School of Continuing and Professional Studies > Student Resources > Undergraduate Resources > Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) > Course Match PLA

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 $150 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

  • Students who plan to graduate in Spring Quarter 2022 should have submitted all PLA projects by October 27, 2021.
  • Students who plan to graduate in Autumn Quarter 2022 should have submitted all PLA projects by May 9, 2022.
  • In Summer Quarter, passing submissions received after August 1, 2022 will not appear on student records until Fall Quarter.
  • 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

Course Match PLA Examples


Course Match Submission Form

Course Match 


BADM 340 – Implementing Corporate Training Programs

BADM 340 Form

BADM 340 Essay

DCM 302 – Project Management

DCM 302 Form

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.  


Meets College-Level Learning 

​Approaching College-level Learning

Does ​​​​​ Not Meet College-level Learning


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

Explanation of experience is comprehensive and detailed.  There is a clear relationship between the description of the experience and the learning outcome(s).

Explanation of experience is simplistic and incomplete. Explanation of relationship between experience and learning outcome(s) is superficial.

Explanation of the experience is unclear and non-specific.  The relationship between the experience and the learning outcome(s) is non-existent or irrelevant.


Understands relevant theories, models, or best practices related to learning outcome(s).  Demonstrates understanding of relationship among relevant theories, models, or best practices.

Explanation describes theoretical underpinnings of relevant concepts and provides analysis (compares/contrasts) with other relevant ideas.  Explanation demonstrates critique of strengths/weaknesses of ideas.  Scholarly evidence is appropriate.

Explanation is at a basic level and focuses on summarizing a single theory through factual description. Limited evidence of understanding theories in relationship to one another.  Scholarly evidence is inappropriate or incomplete.

Lack of evidence or incomplete understanding of relevant theories.  Lack of evidence of scholarly investigation and understanding of knowledge related to learning outcome(s).  


Demonstrates understanding of experience in relationship to broader body of knowledge.  Can apply knowledge to experience.  Provides self-assessment of experience in relationship to knowledge.

Comprehensive explanation of how the experience fits into the appropriate knowledge base.  Explanation provides detailed self-reflection and critique of personal performance within the experience in relationship to knowledge gained. Assesses how to utilize knowledge to improve outcome of experience. 

Superficial level of self-reflection that recognizes basic level of relationship between experience and body of knowledge but is unable to critique or adequately explain the significance of the connection.

Lack of understanding of how experience relates to broader body of knowledge.  Lack of understanding that experience is situated within body of knowledge. Lack of application of knowledge to experience.