Assessment of Prior Learning


The Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) Program at Three Rivers Community College was established and continues to maintain the standards of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). APL is a process in which the student builds a portfolio of their learning. The portfolio recognizes prior life/work experience by having the knowledge they have gained assessed for college credit. It is a process by which a student may receive college credit for the learning derived as a result of that life/work experience.

Many adults are not aware of just how the APL Program works or if it is right for them.  Whether you are a retired military person, an administrative assistant, a day care provider, a homemaker, or a volunteer fund-raiser for a civic organization, chances are that your college-level learning is a result of that work or volunteer experience.  This learning is called non-traditional or experiential learning, and often times it translates into college-level learning.

An easy way to ascertain if the learning you have gained outside of traditional college classrooms is similar is to think of your learning in the following terms:

    • Is the learning in a subject area taught at a college?
    • Can the learning be applied to situations other than the one in which it was acquired?
    • Can the learning be verified by an expert in the field?
    • Can the learning be related to other learning from similar areas of study?

If your answers to the above questions were yes, then the APL Program is probably worth exploring. Another way to tell is to read the Course Descriptions in the Three Rivers Community College Catalogue and match your non-traditional learning with the courses described therein. If your response is positive, then it would appear that this is an appropriate program, and one which would be of benefit to you.

The College offers a course which teaches you the process of developing a portfolio based on your learning. The pre-requisite for the course is ENG* K096 with a “C#” grade or higher, or ENG* K101 eligibility. Familiarity with Microsoft Word is highly recommended. At the end of the course, the portfolio is submitted to a board of College evaluators to determine the number of credits you will receive. You can receive up to 30 credits to be applied toward a program of study at Three Rivers Community College. The credits gained through this evaluation process are applicable towards an associate degree at Three Rivers. A minimum of 25% (15 credits for career programs and 17 credits for technology programs) must be granted in residence by Three Rivers.

Where to Start:

To enter the APL program it is mandatory to attend an information session. There will be a series of sessions offered in preparation for the new semester. There is no charge for this information session. Each session lasts approximately an hour and a half. You do not have to register to attend. However, it is recommended that students attend one of the earliest information sessions as this course fills early. All "new student" processing should be taken care of as quickly as possible (submit an application and high school verification, and take the Placement Test).

If you have additional questions, please contact the APL Coordinator - Amanda Caffary at 860.215.9018.


Upcoming Information Sessions
The next APL Course (COU K122 - Portfolio Development) will be offered Spring 2016.
Information sessions will be added as they are scheduled. Please check back for updates.