“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Prior Learning Assessment is a process where colleges evaluate the training and life experiences of individuals in order to grant college credit. For a veteran who has attended numerous technical, administrative, and leadership courses, obtaining course credit can mean saving a semester or more of tuition and time. Therefore it is worthwhile to work proactively to obtain these credits. The UW Veterans Service Center is the best place to start finding out how to gain credit through PLA. Then, start working with the staff in the UW Registrar's Office to get your previous training evaluated.
In addition to military coursework, sometimes a veteran has previous college credit or earned college credit while on active duty. To get credit for these courses involves contacting the registrar at each previous college that was attended. Sometimes the UW Registrar will want to see a description of the course that was taken. Obtaining the description will involve contacting the college. The registrar may have this information, it may be online, or the library of that college may have that information.
The challenge of a PLA request is documenting that the UW course you wish to obtain credit for is equivalent to the course or training you received while in the service, or perhaps took through another college. The Joint Service Transcript (JST) is the primary document you receive as a veteran of the Army, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard. The Air University/Community College of the Air Force provides transcripts for Air Force veterans. Refer to the articles in the box labeled "Articles about PLA" located in the right-hand column. Links to the websites where you can request military transcripts are located in the box labeled "Military Transcript Websites" located at the top of the right-hand column.
Descriptions of current UW courses are available on the UW Registrar's website (see box labeled "UW Course Catalogs / Bulletins" in the right-hand column). Search the website of that college for course descriptions or catalogs. You may need to contact the registrar or the library of that institution. Match up that description with the course description provided by the military transcript or a course description you obtain from a college you attended. Complete the required form for UW credit and add it to your portfolio. Be sure to save copies of all the information you locate and submit.
Follow these basic steps or the guidance received from your instructor:
These books are written primarily for college administrators. Sections and chapters in these books describe the process of prior learning assessment (PLA). This information can be useful to understand the process used by the people who are evaluating your military (or other) training and life experiences.
O*Net is a tool developed by the US Department of Labor that is useful in learning more about specific career fields and assessing prior military occupational skills and training.
This link is to the American Council on Education's webpage on Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), This information is useful in understanding the process of granting PLA.
These websites are provided for example purposes only. Visit with the UW Registrar's Office to determine their requirements for a PLA portfolio.
Since 2010, all University of Wyoming catalogs have been online. This link is to the catalogs on the website of the UW Registrar. Those catalogs are available starting with 2013. For the years 2010, 2011, and 2012, check directly with the Registrar.
For years prior to 2010, catalogs for each academic year at UW are available in Coe Library. Be aware the the name of the catalog has changed over the years. Some years are titled General Bulletin or General Catalog. Other years are titled Bulletin or Circular of Information. Depending on the year, the catalogs are located on Level 3 in the LD 6257 .U53 section of the stacks or at the Library Annex. . Other catalogs are available at the Emmett Chisum Special Collections on Level 3 of Coe (in library use only).
Click this link to run a search of all the past UW catalogs available through UW Libraries.