College Credit for Life & Work Experience

What is ‘prior learning credit’?

We are all about helping you save time and money as you pursue your degree. As part of that commitment, we offer prior learning credit – academic credit earned when you demonstrate learning that you’ve gained outside the traditional college classroom.

This type of credit is sometimes referred to as “credit for life experience,” even though the credit is awarded based on the learning that resulted from the experience – not the experience itself.

Since prior learning credit is non-traditional, evaluation has to be done very carefully to ensure that it meets George Fox University’s standards for quality. The evaluation process for this is called Prior Learning Assessment.

Two Ways to Earn Prior Learning Credit

Prior Learning Essays

  • Enroll in the Personal and Professional Assessment course
  • Write three essays about life experiences
  • Receive elective credits for prior life learning! (up to 5 credits per essay)
  • You’ll typically earn between 0.5 to 5 credits per essay, with the average in the 1-3 credits range

Professional Training Submission

  • Enroll in the Professional Assessment Course
  • Submit professional training items – like first aid training or real estate licensure – for evaluation and possible credit award
  • Receive elective credits for prior life learning!

In both instances, you provide documentation of an adult (post-high school) experience, then describe and analyze the learning that occurred.


Average savings for students who earn eight PLA credits through the Personal and Professional Assessment course

Who is eligible for prior learning credit?

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Here are details about earning credit and eligibility:

Prior learning credit is just one reason the timing could be right to finish your degree. Read 11 Reasons to Consider Returning to College as an Adult to see others.

Debby Lute

Debby Lute

Social & Behavioral Studies '19

It was really enriching to match my life experience with what I might have learned in college and get credit for it. You can earn up to 30 credits, which if you do the math, is about $15,000 in savings on your education.


Leah Gomes

Leah Gomes

Admissions Counselor, Adult Degree Program