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Course Match Prior Learning Assessment

​​Course Match PLA

Course Match Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is for students in credit-based programs

  • BA in Applied Behavioral Studies (DCM)
  • BA in Leadership Studies (DCM)
  • BA in Decision Analytics
  • BA in Professional Studies – Business Administration
  • BA in Professional Studies – Computing
  • BA in Healthcare Administration
  • BA in Nonprofit Management
  • BA in Recreation and Sport Management

Students pursuing these degrees can demonstrate college-level learning through a Course Match PLA project. Credit can be awarded if a project shows how course learning outcomes were met through a connection between personal, professional and/or community service experience and academic knowledge.

Students select a course in their degree program (not a residency requirement) that matches college-level learning gained from their experience (knowledge or demonstrable skills). If you are interested in matching to an SCPS or a non-SCPS course, please contact the PLA Advisor ( ). 

A Course Match PLA project can be a paper that relates personal or professional experience to the ideas of others, cited in the paper or presentation. In addition, supplemental artifacts such as work products may be submitted. 

If you have not previously completed PLA, you are encouraged to take the RPL 101 – Prior Learning Assessment class.


Course Match PLA projects are submitted through D2L.

  • Follow the steps on the appropriate checklist to prepare your PLA project. (If the course you are matching to is 2 credits, use the 2-credit checklist. If it is 4 credits, use the 4-credit checklist.)
  • After preparing your course match PLA project, contact to request access to the D2L submission portal.
      • Please send the request from your DePaul email account.
      • Include your DePaul Student ID in your request.
      • Include your completed 2-credit or 4-credit checklist (requests can not be processed without the checklist)
  • A $300 processing fee will be charged.
  • You will be emailed once access has been granted.
  • Once you have access to the D2L portal, you will provide information about your submission through the PLA Submission Form.
  • After this has been completed, you will be able to upload your course match PLA project, completed checklist (2-credit or 4-credit), and any supplemental documentation through the appropriate Submission folder.

You must repeat this process for each course match PLA you plan to submit.

The PLA submission (including form and evidence) will assessed by a content expert in a related field who will determine whether the student has demonstrated the learning outcomes of the course. Students will receive an email notifying them of the content expert's assessment decision.

Time Considerations

  • In Autumn Quarter, passing submissions received after October 25, 2023 will not appear on student records until Winter Quarter.
  • Students who plan to graduate in Autumn Quarter 2023 should have submitted all PLA projects by July 31, 2023.
  • Students who plan to graduate in Spring Quarter 2024 should  submit all PLA projects by October 25, 2023.
  • Students should submit all PLA no later than 2 quarters before their planned graduation. 
  • PLA projects are not processed during weekends, holidays,  or other times when the university is closed.
  • Once a PLA project is submitted, it may take up to three business weeks for the assessment to be completed. 

Course Match PLA Resources

Oral PLA

Are you an SCPS student interested in receiving credit for prior learning? Do you have strong presentation skills? Students may be eligible to complete a course match PLA through a formal oral presentation instead of a written PLA Project for the following topics

For more information, contact the Office of Prior Learning Assessment.

Course Match PLA Examples


Course Match Essay

DCM 302  – Project Management
DCM 302 Essay
LL 305  – Active Citizens
LL 305 Essay

BADM 340 – Implementing Corporate Training Programs

BADM 340 Essay

DCM 302 – Project Management

DCM 302 Essay

Assessment Criteria

Content experts will use this rubric to assess Course Match PLA submissions. Submissions need to demonstrate college-level learning through experience, knowledge, and connection in the context of a course’s learning outcomes.  

  Accomplished College-Level Learning Developing College-level Learning Beginning College-level Learning Not College-level Learning
3 points 2 points 1 point 0 points



Effectively communicates relevant explanation of personal and/or professional experience(s) related to learning outcome(s).


Explanation of experience(s) is comprehensive and detailed.  The context and background of experience(s) are described with specific details.  There is a clear relationship between the description of the experience(s) and learning outcome(s).  Provides specific evidence that learning occurred. Explanation of experience(s) and the context and background of experience(s) are generally present though with some gaps.  There is a general relationship between the description of experience(s) and the learning outcomes(s).  Provides general evidence that learning occurred. Explanation of experience is simplistic and/or incomplete.  Minimal context or background of experience(s) was provided. Explanation of relationship between experience(s) and learning outcome(s) is linked but superficial, and is assumed but not explicit.  Provides minimal evidence that learning occurred. 

Explanation and description of the experience(s) is unclear and/or non-specific.  No context or background of the experience was provided.  The relationship between experience(s) and the learning outcome(s) is non-existent or scholarly investigation irrelevant.   Provides no evidence that learning occurred.  Experience is conflated with learning (i.e., length of time is equivalent to mastery).




Effectively communicates relevant theories and/or best practices related to learning outcome(s).



Explanation describes relevant concepts and/or practices and provides analysis (compares/contrasts) with other relevant ideas.  Explanation demonstrates critique of strengths/weaknesses of ideas.  Secondary sources are appropriate for scholarly or professional discourse. Explanation generally describes relevant concepts and/or practice, and references other relevant ideas.  Explanation may demonstrate adequate description of key idea(s) but there may be gaps in relating it to others.  Secondary sources are generally appropriate for scholarly or professional discourse but may exclude key disciplinary concepts and/or be out-of-date. Explanation superficially describes concepts and/or practice.  Conceptual focus may be misdirected or ancillary.  Explanation is mainly factual with limited analytical engagement.   Secondary sources are included but markedly exclude key disciplinary concepts, are misused, and/or are inappropriate for scholarly or professional discourse. Lack of evidence or understanding of relevant concepts and/or best practices.  Lack of appropriate secondary sources and understanding of knowledge related to learning outcome(s). 



Effectively reflects upon experience and critically self-assesses abilities in relationship to relevant body of knowledge.


Reflection on experience(s) specifically connects to broader body of knowledge.  Recognizes relationship and provides clear critique and/or explanation of the significance of the connection.  Provides critical self-assessment including descriptions of personal strengths and weaknesses as it relates to the experience(s). Reflection on experience(s) generally connects to broader body of knowledge.  Recognizes overall relationship and provides some critique and explanation of the significance of the connection.  Provides some level of self-assessment including general descriptions of personal abilities as it relates to the experience(s). Reflection on experiences(s) minimally connects to broader body of knowledge. Recognizes that there is a relationship but is unable to critique or adequately explain the significance of the connection. Provides superficial level of self-assessment that focuses on what one accomplished rather than how well they accomplished. Lack of reflection on how experience connects to broader body of knowledge.  Lack of evidence connecting experience within body of knowledge. Lack of self-assessment on one's abilities or performance.