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Prior Learning Assessment

What Is Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)?

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an opportunity to petition course credit for experiential learning, non-credit course completion, professional development, licensure/certification and challenge exams. Course credit is awarded when content mastered through a prior experience is comparable to the student learning outcomes of a LSC course. Credit is generally awarded for introductory level courses, thereby accelerating time to program completion.

How Does It Work?

  1. Students meet with an advisor to request a credit assessment.
  2. Advisors/Counselors verify eligibility and submit assessment requests for evaluation.
  3. If students meet all eligibility criteria, credit is awarded.

PLA Options

Business and Leadership

American Council on
Education (ACE)

American Council on Education (ACE) uses expert evaluators to review workplace training, military experiences and national exams for potential college credit matches.

More Information about PLA by 
American Council on Education (ACE)

Business and Leadership

Continuing Education Articulation

Continuing Education (CE) articulation is an agreement to award semester credit hours toward a credit course for successful completion of certain CE courses.

More Information about PLA by CE Articulation

Business and Leadership

External Challenge Exams

Lone Star College has established equivalent course credit for minimum passing scores on nationally-recognized, college entrance and subject exams.

More Information about PLA by 
External Challenge Exams

Business and Leadership

High School Articulation

High School Articulation is an agreement to match high school career and technical education (CTE) courses with college CTE courses.

More Information about PLA by
High School Articulation

Business and Leadership

Internal Challenge Exams

Internal challenge exams are developed by LSC faculty and administered through campus testing centers or academic departments. 

More Information about PLA by
Internal Challenge Exams

Business and Leadership

Licensure or Industry Certification

Lone Star College has established equivalent course credit for professional certifications and state licensures.

More Information about PLA by Licensure or Industry Certification

Business and Leadership

Non-Regionally Accredited College or University

This assessment option is required for evaluating transcripts from institutions not accredited by one of the seven regional accreditors.

More Information about PLA by Non-Regionally Accredited College or University

Business and Leadership


Portfolio allows students to request course credit for knowledge and skills acquired through employment, cooperative (co-op) education and/or training.

More Information about PLA by Portfolio

PLA Criteria and Guidelines

Access the Prior Learning Assessment Manual for detailed information on policies, procedures, and eligibility requirements.


  1. Enrolled in a LSC academic program in the current semester.
  2. Provide official documentation (transcripts, license/certification, etc.) supporting the request for PLA credit.
  3. Meet eligibility requirements specific to the PLA option.


  1. Requests must be processed with an LSC advisor or counselor.
  2. Prior Learning Assessment is not available for credit toward courses attempted or previously taken at LSC or a transferring institution. 
  3. Acceptance of PLA credit toward the Honors College degree plan is at the discretion of the campus Honors College director.
  4. Credit is awarded after a student has been enrolled past official day of the current, academic semester. The calendar date for official day is identified on the LSC Academic Calendar.  
  5. PLA credit is only awarded when it applies to a current, LSC program.
  6. Credit for PLA by Exam is applicable only to LSC graduation requirements and will not appear on the official transcript. Exception: Credit for the AVANT placement exams is transferable. 
  7. PLA credit posts as "TCR"  on transcripts.
  8. Other academic institutions may not accept PLA credit awarded by Lone Star College. Students are responsible for verifying credit acceptance with the receiving institution before deciding to pursue PLA credit.
  9. No more than 50% of credit certificate or associate degree coursework may be earned through PLA. See an advisor LSC graduation requirements.
  10. If necessary, fees must be paid to the campus business office before testing or pursuing faculty assessment. 

Fees for PLA

PLA Option Fee
American Council on Education (ACE) Transcript Evaluation No Fee
Continuing Education Articulation No Fee
External Challenge Exam Fee may apply*
High School Articulation Credit/Advanced Technical Credit No Fee
Internal Challenge Exam $25 per exam
Military Transcript Evaluation No Fee
Non-Regionally Accredited College or University Transcript Evaluation $25 per transcript
Portfolio Credit $60 per portfolio

*A fee of $25 per assessment will be charged for any additional faculty evaluation needed.