PLA Courses

Opposite each course title are three numbers such as 3-2-4. The first number indicates the number of regular classroom hours for the course each week; the second number indicates the number of laboratory hours per week; and the third number indicates the hours of credit awarded for the successful completion of the course. Listed in parentheses at the end of each course description is the term(s) that the course is normally offered. F=Fall, S=Spring, and M=Summer.

The college reserves the right to cancel or delete any course with insufficient enrollment.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) provides an opportunity to prove that you have already mastered certain skills or knowledge. If you are able to demonstrate competency in PLA areas, you could earn college credit. For example, have you been working in accounting for years? Perhaps you can demonstrate enough competency in accounting to meet the requirements of an accounting course. Or if you had advanced mathematics in high school, you might prove your competency in college algebra. The standards of the national organization Council for Adult and Experiential Learning or CAEL are adhered to by Dalton State. CAEL defines PLA as follows: “The recognition of learning gained from experiences that may be granted credit or otherwise certified… The assessment of learning attained through experiences irrespective of the time and place in which they occurred.” (Assessing Learning, 2nd edition, By Morry Fiddler, Catherine Marienau, and Urban Whitaker p.12)

Dalton State College, a member of the University System of Georgia Adult Learning Consortium, offers students the opportunity to use assessed portfolios, CLEP, and departmental challenge exams to earn credit for learning achieved prior to entry to the college.

How do you earn the credit?
You earn credit by first being admitted as a Dalton State College student and then completing the assessment, either a portfolio, a CLEP exam, or a departmental challenge exam for a particular subject. You must also register for and pay tuition for the course for which you are seeking credit. For more information, please refer to the Prior Learning Assessment Handbook.

Portfolio Development
Portfolio development is a process through which students identify areas of relevant learning from their past experiences,demonstrate that learning through appropriate documentation, and submit their materials so that they can be assessed and possibly awarded academic credit relative to specific course objectives at Dalton State. Students are required to take a portfolio building course (PLAD 2000). Students who are interested in this path should contact Andy Meyer ( for more information.