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 college classroom through life or work experiences.
The PLA (Prior Learning Assessment) program 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 or 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 college credit through the PLA program.
Prior Learning can come from many sources, including:
- Military Service Coursework
- Industry Standard Certifications
- High School Articulated Credit
- Advanced Placement (AP)
- College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- International Baccalaureate (IB)
- Work Experience
Additional information about receiving credit for Prior Learning is found in the College Catalog.
Military Service Coursework
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. All veterans should submit their Joint Services Transcript (JST) to the Office of Admissions and Records at Hinds as part of their application packet. Notify the Office of Veteran Services that you have done so, and email PriorLearning@hindscc.edu requesting an evaluation of your JST for possible college credit.
Certification & Credits
If you have obtained certifications or licensures that align with Hinds Community College’s programs of study, you have the possibility of earning college credit. Check out this listing of possible credit-earning certifications in the College Catalog and contact the Prior Learning Coordinator at PriorLearning@hindscc.edu.
The Mississippi Community College Board and Mississippi Department of Education have collaborated to help high school 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 programs of study, you may qualify for college credit. Contact the Prior Learning Coordinator at PriorLearning@hindscc.edu for more information.
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 Admissions and Records Office.
CLEP provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate competency in specific subjects and thereby earn college credit for courses without enrolling in those classes. CLEP tests are administered throughout the year at the Hinds Community College Assessment Center. Prior to testing, students are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to ensure potential course credits will fulfill degree requirements.
Official test scores should be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office. For more information, emailing PriorLearning@hindscc.edu is a great starting place.
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 Admissions and Records Office. Contact PriorLearning@hindscc.edu with questions.
Many other types of PLA credit are available through work experience including Licensed Journey Person, Police Academy Training and others. Contact the PLA office (PriorLearning@hindscc.edu) for further details.