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From the Ground Up: Building the Foundations of a PLA Program

This workshop is designed to cover all the questions you have about prior learning assessment but were afraid to ask!


Designed as an introduction to prior learning assessment, the workshop will begin by laying a foundation by exploring the different opportunities students have to demonstrate their knowledge and learning, and the impact PLA has on organizational practices and student success.


This will be followed with an interactive discussion about best practices in implementing an effective PLA program within your institution. Participants will engage in case studies that examine principles of organizational change and how a PLA program becomes integral to student learning and success. Using sample documents, scenarios, and institutional examples, participants will work collaboratively to create an action plan and design processes for introducing or expanding PLA options to gain support from key campus constituencies.


As a result, participants will be able to build an action plan for executing a prior learning assessment program on their own campuses.


Learning Outcomes

This course will teach participants to:


  • Describe the various forms of PLA and utilize the steps, tools and procedures in the PLA process
  • Illustrate and apply the CAEL principles of best practice in PLA
  • Articulate the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the PLA process
  • Determine decision points for effective PLA implementation
  • Identify strategies for gaining buy-in from faculty, administrators, and students
  • Distinguish options for PLA-related organizational structures and action plans

Target Audience

The target audience for this course includes PLA owners, (such as coordinators, administrators and degree planners), university administration, registrars, and faculty members who advise course scheduling and degree plans.

Delivery Modes

  • Online—The online version of the course occurs over four weeks in a predominately asynchronous environment. The course is facilitated by a PLA subject matter expert, and there are several opportunities to receive feedback and engage directly with the facilitator in a synchronous live chat environment. 
  • In Person—The in-person course is an eight-hour workshop that may be delivered at CAEL events or purchased directly by institutions for onsite delivery by a CAEL subject matter expert. The workshop hours are 8:00a.m to 5:00p.m. with a one-hour lunch break. Onsite delivery costs $12,000, which includes travel expenses for one consultant.


Maximum Number of Participants


The maximum number of individuals per cohort is 25.


Online Registration Process

Individual registrations may be completed online and institutions purchasing a full cohort through a contract may submit their registrations directly to the higher ed registration team.


To purchase a full cohort registration, email CAELProfessionalDevelopment@cael.org.


Click below to complete an individual registration.





From the Ground Up
Canvas Course ID Start Date Registration Close Date Official Course End Date
PDFTGU-520 Monday, October 12th Wednesday, October 7th Sunday, December 6th