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Programs For Working Professionals!

Whether you want to update your skills, boost your career or delve into a new field, you're in the right place. Professional & Continuing Education at Harrisburg University is your resource for adult learning. We offer an exciting array of professional development courses and programs designed to help busy working professionals. Choose from certificate programs, workshops, clinics, certification courses and online training courses, as well as graduate and undergraduate degree programs. We offer many programs in the evenings, weekends and online, too. Our high-quality programs provide opportunities for career advancement, career change, and personal growth. By tapping the minds of the top thinkers, doers and leaders in the field, Harrisburg University offers you a learning experience designed to help you advance in your current career or transition to a new one.

Prior Learning Assessment for Adult Learners at Harrisburg University - Earning Credit for What You Already Know


What is Prior Learning Assessment?
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a flexible, efficient way of earning undergraduate college credits for college-level knowledge you have acquired outside a traditional classroom. At Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, we understand that you may have acquired college-level knowledge without having attended college. That's why we offer the PLA program based on a national model of excellence in assessing college-level knowledge acquired outside the classroom.

PLA can shorten your time to degree earned and reduce costs in the form of tuition savings.

I never completed my degree, so how can I possess college-level knowledge?
Harrisburg University firmly believes that college-level knowledge, no matter how it is earned, warrants credit. We understand learning is life-long endeavor, and that that adults continue learning throughout their careers. Students draw on knowledge or skills gained from a wide variety of sources. Below is a list of common ways students who have earned credit through the PLA program have acquired college-level knowledge:

  • Employees can earn college credit for approved courses
  • Full or part-time jobs
  • Prior independent reading and study
  • Training programs or in-service courses
  • Volunteer work
  • Cultural and artistic pursuits
  • Hobbies and recreational pastimes
  • Community or religious activities
  • Military service
  • Travel study
  • Organizational memberships

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of already-acquired college-level knowledge in a specific subject area. PLA is not independent study. Instead, students work with a mentor, who is an expert in the subject, to develop an electronic portfolio that documents a student's mastery of the subject. What is important to remember about our PLA program is that students do not get credit for experience; they earn credit by demonstrating that they possess college-level knowledge of a subject.

Questions? E-mail ProfessionalEd@HarrisburgU.edu or call 717.901.5190.