Prior Learning Assessment

Grace Christian University recognizes that many students come to an institution of higher education with experience and training that has resulted in college-level knowledge. Students who enroll may earn credit for prior learning. A maximum of 30 semester credit hours may be earned through a form of prior learning assessment or proficiency exam (including CLEP and AP). Prior learning can come from a number of different sources including workshops, seminars, self-study, non-credit classes, training programs, and work experiences. Portfolios are to be assessed by a qualified, credentialed content area expert. Grace may award college credit for a license, certificate, or job-specific training as evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) or through the PLA evaluation process.

Grace adheres to the Ten Standards for Assessing Learning as documented by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) at

Grace Online offers a college-level exploratory course, PLA 200 Prior Learning Theory and Practicum (3 Credits), designed to assist the learner in understanding learning theory and apply theory to their own prior learning. One’s assessment of personal prior learning encourages new learning. Satisfactory completion of PLA 200 allows the student to have one portfolio assessed at no additional charge. PLA 200 may satisfy a lower-level elective course requirement within any undergraduate program, as applicable.

More detail is available on the Prior Learning Assessment Advising Form or from the Registrar:


Item Cost
Proficiency Exam $100 per exam, regardless of the result
Portfolio Assessment $300 per portfolio submission, regardless of the number of credits awarded
PLA 200 – 3 Credits See tuition cost table

Fees may not be covered by financial aid. Contact the Financial Aid Office to determine whether or not your PLA related fees can be covered by your financial aid package.


A proficiency exam is an examination administered by Grace to assess prior knowledge on a subject. Grace Online currently offers a proficiency exam for New Testament and Old Testament Bible knowledge. The Proctor Agreement Form is available online.


A portfolio is a compilation of documentation that significant, college-level learning has been achieved by the learner. The portfolio must be written according to the expectations for college-level writing. Creating a portfolio is the learner’s way to translate and validate one’s prior knowledge into a format that is able to be assessed by another individual.


A rubric will be used to assess evidence of prior learning. The content area expert will assess the portfolio and decide whether there is significant evidence that the student has satisfied at least 70% of content mastery in a specific subject area and that the student has satisfactorily demonstrated that learning. The content expert will also provide helpful feedback to the student. Credit can be awarded as an elective (lower or upper level) or a specific course equivalency.