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Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experiences supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

PLA Frequently Asked Questions

Badge to Credit FAQs

How much money will I save by earning college credit through the CareerPLUS badge program and counting CareerPLUS badges toward my degree?

Badges can easily be converted to course credit at no additional charge other than the initial cost of the badge, resulting in savings of nearly $800 per 3-credit course. There are also no additional fees related to textbooks, technology, etc. when converting CareerPLUS badges to credit.

How is earning college credit through the CareerPLUS badge program different than taking a traditional course for college credit?

Earning credit through the CareerPLUS badge program is more affordable and more flexible than taking a traditional course for college credit. To earn a badge, you must take three online micro courses. Each micro course is self-paced over four weeks, so you can work on the content anytime within the month the course is offered whenever it fits your schedule. In addition, CareerPLUS badges feature relevant, affordable, “bite-sized” professional development focused on 21st-century essential workforce, employer-valued skills.

Which courses do the CareerPLUS badges align with for the Bachelor of Applied Studies (BAS) Degree?
Learn more here.

Which courses do the CareerPLUS badges align with for the Associate of Arts (AA) Degree?
Learn more here.

Which Compass Outcomes do CareerPLUS badges meet?

Learn more here.

Which Micro Courses are in a Badge?

Click here and then select each respective badge to view which micro courses make up a specific badge.

What is the process for converting my CareerPLUS Badge to academic credit at Clarke?

Learn more here.

Do I have to pay an extra fee to convert my CareerPLUS badges to credit?

No. Badges can easily be converted to course credit through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process at no additional charge other than the initial cost of the badge.

If I would like to count the Diversity and Inclusion Badge toward the Global Awareness and Social Responsibility (GASR) Compass Requirement, what additional documentation must be submitted before this will be approved?

Documentation of five hours of diversity or social responsibility training/experiences.

PLA FAQs

What is Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)?

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a flexible, affordable way for adult students to earn college credit toward a degree for college-level knowledge they have acquired outside the traditional classroom setting. Students must document the learning that has occurred through work, community activities, and/or non-credit training experiences. Documentation may include materials like letters from supervisors detailing your learning, newspaper articles about your accomplishments, computer programs you have written, or other things you have done or created that otherwise demonstrate the learning you have acquired. Students pursuing PLA credit will be assigned to a faculty assessor to determine if/how their learning experiences equate to Clarke course outcomes that could result in the awarding of university credit toward major requirements, Compass requirements, or university electives.

How much money can I save by earning credit through PLA?

You can save over $1,000 per 3-credit course by earning credit through PLA. That’s because when you earn PLA credit, you don’t pay regular tuition for the college course for which you are earning credit. The PLA fee is minimal and so not only do you save money, but you also save time because any course credit that you earn through PLA is credit that you don’t have to earn by enrolling in an actual course and doing homework on the material you already know. There are also no additional fees related to textbooks, technology, etc. when earning credit through PLA.

How quickly can I earn my degree if I earn credit through PLA?

This will vary depending on how much prior learning experience you have and/or how quickly you complete the PLA paperwork.

Who is eligible to earn credit through PLA?

Adult students, age 24 or older, may apply for credit through PLA.

Am I a good candidate for PLA?

This checklist may assist you in determining if you are a candidate for earning course credit through PLA.

How can I prepare for PLA?

While you will have the opportunity to learn more about and prepare for PLA during the CMPS 103: Foundations of Success course and/or with your faculty assessor, there are some things you can do to get a head start on the process, such as gathering and listing all prior trainings and work. We recommend that you create a file of any certificates, e-mails, or confirmations of workplace training. You might also save copies of unofficial transcripts from all institutions you have attended in an easily-retrievable location. Lastly, you might start a list of work experience and trainings alongside the dates and duration.

Will someone from Clarke help me through the PLA process?

Clarke University CareerPLUS degree-seeking students must complete the 3-credit CMPS 103: Foundations of Success course, which will guide them through the PLA process. Students pursuing PLA credit will also be assigned to a faculty assessor to determine if/how their learning experiences equate to Clarke’s course outcomes.

What types of documentation are appropriate for the Prior Learning Assessment process?

Documentation may include materials like letters from supervisors detailing your learning, newspaper articles about your accomplishments, computer programs you have written, or other things you have done or created that otherwise demonstrate the learning you have acquired.

How long does the PLA process take? What are the deadlines associated with PLA?

The amount of time spent on the PLA process can vary. The 3-credit CMPS 103: Foundations of Success course, which gets CareerPLUS degree-seeking students started on the process of earning credit through PLA, is a 7-week or 8-week course. At the end of the course, you may need to spend additional time finishing up the PLA process. You will work with your faculty assessor to set a deadline for completion of your PLA paperwork.

Do I get a grade for PLA?

PLA credit is either granted or denied. If granted, the credit will be posted to your transcript but will not be assigned a letter grade.

What is the PLA fee?

The fee for the review of your PLA material is listed here. When you earn PLA credit, you don’t pay regular tuition for the college course that you are earning credit for. The PLA fee is minimal and so not only do you save money on tuition and textbooks, but you also save time because any course credit that you earn through PLA is credit that you don’t have to earn by enrolling in an actual course and doing homework on material you already know.

Can I use financial aid to pay the PLA fee?

No, Title IV financial aid funding cannot be used directly on PLA fees. If your employer provides tuition assistance, you need to verify whether it will cover PLA fees. In addition, credit earned through prior learning assessment does not count as hours attempted for Federal Financial Aid.