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)
Excelsior
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Pellissippi State Credit By Exam
Thomas Edison State University Exam

Credit for Certifications and Licensures

Certification NameCourse PrefixCourse TitleCredit Hours
MOS EXPERT Certification in Word 2016ADMN 1311Word Processing3 hours
MOS EXPERT Certification in Excel 2016ADMN 1313Spreadsheet Applications3 hours
MOS Specialist Certification in Word, Excel, and AccessINFS 1010Computer Applications3 hours
Certification NameCourse PrefixCourse TitleCredit Hours
ServSafe Food Safety CertificationCULA 1200Sanitation & Food Safety2 hours
Certification NameCourse PrefixCourse TitleCredit Hours
OSHA 10 and NIMS-Measurement, Materials, & Safety Level IENST 1350Industrial Safety3 hours
OSHA 30ENST 1350Industrial Safety3 hours
SolidWorks AssociateENST 1311Computer Aided Design I3 hours
Certification NameCourse PrefixCourse TitleCredit Hours
CompTIA Network+CITC 1102/1302Introduction to Networking4 hours
CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1001) ExamCITC 1321A+ Hardware3 hours
CompTIA A+ Core 2 (220-1002) ExamCITC 1322A+ Software3 hours
Configuring Windows 7, Configuring Windows Devices or Installing and Configuring Windows 10CITC 1330Microsoft Desktop OS3 hours
LPIC-ICITC 1333Linux LPIC -13 hours
MCSA – Server 2008, Server 2012, Server 2016, Administering Windows Server 2012R2 or Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012R2 FeaturesCITC 2320Windows Server Admin3 hours
CompTIA Security+CITC 2326Network Security3 hours
LPIC-2 or RHCSACITC 2331Unix/Linux System Admin3 hours
CCENTCITC 2329Routing and Switching I3 hours
CCNACITC 2330Routing and Switching II3 hours
DSST ExamCITC 1301Introduction to Programming and Logic3 hours
Oracle Java Foundations 1Z0-811CITC 1310/1110Programming I/Lab4 hours
Oracle Database Foundations 1Z0-006CITC 1303Database Concepts3 hours
Oracle Database 12c SQL 1Z0-071 and 1Z0-144: Oracle Database 11g: Programming with PL/SQLCITC 2340Advanced Database Concepts & Programming3 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

  • DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc. (PDF)
  • Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) (PDF)

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 articulation. The 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.

  • You must have a transcript on file at Pellissippi State
  • You must complete the Petition for Transfer Credit Form and submit course descriptions, course syllabi and any other required documentation to the Records Office

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

Through a partnership with Learning Counts, you may prepare a portfolio that documents your 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

Start Strong Center
StartStrong@pstcc.edu
Phone: 865-694-6400
Text: 865-270-6400
Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Live Chat
Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Virtual Walk-In Queue
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.