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Northwestern Prior Learning Assessment And Thesis Guide

NCU Prior Learning Assessment

Bachelor Degree Program PLA Guide for Prior Learning Assessment Credit

NCU Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Outline For Preparation of Your NCU/PLA Bachelor Degree Portfolio:

Preparing your PLA essay portfolio is a simple process:

*Projected Time To Complete: 5-10 days

A. Just write 30 essays for your Bachelor program or 10 essays for your Master’s or Doctorate programs.  *Use the list below as a source to jog your memory in writing about your experiences.

B. Most of your essays can be confined to just 1-page. However, One of the essays is to be a 2-3 page essay on a book selected by you, specific to your major, you can locate the book for free on or provide your own book.

  1. List all employment positions, job title, date and place of employment
  2. List all schools that you have attended and dates of graduation. 
  3. List all diplomas you have been awarded. 
  4. List all advanced degrees that you have been awarded 
  5. List all certifications that you have earned
  6. List all seminars or non school classes that you have attended 
  7. List any special training that you have attended 
  8. List any on the job trainings and dates of fulfillment 
  9. List public speaking events 
  10. How many church meetings have you presided over as a preacher 
  11. How many church meetings have you served in as a teacher 
  12. Have you served as a department head at work or at church 
  13. List military training and experience 
  14. List all awards and commendations not already mentioned 
  15. List your special skills or areas of personal accomplishment
  16. List your hobbies, sports, passions  
  • Bachelor Program: Write 30-ONE page descriptive essays relating to experiences based on 29 items listed in; 1-16 above.  *One; 2-3 page essay on a book selected by you, specific to your major, you can locate the book for free on or provide your own book. Total 30 essays.
  • Optional PLA for: Master’s and Doctorate Programs: Write 10-ONE page descriptive essays relating to experiences based on 9 items listed in; 1-16 above.  *One; 2-3 page essay on a book selected by you, specific to your major, you can locate the book for free on or provide your own book. Total 10 essays.
  • The 16- listed items above can be expanded to relate to multiple activities or accomplishments, in access of 30 experiences, activities or accomplishments to be reported on in Bachelor program essays.
  • However, you should not feel confined to or limited by the 1-16 items listed above. You can use other experiences from life (beyond the above list) as a basis for essays as well. You may have experiences not relative to the above list. You may also find that some of the items listed above do not apply specifically to your life. *So, no need to limited by this suggestive list.

Degree Program PLA and Thesis / Dissertation credit totals:

Understand that you are being credited for your valuable life/ learning experience which shows both acquired and applied knowledge. The essay is only a means to represent your valuable lifetime learning experience.  Therefore, 3 credit hours are granted for each reflective essay representing your acquired knowledge though experience.

Bachelor Degree Credits   *PLA Mandatory

PLA/ Prior Learning Assessment:

(based on 30-essays X 3 cr. hrs.) =                                        90 Credits

Bachelor Thesis:

(showing comprehensive knowledge of your major) =              30 Credits

Total Bachelor Degree Program                                             120 Credits

Master’s Degree Credits    *PLA Not Mandatory, But Can Add 10 Cr. Hrs.

PLA/ Prior Learning Assessment:

(based on 10-essays X 3 cr. hrs.) =                                      30 Credits

Master’s Thesis:

(showing comprehensive knowledge of your major) =            30 Credits

Total Master’s Degree Program                                             60 Credits

*You can elect to earn a 30 cr. hr. thesis only master’s degree.

Doctorate Degree Credits    *PLA Not Mandatory, But Can Add 30 Cr. Hrs.

PLA/ Prior Learning Assessment:

(based on 10-essays X 3 cr. hrs. ) =                                    30 Credits


(showing comprehensive knowledge of your major) =           30 Credits

Total Doctorate Degree Program                                          60 Credits

*You can elect to earn a 30 cr. hr. dissertation only doctoral degree.

PLA INSTRUCTIONS:  Prepare your PLA Portfolio

PLA: Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio * 3- parts: Title Page, Essays, and Supporting Documents

I. Create a Microsoft Word doc. with a tile page.    TITLE:  PLA Prior Educational Assessment Portfolio.  Please not; Bachelor-Master’s or Doctorate after title

a. Below title, enter the following:

b. Your name

c. Your e-mail address

d. Your home address

e. Date of Completion / Submission of PLA

II. Write a short essay (one page or less) describing your performance and knowledge related to each item that you have answered above as numbered in your PLA Outline above.

  • Also include a short essay for each certificate, award, diploma, degree, commendation, citation etc.) The more legitimate essays that you write will reflect in more credit being approved toward your degree program. *Save as a Microsoft WORD doc.
  • Bachelor degree program:  30 PLA essays X 3 credits = 90 cr. hrs.
  • Master’s and Doctorate programs:  10 PLA essays X 3 credits = 30 cr. hrs.                *See Course requirements page for details.

