Prior Learning from Experience

Get credit for what you’ve learned in the workplace or the community.

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About Prior Learning from Experience

If you’ve got years of work experience and/or community involvement, this is an option worth pursuing.

Most likely you have gained some expertise that can earn you credit toward your degree. For instance, instead of taking a college course on leadership, you learned leadership skills and theory through your professional work.

We’ll guide you through the process of earning credit by documenting your experience. In Prior Learning from Experience Preparatory and Document Writing, you’ll discover how much college equivalent learning you already have. The collaborative learning community will also help you succeed at Evergreen.

Credit may be offered for 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
  • Grant writing and nonprofit management

How to Earn Credit for Life Experience

Document your experience and pay to have the document assessed for credit. You can submit a portfolio of essays, research and other supporting materials that document your knowledge and how you acquired it. Faculty with relevant expertise evaluate your work and determine how much credit you’ve earned and in what areas. The documents you turn-in for assessment can earn you up to 30 total college-level credits. Additionally, you can earn 6-10 credits through the support courses.

Cost for Credits

The fee for Prior Learning from Experience credit is about one third the cost of regular in-state tuition. Instead of paying tuition for the credits you’ve documented, you’ll pay a $651 non-refundable assessment fee per 10 credits.


It all depends on how long you take to complete your portfolio and write your documents. You must take one quarter of Prior Learning from Experience Prepatory before submiting your Portfolio. The Document Writing class is optional. PLE portfolios must be submitted for assessment within one year after completing your last PLE-related course.

Getting Started

Take Prior Learning from Experience Preparatory. This 4-credit course will help you through the process and is offered fall, winter and spring quarters. You can take this course before being admitted to Evergreen, but you must be admitted to Evergreen in order to take Document Writing and to receive Prior Learning from Experience credit.

After taking the preparatory course, you can register for the 2-credit Document Writing course for one to three quarters. During that time, you would receive faculty and colleague support completing the assessment documentation.