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

New as of January 15, 2021.

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." 
  • 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.
  • Route 3: (Not Available Until at least Fall 2021) 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 demonstrate completion of a non-credit Portfolio Development Course (offered in the future by WMU), along with a link to their detailed portfolio offering evidence of learning outcome mastery via prior learning.

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)

EDLD 6630 - Maximizing Human Capacity with Adaptive Personnel Practices
EDLD 6720 - Strategic District Finance and Operations
EDLD 6800 - High Impact District Governance and Community Relations
EDLD 6810 - Law, Policy, and Ethics for District Leaders
EDLD 6850 - Dynamic Systems for District-level Instructional Leadership & Assessment
EDLD 7120 - Professional Field Experience/Internship

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

EDLD 6300 - Data-Informed Decision-Making, Research and Evaluation
EDLD 6610 - School Law & Ethics
EDLD 6620 - School Business Management
EDLD 6640 - Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Leadership
EDLD 6670 - The Principalship
EDLD 6730 - Instructional Leadership and Supervision
EDLD 6740 - School Community Relations and Cultural Competence
EDLD 6793 - Principal Internship I
EDLD 6794 - Principal Internship II

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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) 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. The link for this course, and further directions, are found within the PLA application.
  3. 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.