Prior Learning

What is Prior Learning?

Prior Learning Assessment in The University of Alabama’s New College LifeTrack program is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been acquired outside a traditional classroom setting (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). We recognize the value and importance of experiential learning. Many students enter LifeTrack with significant learning experiences acquired outside of traditional higher education. If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the goals and objectives of a University of Alabama subject, and credit is awarded through faculty evaluation, then academic credit can included towards a student’s degree.

How does Prior Learning Assessment Work?

  • Students identify fields of study where personal experience mimics classroom learning.
  • Students discuss Prior Learning Assessment with their academic advisor and then the prior learning coordinator.
  • Formal application is made to present a prior learning portfolio for evaluation.
  • Students have 6 months to prepare a portfolio which includes an analysis of learning and supporting documentation.
  • Faculty/Staff evaluation of the portfolio is completed.
  • Credit is awarded and applied towards the student’s degree requirements.

Types of Prior Learning Assessment:

  • Regular ASK (Application to Submit Knowledge) - subject area field of study portfolio. This is evaluated for college level credit by UA faculty members with expertise related to the subject area.
  • Modified ASK (Application to Submit Knowledge) - This includes learning acquired through organized training such as: Dale Carnegie courses, ACE college credit recommendations, Military training, etc.
  • CLEP/AP – Accepted according to UA policies and guidelines.

What are the costs of Prior Learning Assessment?

  • Modified ASK evaluation - No cost. This includes learning acquired through organized training such as: Dale Carnegie courses, ACE college credit recommendations, Military training, etc.
  • Regular ASK evaluation - $500.00. Fee for the evaluation of a subject area field of study portfolio. This is evaluated for college level credit by UA faculty members with expertise related to the subject area.
  • The fee is for the evaluation only. It remains the same regardless of amount of credit earned. There is no additional fee for the transcription of earned credit.

Common Areas of Prior Learning Assessment:

  • Field of Study Portfolios (Regular ASK)
      • Management
      • Photography
      • Computer Science
      • Management Information Systems
      • Health & Human Services
      • Safety
  • Standardized Credit/Organized Training (Modified ASK)
      • Military Training (with lower and/or upper bachelor’s level ACE recommendation)
      • Dale Carnegie
      • Six Sigma
      • Novell
      • Microsoft Certifications/Specialists
      • Certified Administrative Professionals