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.

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 12 of 24 credits via PLA; for school administration focus, can earn up to 12 of 27 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)

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)

Three Routes to Earning Educational Leadership Course PLA Credits

  • Route 1: Professional Association Alternative Certification Leadership Programs – This is 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 association program completion is required).
  • Route 2: Educational Leadership Certification Courses from Other Michigan University Graduate Degree Programs – This is for students who completed educational leadership courses (with a grade of B or better) in other university programs approved by the state of Michigan. Given such university courses are deemed equivalent by the state, there is no assessment fee associated with this route (although evidence of association program completion is required).
  • Route 3: Work Experience, Professional Development, Non-Ed. Leadership Courses, and Other: This is 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.

PLA Application  Process 

  • For Route 1, prepare a document that includes the following (and email it to the PLA contact noted on this page): 
    • (a) your name, WIN #, and graduate program name; 
    • (b) a list of courses for which you are seeking PLA credit; and 
    • (c) evidence of alternative certification program completion and date such program was completed (e.g., letter or document from the association). 
  • For Route 2, prepare a document that includes the following (and email it to the PLA contact noted on this page): 
    • (a) your name, WIN #, and graduate program name; 
    • (b) a list of courses for which you are seeking PLA credit; and 
    • (c) the name and description of each similar course taken at another Michigan university, and a summary of work products and/or syllabus with enough detail to show each course covered the standards listed for the WMU course for which you are seeking PLA credit course (as found under each course listed above), 
  • For Route 3, you are required to enroll in a non-credit portfolio development course (at no cost), and submit your completed portfolio(s) that depict your mastery of all standards within a given course (as found under each course listed above), and pay an assessment/review fee for each portfolio submitted within that course structure.
    • See this general PLA webpage for details on this Route 3 required portfolio development course and how to register (at no cost). 
    • For any completed portfolios submitted within the course, the nonrefundable assessment fee is $400 for the first portfolio and $100 for each additional one (up to 5 total) submitted at the same time. 
    • To give you a sense of the structure and depth of the needed EDLD course portfolios for Route 3, here is the rubric used for portfolio assessment, and three actual portfolios that had been approved for PLA credit (with permission to share offered by the authors):  PLA EDLD Portfolio Example #1, #2, #3

If you have any questions about the PLA processes, please contact Dr. Brett Geier the PLA coordinator for the K-12 programs. Also submit any Route 1 and 2 documentation to him via email.