Academic Catalog

2023-2024 Edition

Flexible Learning Pathways

Los Angeles Pacific University acknowledges and values the formal and informal learning that adult students bring into the classroom. LAPU has established various opportunities for students to demonstrate proficiency in given areas.  Universities commonly accept various pathways for credit which, when assessed properly, validate a student’s mastery or proficiency in a given field of interest. LAPU endorses the following pathways for credit demonstration:

  • National standardized exams in specific disciplines, e.g., Advanced Placement (AP) exams, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams;

  • Credit for formal training in workforce and military settings that takes place outside traditional degree programs as evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) or the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS);

  • Individualized assessments or other evaluations, such as those recommended by the Council for Adult Experiential Learning (CAEL);

  • Industry standard certificates or workforce development training such as Peace Officers Standards and Training, Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) certificates, State Fire Training Academies, and others normally based on industry recognized certificates. The granting of such credit is determined by the university.

PLA credit will be granted only for lower division coursework in bachelor’s programs at LAPU. Credit granted through these credit opportunities does not count toward LAPU residency requirements. Specific discipline and prerequisite requirements must be followed. Contact the registrar if there is any question regarding credit transfer.

National Standardized Exams

College credit may be earned through competency examinations. These examinations are recognized by the university: Advanced Placement (AP) Tests, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program.

Credit is granted to students who score a three or higher on an AP Test and to those who meet the minimum standard requirements in CLEP subject area tests, or on IB exams. Students may earn a maximum of 30 credits toward a LAPU degree from these tests. Credit received by examination is tuition-free and applies toward the total requirement for graduation from the university.

Please refer to the “Credit by Examination” for additional information.


American Council on Education (ACE) Evaluations of Workforce and Military Training

The American Council on Education (ACE) connects professional training to university credit. This benefits the adult student by facilitating and accelerating the “time to degree” completion process. ACE credit is typically accepted for General Education Core requirements, as well as for elective areas. The registrar will determine the number of ACE credits that will be accepted.

Credit for Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces

LAPU will evaluate credit for both military service and military coursework shown on an official Joint Services Transcript (JST) for academic credit using ACE guidelines. Accepted military service and military coursework can be awarded for General Education Core courses and electives. Military credit is recorded as transfer credit.

Credit for Workforce Training

LAPU will evaluate credit for formal workplace training shown on an official ACE transcript for academic credit using ACE guidelines. Accepted workplace training can be awarded for General Education courses and electives. Credit in this category counts toward the 30-credit maximum for PLA credit.

National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) Evaluations

The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) evaluates training and education programs offered outside of the traditional college classroom setting and translates them into college credit equivalencies.

LAPU will evaluate NCCRS credit recommendations for courses or programs shown on an official transcript from the NCCRS member organization. Accepted credit can be awarded for General Education courses and electives. Credit in this category counts toward the 30-credit maximum for PLA credit.

Individualized Assessments of Sponsored Learning (Professional/Technical Coursework)

Sponsored learning is a term used to describe documented training from a specific organization which has not previously been awarded college credit from an accredited educational or professional institution. At LAPU, sponsored learning is deemed “Professional/Technical”  (Pro/Tech) coursework and is usually related to on-the-job training, non-credit extension coursework, coursework completed at a vocational school or non-accredited postsecondary institution, and various certifications or licensing processes that require formal training (real estate, computer repair, insurance, pilot, cosmetology, etc.). LAPU awards college credit for these types of prior learning experiences because students are likely to have acquired college-level subject knowledge and skills. As such, the burden is on the student to document the learning in a way that demonstrates college-level learning outcomes, so that the credit is awarded for the learning that took place, rather than merely for the experience itself. Recognizing that many adult students already possess college-level knowledge and skills, LAPU believes that such knowledge and skills simply need to be documented and verified for credit through a prior learning assessment process. As such, this credit exchange theory is incorporated into the sponsored learning aspect of our Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) programs. Through the process, students simply identify and document learning experiences, and the university deems whether the learning outcomes are worthy of credit.

A separate Pro/Tech submission is required for each learning experience or credential. The university will evaluate each submission, assessing whether the learning outcomes are worthy of credit. These credit hours are applicable for completion of a baccalaureate degree at LAPU and count toward the 30-credit maximum for PLA credit.

Awarded Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credits may not transfer to other institutions; acceptance of PLA credits is at the sole discretion of the receiving institution. Students interested in Pro/Tech credit should consult with their success coaches regarding documentation of their learning experiences.

General Criteria Governing PLA

Credit for Prior Learning may be accepted from accredited institutions via official transcript.  Students may also receive credit for programs approved by the American Council on Education (ACE) via an official transcript from the (ACE) CREDIT® Registry and Transcript system.  Other learning may be accepted as credit for prior learning only where official policies or articulation agreements apply.

  1. Students must be enrolled in a degree program to receive PLA credit.

  2. Experiences and certifications must be officially documented.

  3. If credit is awarded, a grade of CR (Credit) is recorded on the transcript; it is not included in the grade-point average (GPA).

  4. The transcript will identify all successful Credit by Prior Learning Assessment as PLA.

  5. PLA credit does not apply to the university’s residency requirements.

  6. The maximum number of PLA credits that can be applied to a bachelor’s degree is 30. See transfer credit policy for further detail.