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 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. Through the APL Program, the student builds a portfolio documenting the learning and knowledge they have acquired through these experiences. This portfolio is then assessed for college credit.

The College offers a Portfolio Development Course which guides you through 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.

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, 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 2015-2016 Assessment of Prior Learning Manual is also a great resource of information. Within, you will learn more about what the Portfolio Development Course entails as well as what evidence you will need to provide in your portfolio to earn credit for college-level learning attained outside of the traditional classroom.

Where to Start:

To enroll in the APL program it is mandatory to attend an information session. There will be at least one on-campus Information Session offered in preparation for the new semester. There is no charge for this information session, which lasts approximately an hour and a half.

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 or on 860.215.9018.

To receive updates regarding the Assessment of Prior Learning Program, enter your details on the APL Email List Form.


Upcoming Information Sessions
While registration is not required to attend a session, doing so will help us to plan and schedule the sessions. Follow this link to Register for an Information Session.
You will be able to access all of the required Information and Materials needed to Register for the Portfolio Development Course from any computer!
The next APL Course (COU K122 - Portfolio Development) will be offered Spring 2016.