Prior Learning From Experience (PLE)

At Evergreen we know that vital learning takes place outside of the classroom. With the Prior Learning from Experience program, you can get credit for what you’ve learned in the workplace or the community.

Prior Learning from Experience

Prior Learning from Experience allows students to earn credit for skills gained during the course of their professional careers through writing pieces that outline the work they have done and what they have learned on the job.

Types of Experience

Credit may be offered for learning experiences that are equivalent to college level. Past participants have received credit for:

  • Developing plans for wetlands remediation
  • Union administration and organizing
  • Human resources management
  • Developing and managing a domestic violence program
  • Marketing and graphic design
  • Running a small business
  • Grantwriting and nonprofit management

PLE credit is not available for vocational or craft skills, self-improvement, or any experience accepted through Prior Learning Assessment.

Cost and Number of Credits

You can receive up to 30 credits via Prior Learning from Experience. PLE credits are treated as transfer credits for graduation requirements.

Instead of paying tuition, you’ll pay a $651 non-refundable assessment fee for each 10 credits earned, approximately one third the cost of tuition.

Prior Learning from Experience

Students in the 2014 EWS program Prior Learning from Experience.

How It Works

In order to get Prior Learning from Experience credit, you write essays documenting your learning that will be evaluated. Two courses are required; they will support you in this process. You may register for other offerings while you take the PLE support offerings.

I wanted to figure out how my professional training and experience equates to college learning. I always regretted not getting my degree, and the time bonus through PLE was fantastic. Read about our students.

Apply and be admitted to Evergreen

You can take Writing from Life as a special student, but you must be admitted to Evergreen in order to take PLE Document Writing and to receive PLE credit.

Take Writing from Life

Writing from Life is a four credit course offered every quarter. In this class, you’ll learn how to develop and write about your life experiences. You’ll gain experience in clear and persuasive non-fiction writing in a close partnership with faculty and other students. This gives you this practice to write documentation of the life experience you want credit for.

Before you can register, you’ll need to talk to the faculty and get a signature. They’ll talk to you about your experience and interests, so you come to the class with ideas for your PLE documentation.

Take PLE Document Writing and create a PLE Document

You must take at least 8 credits in Prior Learning from Experience Document Writing before you can have your credits evaluated. You’ll learn how to connect your professional and community experience into the equivalent college learning. You and your peers will review each other’s PLE Documents and help each other improve them.

Your PLE Document is a collection of essays, research, and supporting materials to demonstrate college-level learning gained from life experiences. You can request up to 10 credits for each PLE Document. Faculty members with relevant expertise will evaluate your document, determine how much credit you’ve earned, and in what areas.