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Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Prior Learning is learning gained through life or work outside of structured higher educational courses. Many people learn through job training or military service, through courses taught outside of the college setting, or through other educational experiences. Prospective students who have work experience in the field of aviation, or other learning experiences outside of a traditional college curriculum, may be eligible to receive PLA credit.

The PLA process involves students identifying relevant learning experiences, demonstrating that learning through the appropriate documentation, and a review of those documents by MGA faculty and staff.

PLA will reduce the repetition of material for students with prior experience, learning, or degrees. PLA will also reduce the time and money required to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree. Certain PLA components require fees such as testing (e.g., departmental examinations and standardized tests) and portfolio assessment. However, in general, PLA should take less time and money to complete than taking regular classes.

FAA Certifications

The School of Aviation offers PLA credit for individuals with certain FAA certifications. Depending on your ratings, you may be able to receive up to 27 credit hours towards an aviation degree. Click below to learn more.

Other PLA Options

  • Military Experience: MGA follows the American Council on Education Military Guide's credit recommendations on formal courses and occupations offered by all branches of the military
  • National Exams: MGA awards credit for certain subject areas for learning demonstrated by successfully passing national for-credit examination programs, such as:
  • Transfer Credit: MGA will accept most prior academic credit from regionally-accredited colleges and universities.
  • Portfolio Assessment - for Aviation and IT degrees only


If you have questions about receiving PLA credit for your work or other experiences, please contact Casey Hutcheson at 478.448.4709 or .