School of Continuing and Professional Studies > Student Resources > Undergraduate Resources > Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) > Independent Learning Pursuits (ILPs)

Competence-based PLA (formerly known as ILPs)

​​​​Competence-based PLA (formerly known as ILPs) is for students in the following programs:

  • BA with an Individualized Focus Area (BAIFA)
  • BA in Computing (BAC)
  • BA in General Business (BAGB)

Students request credit for college level learning experiences obtained through professional development in the workplace, courses and workshops in non-accredited programs and independent learning—whether pursued at home, workplace or school. The learning experience may have been accomplished prior to or during studies at SCPS.

A specific competence can be demonstrated by providing evidence of learning related to each of criteria of the competence statement. A submission includes completing the Competence-based PLA Submission Form and providing evidence. Evidence can be a paper that relates personal or professional experience to the ideas of others, cited in the paper. In addition, other artifacts can be presented.

A $150 fee will be charged upon submission of the Competence-based PLA. Once the form has been submitted it is routed to the Office of Prior Learning Assessment which determines if the Competence-based PLA is ready for review by a content expert. The content expert will hold an advanced degree in a field related to the competence requested and will determine if the PLA passes, fails, or should be resubmitted with revision. If a requested revision is submitted but not approved, the student can take a course or initiate a new Competence-based PLA with a charge of $150. Students will receive an email from Undergraduate Resources acknowledging submission and after the assessment is completed.

Time Considerations

  • In Spring Quarter, passing submissions received after May 7, 2021 will not appear on student records until Summer Quarter.
  • Students should submit all of their PLA no later than 2 quarters before their planned graduation.

Competence-based PLA Resources

Competence-based PLA Examples

These writing samples are examples of how to write to different competences and competence areas. However for specific and up-to-date submission criteria, please refer to the Competence-based PLA FAQ and Competence-based PLA Checklist ​for current submission requirements.

Competence Area

Project Title


Fast Car


Warsaw, Chicago, and Greek Tragedies


Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Flowers and Plants


My Skydiving Mishaps


Color in Our Daily Lives​​​


Reading to the Hard of Understanding