Students may be able to earn course credit for some licenses, certificates and other credentials from organizations outside the University, if these credentials represent learning that is comparable to that encountered in the college classroom. The PLA office reviews licenses or certificates to determine whether credit is applicable.
Please Note: The USM PLA office reviews credentials that students have already earned through work/life experience. The PLA office does not pre-review trainings, credentials, or learning experiences that students have yet to undertake.
Credential Review Submission
Before beginning the credential review process, students should:
Contact the PLA office at 207-780-4663 or by email at email@example.com.
Verify certifications are valid (not expired), not provisional, and will not duplicate credit already on the transcript.
- Prepare training materials (certificates, syllabi, other documentation, etc.) and submit them to the Office for Prior Learning Assessment for review. Certificates can be submitted in person, by mail, or via email.
The submission of credential documentation does not guarantee the awarding of credit. Credentials/trainings are evaluated using the following criteria:
- Number of hours participants are engaged in training
- Learning outcomes participants achieved in training
- Types of assessments utilized
- Qualifications/credentials of the trainer
- Minimum qualifications required of participants
- Depth of engagement required of participants
- Independent learning required of participants
- Connection of theory with practice
- Transferability of learning outside of the immediate context
Please allow up to two weeks for formal review. The PLA office works with faculty evaluators to determine departmental credit.
USM Equivalencies for Credentials/Trainings
If upon completion of review credit can be awarded, it will be posted to the student's account free of charge. The PLA office will send email confirmation of any posted credential/training credits to the student’s University email account.
USM's Office for Prior Learning Assessment reserves the right to revise, amend or change items set forth in our policies, procedures, and equivalencies at any time. Students should be aware that certificate and training programs change frequently. PLA staff may need to review any such program to determine the number and types of credits that may be awarded from its current format and duration.