Flexible Assessment:

We recognize that adults may have acquired college-level learning through life experience such as self-directed study, paid employment, volunteer work, travel, and non-college courses. Through the Flexible Assessment process, learning may be recognized for credit in college programs. In order to be eligible for College of the Rockies credit, prior learning must be:

  • Current
  • At a college course equivalent level
  • Include the appropriate balance of theory and practice

Note: Flexible Assessment is often commonly referred to as Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), or Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Flexible Assessment Process:

Adequate time is required for consideration and evaluation of FA requests. Candidates must plan in advance. For most programs, candidates should normally initiate their requests by these times:

  • Prior to the end of March for courses in the following Fall/September semester
  • Prior to the end of September for courses in the following Winter/January semester


1. Preliminary Info

  • Potential Candidate and FA coordinator discuss general process of FA
  • FA Coordinator may initiate discussion with faculty assessor
  • Faculty assessor considers request and decides if FA is possible

2. Apply

  • Candidate submits application for admission to College of the Rockies program
  • Candidate is determined by College of the Rockies to be eligible for admission
  • Candidate pays Flexible Assessment registration fee for course

3. Plan

  • Faculty assessor and candidate discuss options and complete Flexible Assessment Planning Form
  • Both faculty assessor and candidate sign form

4. Complete Activities

  • In consultation with Flexible Assessment coordinator, candidate completes and submits required activities

5. Evaluation

  • Faculty assessor evaluates submissions and determines grade

 6. Reporting

  • Faculty assessor completes Flexible Assessment Reporting Form
  • Candidate accepts grade. Grade added to record
  • Candidate does not accept grade. Grade of “W” added to record
  • Partial credit: FA grades will be included in calculation of final grade