Assessment of Prior Learning

What is The Assessment of Prior Learning Program?

The Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) Program at Three Rivers Community College was established under and continues to maintain the standards of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). It is a process by which a student may receive college credit for the learning achieved as a result of their life and work experience.

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.

Is the Assessment of Prior Learning Program Right for Me?

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, you most likely have acquired significant learning as a result of that work or volunteer experience.  This learning is called non-traditional or experiential learning, and it often translates into college-level learning. The most successful candidates have extensive experiential learning (typically 5+ years) outside of the classroom in an applicable field of study.

An easy way to ascertain if the learning you have gained outside of traditional college classrooms could be applicable as college-level learning 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 and documented 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 worth exploring.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How can I match my learning and experience to courses at Three Rivers?

Start by reading the Course Descriptions in the Three Rivers Community College Catalogue to match your non-traditional learning with the courses described therein. You can search by subject area or enter a skill/keyword in the search field to explore all courses which contain that term in the course description. If your response is positive, then it would appear that this is an appropriate program, and one which would be of benefit to you.

  • Where can I find out if the courses I want to petition are eligible for credit through APL?

Some courses have special requirements or restrictions when it comes to petitioning credit through APL. This Exceptional Courses Guide will provide you with information about courses which require pre-approval for petition or have a specified manner of evaluation as well as which courses may not be petitioned through APL.

  • How does the APL Program work?

The APL Program is offered in the form of a 4-credit Portfolio Development Course (COU* K122). This course guides you through the process of developing a portfolio documenting the learning and knowledge you have acquired through life and work experiences. At the end of the course, the portfolio is submitted to a board of Faculty Evaluators to determine the number of credits you will receive.

  • What will I be expected to do to create my portfolio?

The 2016-2017 Assessment of Prior Learning Information Packet is a great resource of information. Within, you will learn more about what the Portfolio Development Course entails as well as a detailed breakdown of what evidence you will need to provide in your portfolio to earn credit for college-level learning attained outside of the traditional classroom.

The Portfolio itself will be built within Digication, the ePortfolio platform employed at Three Rivers. A user-friendly template is in place that will guide you through the construction of your Portfolio.

  • Are there alternative ways to earn credit apart from APL?

Yes. For some courses and under certain circumstances, an alternative way to earn credit may be the best option. Three Rivers offers CLEP (College Level Examination Program - view equivalencies), DSST (formerly DANTES - view equivalencies), and Advanced Placement Equivalency Exams regularly throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. Visit the Three Rivers Testing Center Webpage for more information or to view the upcoming test schedule.

Enrollment Requirements:

  • ENG* K096 with a “C#” grade or higher, or ENG* K101 eligibility. Familiarity with Microsoft Word is highly recommended.
  • To enroll in the APL program it is mandatory to attend an information session. Complete the Self-Paced Online Information Module or attend an on-campus Information Session when offered.

Additional Resources:

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 (preferred) or on 860.215.9018.


Upcoming Information Sessions

There are no on-campus Information Sessions scheduled at this time.

Check back for updates or enroll in the Self-Paced Online Information Session linked below.

You will be able to access all of the required Information and Materials needed to Register for the Portfolio Development Course from any computer!
Enroll Today for Fall 2016!
Visit the Registrar's Office for more Information and Helpful Resources.