Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning is the knowledge and skills gained through: work and life experience; military training and experience; and formal and informal education and training from in-state and out-of-state institutions, including foreign institutions. Identifying credit for prior learning can be accomplished by a assessment process conducted at Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech), by qualified faculty and may result in a course or several courses being posted and credited to a student's transcript.

Up to 25% of the credits for a degree or certificate may be earned through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process. Awarding of PLA credits by Lake Washington Institute of Technology does not guarantee or imply that other institutions will accept such credit.

General Conditions

Instructional programs allow Prior Learning Assessment as specified on the table below (and on the Prior Learning Assessment Request form). 

  • Students must first discuss the appropriateness of this option with their faculty advisor.
  • Students must complete or register for a minimum of 10 credits at LWTech before using PLA.
  • Students may not use PLA for classes where previous credit was earned.
  • Students may challenge a course only once using the PLA process.
  • Credits earned will carry a PLC grade of "S" which does not impact grade point average (GPA).

PLA Acceptance by Program of Study

Program of Study PLA Accepted?
Accounting No
Architectural Technology Yes
Auto Body Technician Yes
Auto Repair Technician Yes
Baking Arts Yes
Behavioral and Social Services Yes
Business Technology Yes
Civil Design and Engineering Technology Yes
Computer Security and Network Technology Yes
Computing and Software Development AAS/Cert, No. BAS, No
Culinary Arts Yes
Dental Assistant No
Dental Hygiene No
Design AAS/Cert, Yes. BAS, No
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician Yes
Digital Gaming and Interactive Media AAS/Cert, Yes. BAS, No
DTA/MRPs (Biology, Business, Computer Science, Construction Mgt, Math Ed, Pre Nursing) No (CLEP* options)
Early Childhood Education Yes
Electronics Technology Yes
Engineering Transfer No
Environmental Horticulture No
Fitness Specialist/Personal Trainer Yes
Funeral Service Education No
General Education Requirements No (CLEP* options)
Health Sciences No
Human Resource Management Yes
Machining Technology Yes
Mechanical Design Technology Yes
Medical Assisting / Medical Billing & Coding Yes, for up to two courses from following list: MEDA 118, MEDA 125, MEDA 139, MEDA 212
Nursing No
Occupational Therapy Assistant No
Physical Therapist Assistant No
Public Health No
Sewing No
Transportation, Logistics, and Supply Chain Management Yes
Welding Technology Yes

*CLEP: The College Level Examination Program allows you to take nationally recognized exams for college credit in academic disciplines. Please see the LWTech Assessment Center in West Building, W204 for more information.

Instructions for Prior Learning Assessment

  1. The student must fill out the Prior Learning Assessment Request form with the faculty member who is the content specialist for the course.
  2. If approved, the student must pay the assessment fees as listed below.
  3. The faculty member determines the assessment process and upon completion submits the Prior Learning Assessment Evaluation form to the program dean with the course outline attached.
  4. If awarded credit, the student pays the transcription charge as listed below.

Prior Learning Assessment Fees