Online Assessment of Prior Learning

Decorative image of student working at a laptop computer in Ferris' University Center.

At Ferris, your service and experience matter!

Ferris State University is committed to helping students attain the education they need to achieve a better life and contribute to the communities in which they live. At Ferris, we understand that not all learning happens in the classroom. Whether you are coming from the professional world, military service, or volunteer experiences, you possess unique skills and valuable training that will contribute to the Ferris community and help you create the future you want. The Online Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) can help you find, sort, and present learning from your experiences in a way that can help you earn credits, meaning less time to degree and less student debt.

Ways You Can Earn Credit

There are a number of ways you can earn credit through APL:

  • Learning documented on an official document like a professional training certificate or a military Joint Services Transcript (JST). The Office of Transfers has a database which lists all of the current credit equivalencies in the Ferris’ system.
  • Proficiency exams either administered by a professional testing service or by the Ferris College from which you seek credit. 
  • The Assessment of Prior Learning Portfolio. This portfolio helps you frame your experiences as learning and build the case for how your learning and experience can help contribute to your own education and the culture of Ferris.

How to Get Started

You can begin your APL by completing the APL Initial Form. In the process of completing the form, you will create a Ferris Canvas Captivate account. This account can be used to access your APL information and the portfolio creation module anytime. Once your initial form is completed, an APL mentor will contact you. Your APL mentor is familiar with the APL process and can help you get the most of your learning through experience. A complete assessment of prior learning can take many months, but it can save you valuable time and money towards completing your degree. Additionally, the process can help you gain a much greater appreciation for all that you have done and learned, and how you can contribute to the Ferris and the world. 

Contact Information

Dr. DeeDee Stakley
Director, Office of Transfer and Secondary School Partnerships
Ferris State University
820 Campus Drive, ASC 1025
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Phone: 231-591-5981
Email: [email protected]