How to write and submit your essay

  1. Select an approved topic from our experiential essay list
  2. Essays must be written and submitted in our essay template and follow these guidelines:
    • They must be written in the first person.
    • The personal experience used in writing experiential learning essays must have occurred post high school or after date GED® was granted.
    • Use 12-point, Times New Roman font and double-space the document.
    • Address the four sections of Kolb’s experiential learning model:
      1. Concrete experience
      2. Reflective observation
      3. Abstract conceptualization
      4. Active experimentation
    • The topic must represent your personal experience — not history, research, observation or the experience of a third party. The essay should demonstrate a high level of expertise.
    • Download the three-credit essay template
  3. Submit a 1,500–2,100 autobiography written in the first person. If you are submitting more than one essay for credit, you will only need to submit one autobiography. You may also view a sample autobiography.
  4. Submit supporting documentation along with your essay as evidence that your experience resulted in the level of expertise portrayed in your essay. Acceptable documents include photocopies of licenses and certifications, as well as letters on company letterhead with official signatures from employers, training providers or human resource representatives. Friends and family can also corroborate your knowledge or experience through letters of recommendation. Each individual essay must have separate supporting documentation.
  5. Complete the online application on eCampus:
    • After logging in, select the Program tab at the top of the page.
    • Under Credit Assessment Services, select Prior Learning Assessment Center.
    • At the bottom of the page, select Submit Your Application online.

Earn credits for what you already know

The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) administers the experiential essay program and approves submitted essays for college credit. The program format is based on Kolb’s experiential learning model, which considers experience a source of learning.

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