What is a Prior Learning Assessment?

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process for awarding credit for learning that has taken place away from the college classroom. 

Although the WSCJTC has agreements with the following institutions to allow college credit for the completion of certain WSCJTC academies and courses, we do not endorse any particular college or program.  As other colleges and universities may have similar programs, we suggest you reach out to institutions of interest for specific information and requirements for college credit transfers.

Centralia College

Centralia College is currently in the process of completing a Prior Learning Assessment whereby the College will award 40-45 credits of college level in their Associate of Technical Arts degree in Criminal Justice to police officers, deputy sheriff’s, and Washington State Troopers that have successfully completed their 720 hour Basic Law Enforcement Academy through the Criminal Justice Training Commission or Washington State Patrol Academy.

As only 95 credits are required for the degree, it is a substantial step towards not only recognizing the academic value of academy training, but to also assisting police officers throughout the state in acquiring their college degrees.  Centralia College offers both classroom and online degree options in Criminal Justice.

Centralia College began offering these college credits Summer Quarter 2016. In addition, these college credits never expire.  This means Peace Officers that have earned college credits from other institutions may only need to complete as few as 15 credits (3 classes) through this Criminal Justice program to earn an Associate's degree from Centralia College.  This task could easily be accomplished in 1-2 academic quarters.

Interested parties can contact:

Centralia College Arts & Sciences Office (360) 623 - 8928
Centralia College Advising Office (360) 623-8976 or admissionsCC@centralia.edu

City University of Seattle

The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) in conjunction with City University of Seattle has formed an alliance to give credit to those that have finished the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA).

Completing BLEA would provide 15 lower division quarter credits towards a CityU degree.  There is also a potential to waive an additional 5 upper division quarter credits.  Other benefits include:

  • Finishing Bachelor of Science degree in as little as 4 quarters*
  • Saving 25% on tuition through CityU's First Responder Tuition Scholarship
  • A 10% tuition reduction for dependents

*Students may attempt a course challenge in lieu of taking a course if the student believes that prior learning or experience has provided sufficient background in the course subject matter to anticipate a successful challenge.

For more information on CityU's partnership, please visit their website.

Gray's Harbor College

The WSCJTC and Grays Harbor College has also entered into an articulation agreement that allows for college level credits for certain courses towards its Associates of Science Degree (AS), Associates of Applied Science-Transfer (AAS-T), Associates of Applied Science (AAS) and certificate of completion programs.  Certain conditions will apply to prior learning.

For more information, please contact:

Brenda Dell at GHC Admissions
(360) 538.4026

Highline College

The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) in conjunction with Highline College has formed an alliance to give those that have finished the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) 20 college credits under the Prior Learning Assessment Program (PLA).

  • Credit may be awarded for work training, non-accredited classes, self-study, experience, and more.
  • Credit can only be awarded for classes offered by Highline Community College.
  • With faculty approval and guidance, students will demonstrate their competence in class content.
  • The maximum credits that can be earned from PLA is 20 credits total.

To apply for the college credit, scan and email a copy of your BLEA certificate to Jennifer Johnston at jjohnston@highline.edu. The completed request will appear on a transcript at the end of the quarter received. Payment is required prior to registration.

Under the PLA program, the cost for the 20 credits towards an Associates of Arts degree is $140.00 (subject to change).

For more information, please visit Highline's PLA website.

Shoreline Community College

The Criminal Justice program at Shoreline CC will award 30 credits (2 quarters) for the AAAS degree (this is the professional-technical program - not transfer) for the education/learning  that takes place in the academy.  They will award 20 credits for the Criminal Justice transfer degree.

For more information, please contact:

Linda Forst
(206) 545-4781