What is the Prior Learning Assessment at SUU?

Posted: June 03, 2021 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 3 minutes

What is SUU's Prior Learning Assessment?

Southern Utah University recognizes that not all learning is done in a classroom. Many students have experiences before and during their academic careers, like earning licenses and certificates, that enhance their education both academically and professionally. The prior learning assessment gives these students the chance to earn college credit for their educational efforts outside of the classroom.

There are several benefits of the Prior Learning Assessment course including significantly less cost to the student, a shorter time frame to earn credits, an easier workload, and faculty and staff support.

What does the prior learning assessment course include?

The prior learning assessment course is completed online over a 6-week period. Students take the time to document their formal or informal learning experiences by developing a portfolio or written summary.

At SUU, there are three ways to earn credit in the course. The first is creating a professional portfolio that focuses on professional licenses or certifications that you’ve earned. Course assignments help to develop and complete your portfolio. Second is an essay written that demonstrates the knowledge gained through professional development that did not end in receiving a license or certificate. Each essay consists of several parts divided into weekly sections to help you complete all the requirements of the essay. Last is a combination of the first two options.

How does the prior learning assessment help students save time?

The flexibility of this program also opens the door for students whose current schedule does not permit traditional on-campus or synchronous online courses. Students have 6 weeks to complete the course requirements, however, after a proposal is approved, students can submit all that is required on their own timeline. If prepared, a student could submit all required coursework within the first week and complete the course.

Students also save time because the main work has already been completed through experience, prior to registering for the course. Overall the purpose of the course is to reflect on the student’s accomplishments and add a research component to what they learned.

Because of the nature of the course, extensions are not given. Students seeking to take the course are encouraged to plan ahead and propose only what they can complete in the time period. If a student is unable to complete the course in the time given, they can retake the course at another time.

Can the prior learning assessment help me save money?

Created to help students earn credits quickly and in a more affordable way, the price of prior learning assessment course credits are significantly less than typical credit hours. The total cost of the first credit of the course is $279 while each additional credit is only $49. For instance, if a student enrolled in 12 prior learning assessment credits over the course of one semester, the total cost would be $818.
However, this means that the course is not eligible to be covered by financial aid and does not count toward the total credits needed to be eligible for financial aid.

Students come from many walks of life and backgrounds, and SUU recognizes the educational efforts of each student both in and out of the classroom. If you are getting close to graduation, or if you simply want to get a jumpstart on your electives, the prior learning assessment program can help accelerate your degree and prepare you for a successful career.

Tags: BGS SUU Online

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