The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) defines Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) as the process of earning college credit for college-level learning acquired from other sources, such as work experience, professional training, military experience or open source learning from the web. Central Baptist College follows CAEL’s guidelines when evaluating prior learning experiences.

If you have been out of high school for a while, want to complete your degree sooner, don’t want to take a college course in a subject you already know about or need a degree to get a better job or a promotion, PLA at Central Baptist College (CBC) might be something to look into.

A few of the methods the institution uses in the assessment of prior learning are portfolio-based assessments, American Council on Education credit awarded by non-collegiate agencies, civilian and military. CBC also accepts credit from Advanced Placement Exams from high schools, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams, and DSST Credit by Exam (formerly known as DANTES).

According to a CBC press release, CBC’s PACE (Professional Adult College Education) Program caters to adult learners in a Christ-centered, accelerated and regionally accredited higher education environment. PACE gives adult learners an opportunity to reach their educational goals as quickly as possible, and in conjunction with awarding PLA credit, it is one of the most convenient college formats available.

The PACE Program supports the Arkansas state initiative, "Closing the Gap 2020: A Master Plan for Higher Education in Arkansas," which will increase the percentage of college degrees in the state to 60 percent or better by 2020.

"I appreciate Governor Asa Hutchinson and Brett Powell, Executive Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, for including CBC representatives on several of the core subsection committees tasked with determining the best way to achieve the supporting goals of the plan," CBC President Terry Kimbrow said.

One of the four supporting goals in state’s master plan focuses on adult learners and underserved students. The subsection relative to adult learners is primarily focused on increasing enrollment of non-traditional students, that is students who are 25 years old or older.

This includes finding ways to help adults be more prepared for college-level work and improving communication of the value of higher education to non-traditional students. The goal states an increase by 50 percent the enrollment of adults, age 25 to 54 by fall 2018.

"Our PACE program uniquely fits the Governor’s initiative and does so with an emphasis on the integration of Christian faith and academic excellence, as reflected in our Mission Statement," Kimbrow said.

The Conway Development Corporation, the economic arm of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, has recognized the value of PACE by committing $25,000 to the promotion of PACE in Conway and Faulkner County.

Prior Learning Assessment is yet another benefit offered by CBC that will encourage working adults to pursue a college degree. Find out more and apply at or contact Gwenda Williams at 501-205-8879 or

Central Baptist College is a four-year, private, liberal arts college founded in 1952 by the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas.