Workforce Education and Development Prior Learning Application Information

Graduate students can now apply for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credits within the Workforce Education and Development (WFED) programs. Please review this website information carefully, and the PLA application link is at the end for those who are interested and eligible.

Per WMU policy, such credits can be no more than 50% of the total program credits (rounding to the nearest full course as needed).

Eligible WMU WFED degree programs

  • PhD in Education and Human Development – Workforce Education and Development Concentration (students can earn up to 9 out of 21 Concentration credits via PLA)
  • MA in Workforce Education and Development - non-certified (students can earn up to 15 out of 30 credits via PLA)
  • MA in Workforce Education and Development - certified (students can earn up to 18 out of 36 credits via PLA)
  • Professional Workforce Educator Program (students can earn up to 3* out of 9 Concentration credits via PLA)

*Michigan law requires students to complete two courses in career and technical education methods. So, students must earn at least six credits through taking courses in order for a standard CTE certificate to be granted.

WMU courses eligible for PLA credit

Select the course to view the student learning outcomes for each specific course.  Contact Chuck Bruce for any questions about student learning outcomes.

WFED Core Courses Leading to Certification

WFED Electives

  • WFED 5010 – Topics in International Workforce Education and Development
  • WFED 5150 – Grand Writing in WFED
  • WFED 5430 – Work-site Based Education Programs
  • WFED 6130 – Advanced Instructional Strategies
  • WFED 6140 – Administration and Supervision of CTE
  • WFED 6150 – Trends and Developments in CTE
  • WFED 6160 – Occupational Selection and Training
  • WFED 6270 – Marketing in Workforce Education and Development
  • WFED 6430 – Measurement and Evaluation in WFED
  • WFED 6450 – Training and Employment Systems
  • WFED 6460 – Leadership development in WFED
  • WFED 6480 – Adult Education in WFED
  • WFED 6500 – Business/Industry/Education/Work-Based Learning

Examples of students who may be eligible for PLA credits

  • Professional Experience as a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher or Administrator: WMU graduate students who have worked as a CTE teacher or CTE administrator for at least one full school year may apply for PLA credits for WFED courses. Experience must address the student learning outcomes (SLOs) that are associated with each course.
  • Professional Experience in Industry: WMU graduate students who have professional experience that is directly pertinent to CTE can apply for PLA credits for WFED courses. Examples may include, but are not limited to, these professional experiences:
    • Developing technical curriculum,
    • Industry trainings,
    • Instructional designer.

Experience must address the student learning outcomes (SLOs) that are associated with each course.

PLA application, portfolio development and review process

  1. Interested individuals must first apply for and/or be enrolled in the graduate program of interest.
  2. Even prior to acceptance to such a graduate program, individuals may complete a PLA Review Application form.
    1. Students can view the student learning outcomes (SLOs) that are assessed as part of the review process.
    2. Those seeking PLA credit will be asked to offer evidence of relevant professional experience via the application and a portfolio review process.
    3. Students must enroll in a non-credit Portfolio Development Course (offered by WMU), and upon completion of this course, submit their detailed portfolio. The portfolio shall provide evidence of their prior learning, demonstrating acquisition of the learning outcomes established for one or more courses.
  3. Such PLA Review Applications and associated evidence may be submitted at any time during an academic year. Applications will typically be reviewed by two WFED faculty members within a 30-day time period during the academic year semesters, and a 45-day time period during the summer semesters.
  4. All decisions on any credits awarded will be made by WFED faculty based on evidence provided by the applicant of prior learning.
  5. Any credits awarded will not be placed on a student’s transcript until the student is admitted to a specific graduate degree or certificate program. All such credits will be posted on transcript as “credit earned by PLA examination” without letter grade, and not counted in the grade point average. Such credits can be used to meet all other University graduation requirements (such as minimum number of credits completed at WMU for a given degree). In some instances, students pursuing certification may still be required to take WFED coursework to fulfill Michigan Department of Education certification requirements.

Detailed Program and Course Information: Appendix A includes the list of courses for the four eligible programs, with those courses eligible for PLA review noted in blue. Appendix B offers the rubric that will be used to evaluate whether the evidence submitted by the applicant meets such outcomes.

Note: These procedures for potentially earning PLA credits within the Workforce Education and Development graduate programs at WMU were approved by the chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences on January 24, 2022, and the Dean of College of Education and Human Development on February 5, 2022