Prior Learning Assessment
Hinds Community College is committed to the idea that people deserve credit for verifiable college-level learning, either knowledge or skills, that have developed through learning outside of the traditional classroom through life or work experiences.
The PLA program, developed primarily for working adults, is designed to recognize the academic value of what students have learned through experiences outside the college classroom. Credit for prior learning may result from work experience; employment related training programs, and military service. If students have gained course equivalent knowledge, competencies, and/or skills as a result of prior learning experiences, they may be able to earn academic credit through the PLA program.
Prior Learning can come from many sources, including:
- Industry Standard Certifications
- Work Experience
- Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
- Training Programs or In-service courses
- Military Service
- International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit
- Apprenticeship Programs
PLA Course Availability
PLA credits are not available for all Hinds courses. Students who have been admitted and who have decided on an academic program may challenge courses through PLA if the course is NOT available through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). Students who receive permission to challenge a course from an authorized faculty assessor must pay the required assessment fees and satisfactorily pass a learning assessment or performance exam before credit can be awarded.
Number of PLA Hours
Although there is no limit to the number of hours that students can receive through PLA, 25% of credits required for a degree must be earned by taking classes at Hinds to satisfy in residence requirements for graduation. PLA credits appear on student transcripts as “P.” Letter grades are not awarded for Prior Learning. Credits earned through PLA satisfies graduation requirements but may not be accepted as transfer credits at another institution. Students planning to transfer to other institutions should contact the college or university to determine if PLA credits are accepted.
Armed Services Educational Credits
Hinds will conduct an evaluation of educational experiences in the Armed Forces and award postsecondary level credits at the freshman and/or sophomore levels when appropriate. The evaluation procedure will be comprised of two categories of military experiences.
Type 1 will be the evaluation of military courses listed in the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services, American Council on Education. The Registrar will receive and evaluate petitions for military courses in the same manner as other incoming transfer credits.
Type 2 will be the evaluation of other military training and experiences through Prior Learning Assessment Program (PLA). The standard fee for the assessment of PLA will be applied to Type 2 evaluations.
Students interested in this option should email PriorLearning@hindscc.edu for more information.
Certifications & Credits
If you have obtained certifications or licensures that align with Hinds Community College’s Program of Studies, you have the possibility of earning college credit.
Find where your experience counts!
The Mississippi Community College Board and Mississippi Department of Education have collaborated to help students accelerate their career path! If you completed a Career and Technical program in high school that aligns with one of Hinds Community College’s aligned programs of study you may qualify FREE college credit.
Your Steps to Free College Credits
- Graduate with a high school diploma or GED after successful completion of your high school Career and Technical Program.
- Enroll at Hinds Community College to the aligned program of study.
For more information, contact PriorLearning@hindscc.edu. You will be required to provide documentation of completion.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Advanced Placement exams are taken after students complete the corresponding AP course in high school. To qualify for college credit, students must earn an appropriate passing score on the nationally administered exam. Credits will not be awarded for examinations that duplicate course work or other exam credits previously posted to a student’s academic record. Students who wish to receive AP credits should submit official test scores from the College Board to the Registrar’s Office.
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Exams
CLEP provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate competency in certain subjects and thereby earn college credit for particular courses without enrolling in classes. Individuals wishing to become Hinds students and receive CLEP credit must apply and pay the non-refundable application fee. CLEP tests are administered throughout the year at the Hinds Community College District Assessment Center.
CLEP credit cannot duplicate regular college course credit already earned, Dual Enrollment credit, or other credits earned through examination. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to ensure course credits will fulfill degree requirement.
For more information call 601-857-3852.
The International Baccalaureate program is a challenging curriculum offered in high schools around the world that is designed to prepare students for advanced work in many countries’ postsecondary systems. Students who wish to receive (IB) credits should submit official transcripts to the Registrar’s Office.