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Prior Learning Assessment through a Portfolio (PLA)

Tacoma Community College serves a diverse community of learners, many of whom have acquired previous learning through life experiences, including work, training, and independent study. These adults come to the college ready to demonstrate what they already know and can do.

PLA credits are noted on TCC transcripts as the TCC equivalent courses. Credit usually is awarded only if TCC offers an equivalent course. However, if the PLA experience can be shown to have direct application to a student's technical program the credit may be posted to the student transcript as elective credit.

If PLA credit is based on an articulated agreement, a letter grade is assigned conforming with the agreement. Other PLA credit is posted with a grade of ‘S’ for satisfactory pass.

Some students are granted prerequisite waivers rather than credit for prior learning. In these cases notations are made that the prerequisites have been satisfied, but no credit is posted to transcripts.

Students must be currently enrolled before prior learning assessment is initiated. PLA credits are posted at the end of the quarter in which the PLA requirement is satisfied. PLA credits are not considered enrolled credits and are not counted in calculating students’ enrollment status or financial aid awards.

Transfer colleges and universities evaluate PLA credits based on their own institutional policies.

Students interested in petitioning for credit through portfolios should enroll in EXPLR 190 E-Portfolio. For more information, contact the Career Center, Bldg 7, or call 253.566.5191.