Prior Learning Assessment at Empire State University

Empire State University is committed to the idea that people can earn credit for college level learning no matter how it was acquired.

The following principles inform all policies and practices in PLA  [this link opens in a new window] at the college:

  • Credit is granted for verifiable college level learning, but not for the experience itself.
  • Evaluation is done in the context of the student’s degree program.
  • Evaluation of prior learning involves reviewing student materials, interviewing the student and providing a written report.
  • SUNY Empire faculty provide a final review of the evaluator’s recommendation and award credit as appropriate to the student’s degree program.

The review of the evaluator recommendation is an important step in the PLA process. The college relies on its evaluators to assess student learning and write a recommendation report.

Evaluator recommendations are then reviewed and credit is granted through the Faculty Assessment Committee review process.

Individualized prior learning assessment is not always a linear process. It can be more recursive and may vary with each student’s experience.

The SUNY Empire iPLA process complies with the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) principles, Middle States standards, and college policy. For further information on how the CAEL principles are put into practice at SUNY Empire, see the CAEL Standards in Action page.

Who is involved in the iPLA process?

Students, mentors, evaluators, SUNY Empire offices and faculty committees are all involved in the iPLA process.

The  iPLA Participants webpage gives details about the specific roles and responsibilities of each participant throughout the iPLA process.

How do I become an evaluator?

See Working as an Evaluator for more information.


Feel free to contact your pla specialist with any questions you may have or email us at