The University of Maine System (UMS) Credit for Prior Learning Options

Credit for Prior Learning (sometimes referred to as Prior Learning Assessment or PLA) enables individuals to earn credit for college-level skills and knowledge they may have acquired outside of the traditional academic environment, such as through work experience, through military training; and through other formal and informal education and training. Credit for Prior Learning options vary by institution, but may include standardized tests, military transcripts, credential review, portfolio assessment, or course challenge exams.

Credit for Prior Learning Video Transcript

Standardized Tests

Standardized tests are national examinations created by external entities, such as the College Board (External Site). These tests include The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) (External Site)DSST (formerly DANTES Subject Standardized Tests)/Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) (External Site)Advanced Placement (AP) (External Site)International Baccalaureate (IB) (External Site) and more. The acceptability and score requirements will vary by institution.  Contact a university official at the institution for which you want to enroll for more details.

Military Transcripts

Veterans of US military service may receive credit learning gained through documented military training and experience. Veterans of the Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy should submit official copies of their Joint Services Transcript (External Site) (formerly SMART and AARTS transcripts).  Air Force veterans need to submit an official transcript from the Community College of the Air Force (External Site).

Credential Review

Credit may be granted for certifications and/or trainings completed at outside agencies. For example, some University of Maine System institutions grant credit for completion of the Maine State Police Academy. For more information on eligible programs, students are encouraged to contact the institution they are interested in.

Experiential Learning and Portfolio

Portfolio Assessment is a standardized process through which students can demonstrate knowledge and learning in a particular field in order to gain credit for specific courses.Portfolio Assessment involves compiling pertinent information into a portfolio and submitting it for faculty review. Students are typically required to speak with a university official prior to completing a portfolio.

Policies, including details concerning portfolio requirements and fees will vary by institution. Contact a university official at the institution for which you want to enroll for more details.

Course Challenge Exam

A challenge exam is a comprehensive assessment (either written, verbal, or demonstrative), that evaluates whether the student has achieved each of objectives or a particular course.Students must attain a specific score, set by the institution and by course, to qualify for receiving course credit. Please note that testing fees may be required to complete a challenge exam.

Available courses for challenge, fee details, and policies will vary by institution. For more information, students are encouraged to speak to representatives from the institution to which they want to enroll.

Credit for Prior Learning Contacts

Please contact your university for questions on Credit for Prior Learning. Note that Credit for Prior Learning may be referred to as Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) on some campuses.

University of Maine

Office of Student Records
Phone: 207-581-1319

University of Maine at Augusta

Haley Brown
Phone: 207-621-3130

University of Maine at Farmington

Michelle Navarre
Phone: 207-778-7260

University of Maine at Fort Kent

Tammy Deslisle
Phone: 207-834-8647

University of Maine at Machias

B.J. Marshall
Phone: 207-255-1223

University of Maine at Presque Isle

Jessica Winslow
Phone: 207-768-9668

University of Southern Maine

Prior Learning
Phone: 207-780-4663