Prior Learning Assessment

At LC State, we recognize that learning can happen outside the classroom. That’s why we offer Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) options that will help decrease the amount of time it takes to earn your degree and save you money.

What Is Prior Learning?

Prior Learning Assessment is the awarding of credit for college level learning that you may have acquired outside the classroom. PLA gives you an opportunity to demonstrate learning that has taken place in your life.

Some examples of prior learning that may help you gain academic credit include:

  • Military service and training
  • Career experience
  • Life experience, Community Service, Volunteer Work
  • Certifications, Licenses, Industry Credentials
  • Workshops, Webinars, Professional Development

Prior Learning Assessment Course

Students will be given guidance in LC State's prior learning assessment options and will have a chance to create a draft portfolio.

  • 8-week course, offered spring and fall semesters
  • 1-credit
  • Reduced tuition rate

For more information, contact the Adult & Corrections Education Director

Prior Learning Assessment Options

Credit for military training and experience is available to degree seeking LCSC students or post baccalaureate students currently enrolled at LCSC. Applicants who wish to receive credit for military training must submit an official military transcript to the Registrar and Records Office via the Joint Service Transcript site: An official evaluation will not be granted until the applicant has matriculated to Lewis-Clark State College and earned a minimum of three credits from LC State.

The assessment and transcription of credit for military training and experience is consistent with the established standards for credit evaluation and award based on standards such as the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide.

For more information:  LCSC Policy 2.120 

Step 1:  Contact the Registrar's Office to request an evaluation of your military training and experience.

A Challenge Exam assesses your mastery of college-level learning outcomes designated for specific LCSC courses.  Under guidelines approved by each division, currently enrolled, degree-seeking students may challenge courses in which they believe there has been substantial prior learning. Exams may include a variety of formats, such as multiple choice questions, short answer, essay questions, oral interviews, or skills demonstrations.

For more information: Challenge-Exams

Step 1:  Contact Dovie Willey at [email protected].

CLEP, DSST/DANTES enable students to earn college credit by examination. Students interested in earning credit through the respective program should contact the Registrar & Records Office .

For more information:  Minimum Required Scores and LCSC Equivalent Courses

Step 1 if you plan to take a CLEP Exam:

  1. Register for your CLEP Exam- CLEP fees and LCSC Testing Center fees apply.
  2. Make an appointment for your exam with the Testing Center.  Fill out the online form or call 208-792-2100

Step 1: If you have already completed CLEP exams and wish to have your scores evaluated:  Request that your scores be sent to the Registrar directly from:

Educational Testing Service
Princeton, New Jersey, 08541

A Portfolio is a formal means of requesting assessment of your prior work/life experience from which you have developed sufficient college-level learning to earn credit for a specific class.  Portfolio Assessments are particularly appropriate for learning that occurred through work experience, such as owning your own business, managing a significant project, or long-term volunteering for an agency.

For more information: Portfolio Assessments

Step 1:  Contact Dovie Willey at [email protected].

For more information on Lewis-Clark State College’s policy on Credit by Prior Learning Assessment: Policy 2.118 Credit by Prior Learning Assessment

Department of corrections officer

POST Certifications and Experience

LC State offers you the opportunity to use POST certifications and work experience to earn credits. Students can earn up to 30 credits through their prior learning experience, saving both time and money!

Portfolio Assessments