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New Jersey Prior Learning Assessment Network (NJ PLAN) is a consortium of New Jersey colleges and universities partnering to provide the opportunity for their students to earn credit toward their degrees through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).
Prior learning assessment is the process by which students can earn college credit for the college-level knowledge they have acquired outside the classroom and without the need to take a course to acquire competencies they have already mastered. This process allows qualified students to shorten the time it takes to earn a degree while lowering costs and increasing access and retention.
Recent studies conducted by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning indicate that students who earned credit through PLA had higher and faster graduation rates and persistence than did students who did not earn credit through prior learning assessment.
Thomas Edison State University, a pioneer and national leader in PLA, serves as the anchor institution of NJ PLAN. The other founding members of this initiative are the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University, New Jersey City University and Essex County College.
NJ PLAN was launched in July 2014 and is scheduled to be available to students at member institutions in the fall of 2014. Prior learning assessment is a core competency of Thomas Edison State University and continues to be available to its students today.
Other New Jersey colleges and universities are expected to participate as well.