Prior Learning Assessment Opportunities within K-12 Educational Leadership Graduate Programs

Based on previous experience and education, graduate students can now apply for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credits within five Educational Leadership (EDLD) programs. Please review this website information carefully, and the PLA application link is at the end for those who are interested and eligible.

The eligible EDLD graduate programs are listed below, as well as the maximum PLA credits possible. Per WMU policy, such credits can be no more than 50% of the total program credits. Students must be admitted to a program, or have at least applied for such admission.

Eligible WMU EDLD Degree Programs

  1. Ph.D. in Educational Leadership: K-12 Leadership (for central office focus, can earn up to 18 of 60 credits via PLA; for school administration focus, can earn up to 27 of 69 credits)
  2. Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Educational Leadership (for central office focus, can earn up to 15 of 30 credits via PLA; for school administration focus, can earn up to 18 of 36 credits)
  3. Graduate Certificate in Central Office Leadership (can earn up to 12 of 21 credits via PLA)
  4. MA in Ed. Leadership: K12 School Principal Leadership (can earn up to 15 of 30 credits via PLA)
  5. MA in Ed. Leadership: K12 School Principal Leadership and Interscholastic Athletics (can earn up to 15 of 33 credits via PLA)

Three Routes to Earning Educational Leadership Course PLA Credits

  • Route 1: Professional Association Alternative Certification Leadership Programs – For students who received their School Administrator Certificate and/or Central Office Endorsement via a state-approved professional association "school administrator provider." Given such alternative programs are deemed equivalent by the state, there is no assessment fee associated with this route (although evidence of work products is required via the application).
  • Route 2: Educational Leadership Certification Courses from Other Michigan University Graduate Degree Programs – For students who completed educational leadership courses (with a grade of B or better) in other university programs approved by the state. Given such university courses are deemed equivalent by the state, there is no assessment fee associated with this route (although evidence of work products is required via the application).
  • Route 3: Work Experience, Professional Development, Non-Ed. Leadership Courses, and Other: For students who believe they have mastered the standards/learning outcomes via work experience, professional development, or other means. Such students must complete a non-credit Portfolio Development Course, submit one or more detailed portfolios within that course, and pay an assessment/course fee. See the general PLA webpage for details on this required portfolio development course and how to register.

EDLD Courses Eligible for PLA Credit

Courses Covering Central Office Endorsement Standards (click each course name to find course description and learning outcomes for each)

Courses Covering School Administrator Certification Standards (click each course name to find course description and learning outcomes for each)

PLA Application & Process (for Routes 1 and 2 Only)

First, it is important to contact Dr. Louann Bierlein Palmer to discuss whether you might be eligible for PLA credits and to talk through the process.

  1. Next, prepare your materials.
    • If applying via Route 1 or 2, prior to beginning the online application, you must prepare a Word document (to be attached within the online application) that includes a list of courses for which you are seeking PLA credits. In addition,
      • (a) for Route 1, also include the name of the completed program (and completion date), (b) a narrative description of work completed related to each requested course, and (c) and sample work products; or
      • (a) for Route 2, also include the name and description of each similar course taken at another Michigan university, and (b) a narrative description of work completed within each of these courses, (c) sample work products from such courses, and (d) an unofficial transcript.
    • If applying via Route 3, you are required to complete a non-credit portfolio development course, and submit your completed portfolio within that course. See the general PLA webpage for details on this required portfolio development course and how to register.
  2. Complete the PLA application. Note that you must complete and submit the entire application at one time; it cannot be saved as draft, and submitted at a later date.

For more information, review the Detailed EDLD PLA Policy and Procedures.