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PLA 2020-03-09T15:37:37+00:00

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process for awarding credit for learning that has taken place away from the college classroom.

Credit can only be awarded for classes offered by Highline College.

With faculty approval and guidance, students will demonstrate their competence in class content.

Faculty will assist you in determining the best way to demonstrate your learning experience.

Military and veterans can receive college credit for military training. Follow the link to see how, or contact the PLA Coordinator to help facilitate the process.

TierCategory Description Fee
1Transfer credit from other accredited higher education institutions, Joint Service Transcripts for military training, or nationally recognized exams such as AP, IB, CLEP, Cambridge. Degree or certificate requirement fulfillment is noted through the regular credentials evaluation process$0
2Certifications and Institutionally Recognized Equivalency
Industry certifications, occupational crosswalks, institutionally-approved tests such as STAMPS. Credits are awarded and transcripted by Highline College based on documented earned certifications or standardized test results.
$35 / class
3Course Outcomes Assessment
Course challenges based on established competency assessments or portfolio review by Highline faculty. Credits and grades are awarded and transcripted during the regular quarterly reporting of grades.
$35 / Credit
The PLA coordinator will be your guide through this process and can be contacted if you have a question at any point during the process.

The following steps will help prepare you to apply to receive credits for prior learning.

1) Look through the catalog and determine classes you might be able to receive credit for.
2) Submit an Initial Request form to the PLA coordinator.
3) Contact the instructor or department chair for the class you have identified. Instructor contact information can be found in the Highline College Directory

Pending approval of the coordinator and faculty, the coordinator will help you through the following steps.

Meet with faculty:

  • To seek approval
  • Determine how learning will be assessed
  • Determine deadline
  • Sign contract

After meeting with faculty:

  • Return signed contract to coordinator and obtain payment form.
  • Pay for PLA in the Continuing Education office, Building 99, Room 101. PLA staff will take care of enrollment.
  • Submit assessments to the assigned faculty prior to deadline.
  • Your grades will be posted at the end of the quarter.
Students should be aware of the following policies.

  • PLA credits can only be awarded for classes that Highline offers.
  • Approval for PLA and grading is determined by the faculty.
  • Being approved for PLA (contract signed and assessment paid for) does not guarantee that you will receive a passing grade.
  • It is important to submit all assessments and documentation to your instructor prior to the deadline, which is usually the end of the quarter.
  • No more than 25% of any degree can come from portfolio-style PLA. For a 90 credit degree, that is 22 credits.
  • No more than 15 credits of portfolio-style PLA can transfer to universities in Washington.
  • Most universities in Washington have indicated that they will accept PLA classes, especially when it is part of an AA degree. No college said they would not accept PLA. You may wish to confirm with the registrar at the 4 year institution that you are planning on transferring to.
  • PLA enrollment is taken care of by PLA staff with unique item numbers.
  • Highline College evaluates every military transcript received from the service member and/or veteran pursuing an education at Highline.
CertificationCourse NumberCourse TitleCreditsFee
Unidos in Finance Certificate,
El Centro De la Raza
BUSN 165
BUSN 133
Fundamentals of Caregiving5
Home Care Aid CertificationHEAL 100Fundamentals of Caregiving5$35
Medical Assistant-Registered plus
MA-R to MA-C
Pathways Class
11 HEAL (Medical Assistant) Classes11 Medical Assisting classes to meet DOH requirement of 720 clock hours.46$729
Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA)4 of the following 5 credit classes:
1. CJ 212
2. CJ 213
3. CJ 215
4. CJ& 110
5. CJ& 240
1. Fundamentals of Policing
2. Arrest Search & Seizure
3. Conflict Management
4. Criminal Law
5. Intro to Forensic Science
Military Police CertificateChoose 4 of the following 5 credit classes:
1. CJ 212
2. CJ 213
3. CJ 215
4. CJ 217
5. CJ& 240
1. Fundamentals of Policing
2. Laws of Arrest Search/Seizure
3. Conflict Management
4. Communications
5. Intro to Forensic Science
Federal Basic Corrections Academy (FBCA)1. ADMJ 105
2. CJ 215
1. Community Relations
2. Conflict Management
WA State Basic Correctional Officer Academy (WSBCOA)1. ADMJ 105
2. CJ 215
1. Community Relations
2. Conflict Management
Child Development Associate (CDA)ECED& 100
ECED& 107
ECED& 120
Child Care Basics Health Safety Nutrition

A+ CertificateCIS 150OS and Hardware Fundamentals 5$35
Security+ CertificateCIS 166Network Intrusion Detection5$35
CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)CIS 160
CIS 161
CIS 262
CIS 265
1. Introduction to Networking and Cisco IOW
2. MS Operating System and Cisco Networking Integration 3. MS OS Infrastructure and Advanced Cisco
4. WAN Tech & VPN Security
CompTIA Linux+Powered by LPI ExamsCIS 217UNIX/Linux System Administration5$35
Adult Critical Care Specialty (ACCS)RC 403Advanced Adult Critical Care5$35
Neonatal Pediatric Specialty (NPS)RC 405Advanced Neonatal-Pediatric Respiratory5$35
Certified or Registered Pulmonary Function Testing (CPFT/RPFT)RC 407Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics and Rehabilitation4$35
Current First Aid/CPR/AED certification plus
evidence of professional experience directly utilizing life-saving skills
PE 160First Aid, CPR & AED3$35
MOS - OutlookBSTEC 160Microsoft Outlook2$35
MOS - WordBSTEC 150Microsoft Word2$35
MOS - PowerPointBSTEC 155Microsoft PowerPoint3$35
MOS - ExcelBSTEC 165Microsoft Excel5$35
MOS - AccessBSTEC 170Microsoft Access5$35
Complete all of the following: Community Health Worker Fundamentals, Navigating Insurance, Health Coaching and Motivational Interviewing, Behavioral Health, Blood Pressure & Hypertension, Cardiovascular Health & Screening, Diabetes & Pre-DiabetesHEAL 251MA Patient Navigator5$35
The STAMP (Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency) test is an online assessment of reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in a variety of languages. Highline currently offers STAMP tests for the following languages: Arabic, Chinese (Traditional and Mandarin), French, Japanese, and Spanish.

Based on the proficiency level you demonstrate, you may be able to earn from 5-10 college credits in the language that you have tested.

Visit the Placement and Testing Center website for STAMP testing times and details.

After receiving your test results, speak to an advisor about how you can use the credits, then send your results and request for PLA credit to the PLA Coordinator. The PLA fee is $35 per class.

Contact Information

Jennifer Johnston

Email: Send a Message

Phone: (206) 592-4145

Location: Building 26, Room 302

Download Campus Map

PLA Request Form

Office Hours:

Feel free to stop by or call/email for an appointment