Prior Learning Assessment

Bergen Community College (BCC) recognizes the vast knowledge and skills of its diverse student population through prior learning assessment.

The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Program gives students an opportunity to apply for course credit for experiential learning, non-credit course completion, and various forms of professional development, licensure/certification and credit-by-exam.

Course credit is awarded when content mastered through demonstrated knowledge and/or learning experiences is comparable to the student learning outcomes of a BCC course. Participants benefit from reduced time toward degree completion thereby saving money.

Prior Learning Assessment Options

There are multiple approaches to the assessment of prior learning. PLA options for college credit include individualized evaluations of a student’s learning via portfolio review.
Portfolio review allows students to request college credit for knowledge and skills acquired through employment, non-traditional education and/or training.

Experiences must be verifiable and demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes for a BCC academic course. BCC will not award credit based solely on years of employment.

In addition to documentation, students may be asked to display specific skills via demonstration or hands-on testing, take an oral or written problem-solving exam and/or complete an interview to assess content knowledge.
Students interested in credit via portfolio review are required to take CD 134 Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio Workshop Series, a noncredit course offered by the Division of Continuing Education. This course is designed to provide an introduction to Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) portfolio development.

For more information on credit via portfolio review, please see Dr. Ilene Kleinman, Associate Dean of Curriculum, on the main campus in Paramus, NJ or email:

Assessment of Prior Learning via Credit by Exam

Students may receive credit for nontraditional learning by demonstrating competency via Credit by Exam.

If you are a BCC student and would like additional information on how your prior learning can be assessed via the CBE process, please email: