Students at graduation ceremony.

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credit for what you know.

Prior Learning Assessment can allow you to gain academic credit for skills and knowledge you’ve already learned. You may qualify for PLA for learning you acquired through work, employer training programs, military service, independent study, volunteer work or community service, and open source courseware study.

PLA evaluates those types of knowledge for college credit, certification or advanced standing in your academic career.

We offer several ways for you to qualify for PLA credit.

If you think you may qualify for PLA, download the PLA Student Guide and Application.


Credit By Exam

Pellissippi State accepts a number of examinations to test your knowledge and allow you to earn PLA credit.

Advanced Placement (AP)
College-Level Examination (CLEP)
Defense Activity Test and Examination Services Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Pellissippi State Credit By Exam
Thomas Edison State University Exam


Credit for Certifications and Licensures

Certification Name Course Prefix Course Title Credit Hours
MOS EXPERT Certification in Word 2016 ADMN 1311 Word Processing 3 hours
MOS EXPERT Certification in Excel 2016 ADMN 1313 Spreadsheet Applications 3 hours
MOS Specialist Certification in Word, Excel, and Access INFS 1010 Computer Applications 3 hours
Certification Name Course Prefix Course Title Credit Hours
ServSafe Food Safety Certification CULA 1300 Sanitation & Food Safety 3 hours
Certification Name Course Prefix Course Title Credit Hours
OSHA 10 and NIMS-Measurement, Materials, & Safety Level I ENST 1350 Industrial Safety 3 hours
OSHA 30 ENST 1350 Industrial Safety 3 hours
SolidWorks Associate ENST 1311 Computer Aided Design I 3 hours
Certification Name Course Prefix Course Title Credit Hours
CompTIA Network+ CITC 1102/1302 Introduction to Networking 4 hours
CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1001) Exam CITC 1321 A+ Hardware 3 hours
CompTIA A+ Core 2 (220-1002) Exam CITC 1322 A+ Software 3 hours
Configuring Windows 7, Configuring Windows Devices or Installing and Configuring Windows 10 CITC 1330 Microsoft Desktop OS 3 hours
LPIC-I CITC 1333 Linux LPIC -1 3 hours
MCSA - Server 2008, Server 2012, Server 2016, Administering Windows Server 2012R2 or Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012R2 Features CITC 2320 Windows Server Admin 3 hours
CompTIA Security+ CITC 2326 Network Security 3 hours
LPIC-2 or RHCSA CITC 2331 Unix/Linux System Admin 3 hours
CCENT CITC 2329 Routing and Switching I 3 hours
CCNA CITC 2330 Routing and Switching II 3 hours
DSST Exam CITC 1301 Introduction to Programming and Logic 3 hours
Oracle Java Foundations 1Z0-811 CITC 1310/1110 Programming I/Lab 4 hours
Oracle Database Foundations 1Z0-006 CITC 1303 Database Concepts 3 hours
Oracle Database 12c SQL 1Z0-071 and 1Z0-144: Oracle Database 11g: Programming with PL/SQL CITC 2340 Advanced Database Concepts & Programming 3 hours

Credit for ACE-Approved Training

You may be able to earn college credit for employer-sponsored training and certifications that are based on the American Council on Education National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training. This options includes an evaluation of corporate training, certifications or apprenticeship programs.  


Credit for SOPHIA Learning

You may be able to earn college credit for courses taken through SOPHIA Learning. Courses taken will need to be submitted on an ACE Transcript. Students can use the ACE Request Transcript Page to find the credits they have earned. 


Credit for Department of Labor Approved Apprenticeship Programs

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Inside Wireman Program


Credit for Industry Training


Credit for Coursework from Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT)

Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Knoxville, and Pellissippi State Community College have a local partnership which promotes student transfer and program articulationThe partnership is for the purpose of providing eligible TCAT students the opportunity to receive college credit upon successful completion of a qualified program at a TCAT.

Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT) (PDF)


Credit for Life Experience

Students may earn college credit through life experiences outside the classroom.

Credit for life experience might be granted for college courses for which credit cannot feasibly be granted by other means, like credit by exam. If you’re interested in Credit for Life Experience, complete the Credit for Life Experience form and submit it to the academic dean who oversees your area of interest.

If the academic dean grants approval for your request to proceed, you will interview with a faculty committee to clarify your experience. The committee will review any documentation and pass along a recommendation to the academic dean, and ultimately the vice president of Academic Affairs, for approval. If your request for Credit for Life Experience is denied, you’ll be contacted at this point. If your request is approved, the Records Office will notify you that academic credit for your life experience has been added to your records.


Credit for Military Training

Pellissippi State works closely with veterans to ensure that the maximum amount of credit may be awarded for military courses and training.


Credit for Non-Regionally Accredited Institutions

Many kinds of courses you may have taken at another college are automatically accepted for credit at Pellissippi State. If your previous credits are not automatically accepted, you may request reconsideration of transfer credit decisions.

The appeals process is the same whether you are transferring from a regionally or non-regionally accredited college or university.

The appropriate academic dean will review these documents and your appeals request. The Records Office and/or Admissions Office will then notify you of the review decision. At this point, the decision about your transfer credit is final.


Portfolio Assessment

Students may prepare a portfolio that documents their skills, knowledge and abilities. An expert faculty member will review your portfolio to determine any college level credits for which you may qualify.

Contact Us

Terri Strader
Manager of Records

Brock Evans
Specialist, Cohort and Certificate Programs
Goins Building 247