PLA at UOPX, then and now
“PLA has been a part of the fabric of UOPX since its beginning” says Nathan Cicchillo, the director of admissions and evaluation for PLA, International, and College Articulation.
When the University was founded, according to Cicchillo, admission requirements to a bachelor’s degree program included a transfer of 60 or more credits. Some students used a combination of transfer credits and PLA credits to reach this threshold.
Since the beginning, UOPX has attempted to help students reach educational opportunities they might not find elsewhere. This was, and still is, very important for working professionals who are looking to save time and money on their degree.
“Similar to what we see today with our student population, our students back [in 1979] typically had some college credits, and some work and life experience that was relevant,“ says Cicchillo. “PLA was a way students could reduce the time and money spent on their educational goals.”
While PLA has always been a part of UOPX’s DNA, it hasn’t always remained the same.
“In 2019, we identified two of the primary barriers keeping students from pursuing PLA opportunities,” says Cicchillo. “These were the cost and the lack of clarity surrounding the process.”
To remedy this, UOPX dropped the fees for PLA. Considerable work has gone into making PLA information available and accessible to students, both on the main website and the Student Portal.
In addition, students can now see all the ways they can save on their degree, including PLA, through the Savings Explorer® tool. Putting this information front and center hopefully allows more students to pursue cost-saving opportunities at UOPX.
How much does PLA cost?
The evaluation itself comes at no cost to the student.
How does PLA compare to national testing programs like CLEP and DSST?
Much like PLA, CLEP and DSST may allow students to earn credits college credits outside of their completion of a traditional course. Both CLEP and DSST are evaluated by the American Council on Education and cover a wide range of disciplines, ranging from business to history to mathematics.
CLEP and DSST are national testing programs, administered by the College Board and Prometric respectively. PLA, on the other hand, is a type of assessment administered by individual institutions, each of which are individually evaluated and accredited. PLA at UOPX does not include a proctored exam. Instead, it requires students to submit a portfolio and/or experiential journal.
Another difference between these programs is the matter of fees. Both CLEP and DSST require a fee to take the exams (though the DANTES program covers one attempt per exam for eligible military personnel.) PLA does not require a fee for an enrolled UOPX student.
Do I need to choose between the professional portfolio and the experience journal? Can I do both?
Students can submit their experience in the form of either a professional portfolio or an experience journal, or both. Submitting for both, in fact, provides a greater opportunity to earn credit.
How can I get started with PLA?
You’ll have to be a currently enrolled student to begin an evaluation for PLA. Relevant links can be found in the Student Portal.
For those who have not yet enrolled, the Savings Explorer® tool can provide a broad overview of the opportunities to save time and money at UOPX.
PLA forms an important part of UOPX’s mission to make education accessible and available. By translating their prior life and work experiences into college credit, students can achieve their degree at a faster pace than they might have otherwise.
If you want to learn more about PLA, please visit the UOPX website.
Whether you’re interested in a bachelor’s, a master’s or an associate degree, explore other ways for you to save with UOPX’s Savings Explorer®!