessment arts.