Prior Learning Assessment


Walsh University awards credit for life experience through a formal assessment process and provides students alternative methods to earning credit by examination through the following methods:

  1. Standard Proficiency Exams: CLEP and DSST (DANTES)–Walsh University serves a testing site to administer and accept test results for CLEP and DSST testing. Additionally, the University is a fully funded test center to support military service members.
  2. Individualized Student Portfolios (ISP)–Individualized Student Portfolios consist of an organized collection of written statements and artifacts that reflects the depth and breadth of college level learning relative to learning outcomes that connect to the academic area where credit is sought.
  3. Examination of Military Experience–Appropriate military documents will be reviewed for training that is recognized by a regional accrediting body or the American Council of Education (ACE).
  4. Corporate Training, Professional Certification, or License–Evidence of prior training, certification, or license obtained that is already acknowledged by ACE will be reviewed for credit. This review may have a direct course equivalency established or require a combination of certification and portfolio submission to determine equivalency.

Walsh University follows the Higher Learning Commission Assumed Practices policy on allowable credit for prior learning, as outlined in the outlined in the HLC Policy Book ( The University’s process to obtain credit for prior learning is available for traditional and non-traditional students. Students may earn up to 45 hours of approved prior learning credits towards their degree.

Note: The preparation of life learning/portfolio/military/physical education/corporate training, professional certification, and license documentation does not guarantee automatic awarding of credits. The last 27 credit hours prior to graduation must be taken at Walsh University and 15 semester hours are required within the major. All prior assessments/life learning/portfolio/military/physical education/corporate training, professional certification, and license tests, and portfolio reviews must be completed before the last 27 credit hours of required coursework. Lastly, any awarded prior learning credit at Walsh University does not guarantee a direct transfer to another institution.

Walsh University will review prior learning assessment opportunities with each student as part of their initial enrollment process. After an admissions application is received and transcript(s) have been requested, the student will be sent the PLA self-assessment. An Enrollment Manager will review a preliminary degree audit, academic completion plan, a PLA assessment, and discuss the noted alternatives available through prior learning for college credit.

Walsh University maintains active membership with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) who is committed to working with regionally accredited institutions to preserve high quality in the prior learning assessment review process and instill best practices for awarding credit.

For more information, please contact: Office of Degree Completion & Graduate Enrollment Office at 330.490.7238 or (office is in the David Campus Center- Lower Level), or visit our PLA Guide.