Assessment of Prior Learning

Receive college credit for your life and work experience

The Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) Program at Three Rivers Community College is a process by which you may receive college credit for learning achieved as a result of your life and work experience. You can receive up to 30 credits through this evaluation that can be applied toward an Associate Degree at Three Rivers.

Whether you are a retired military person, an administrative assistant, a day care provider, a homemaker, or a volunteer fund-raiser, you most likely have acquired significant learning as a result of that work or volunteer experience. This learning is called non-traditional or experiential learning and it often translates into college-level learning. The most successful candidates typically have over 5 years of experience outside of the classroom.

An easy way to ascertain if your non-traditional learning could translate to college credit is to think in the following terms:

  • Is your learning in a subject area taught at a college?
  • Can your learning be verified and documented by an expert in the field?
  • Can your learning be related to other learning from similar areas of study?

If your answers to the above questions are yes, then the APL Program is worth exploring.

How does the APL Program work?

The APL Program is offered in the form of a 4-credit Portfolio Development Course (COU* K122) and follows a regular academic term schedule (15 weeks). This course guides you through the process of identifying areas of study and courses in which to apply your college-level learning. You will develop a portfolio which documents the learning and knowledge you have acquired through life and work experiences. At the end of the course, the portfolio is submitted to a board of Faculty Evaluators to determine the number of credits you will receive.

How can I match my learning and experience to courses at Three Rivers?

Start by reading the Course Descriptions in the Three Rivers Community College Catalogue to match your non-traditional learning with the courses. You can search by subject area or enter a skill/keyword in the search field to explore various courses.

Enrollment Requirements

  • Demonstrate college-level English readiness by either:
    • Testing into Composition (ENG* K101) via Accuplacer or
    • Completing Intro to College English (ENG* K096) with a ‘C#’ grade or higher
  • Complete the APL Self-Paced Online Information Session
  • Be familiar with Microsoft Word (highly recommended)
  • Take at most one other course concurrently with COU K122 (students are strongly urged to follow this due to the significant commitment this course requires)

Are there alternative ways to earn credit apart from APL?

Yes. For some courses and under certain circumstances, an alternative way to earn credit may be the best option. Three Rivers offers

  • CLEP (College Level Examination Program)
  • DSST (formerly DANTES) and
  • Advanced Placement Equivalency Exams

Visit the Testing webpage for more information.

Questions?

If you have additional questions, please contact the APL Program Coordinator, Amanda Caffary, at acaffary@threerivers.edu (preferred) or on 860.215.9018.

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