III. If you have any supporting documents, certificates, letters of appreciation, diplomas. etc. you can scan them and attach to your portfolio. *This is not mandatory. We trust you as a servant of the Lord that your statements within your essays are true. However, if you have supporting documents you can include them at your option.

*Organize Title page, essays and scanned documentation; letters of recognition, certificates, diplomas, award letters etc., this is your PLA portfolio. Then send your portfolio, by e-mail attachment, to your Northwestern Christian University faculty advisor.

* * * * * * * * * *

Northwestern Christian University

 Thesis and Dissertation Guide


The following guidelines must be followed for completion of your Thesis or Dissertation.


“The great benefit of an accelerated degree program, beside the huge savings of both time and money, if that study is focused on your major only. This concentrated study allows the student to become an expert in the field of their major in just 90-days!” 

It is good to know that: Accelerated study eliminates the study of subjects other than your major. Such study is very time efficient as it focuses on your subject major only. The benefit is that through such concentrated research, you have the opportunity to master the subject matter of your major, becoming a confident expert in the full comprehension of your major.

Instructions for Preparation of Your Thesis Or Dissertation:

Projected time to complete:  30-days

Begin by selecting a title:

*Unlike a traditional Thesis or Dissertation, Your title will reflect your concentrated focus on your major only. The title of your Thesis or Dissertation must directly represent only subject matter that is directly related to your Major.

Because our goal is for you to master the specific concentrated subject matter of your major, your accelerated program requires a complete focus on your major only. Therefore your thesis or dissertation will be unlike most research papers. Your paper will provide a comprehensive study of your subject major and your thesis or dissertation will represent a detailed overview of your major.

To insure that no one shall waiver from the focus required to master your subject major, all students will be required to use a title that focuses on the subject major.

Example: if a Theology major, your title could be: “An Exhaustive Review of the Predominate Aspects of Theology”.


Your paper will involve research to uncover every major aspect of your major. Your presentation will involve references and footnotes to support your findings.

You can use our free online reference library and download books at no cost, for offline study. Or just go to our library website and read such books online, while taking notes and noting references. Our online library now has approximately 50,000 books and periodicals. Be sure to save our library LINK to your desktop for easy access. Go to:    

Research Books:

Free PDF Books Are Provided At Our Free Online Library. Just visit: and open the PDF Books section.  Be sure to download free ADOBE reader software to open any of the books. All of your research can be accomplished through use of our library resources at no cost.  

A good methodology is to first brainstorm and  prepare an outline of the overall subject matter. Then do data gathering about your subject. Research to find a primary book that expertly focuses on your subject matter. The outline organizes your overall study. The primary book provides focused study.  Your outline organizes your research, it is the skeleton onto which you will hang all important details involving your subject. with references and footnotes.  You will later use the outline to write your paper.

Your title page must include your Thesis or Dissertation title, name of your degree program and major, your proposed completion date,  as well as your full name, the name of this University and the date of submission.

Your thesis or dissertation must also include the following:  

  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Body of paper to cover subject major in detail, documenting all sources.
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Footnotes or end notes
  • 130-150 pages, #12 font, double spaced     *Prefer 150 pages

You must site a minimum of 20-references from books, periodicals and (or) articles. The 66 books of the Bible fully qualify as excellent books for your research. As already stated,  reference materials are available through our Northwestern Library at:  

Your finished research project must be typed without error with correct grammar and spelling. You will be graded for content and organization. Proof-read and make all edits prior to submission. Typo’s, miss-spelled words and poor grammar will hurt your overall grade.

Concerning Bachelor program enrollments:

If you are enrolled in a bachelor program, you should complete your bachelor in as little as 90 days through a PLA prior learning assessment and your Bachelor’s thesis. you will have 120 credit hours approved; 90 cr. hrs for your PLA and 30 cr. hrs. for your Thesis.

Master’s and Doctorate program enrollments:

You should complete your Master’s or Doctorate degree program in as little as 90 days by preparing your PLA and Thesis or Dissertation for submission and grading. You can have up to 60 credit hours approved for your Master’s or Doctorate degree program when it includes thesis or dissertation accompanied by your 30 cr. hr. PLA. However, once you ave completed (1) PLA, you will not be able to duplicate it for extra credit for another degree.

Submission of Assignments:

*Once you have completed your assignments, prepare them as PDF or Word doc. attachments and e-mail them for grading. Send to your faculty advisor at: Northwestern Christian University

Now get to work..  Start today..  Do not procrastinate or delay. You can have your degree in hand in just 90-days or less..

Happy Studies!


"Study to show yourself approved, a workman who need not be ashamed, handling accurately the Word of Truth" (II Timothy 2:15)  *paraphrase

(c) Copyright all rights reserved to Northwestern Christian University 2006                           You may not publish this document without the express consent of NCU.

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