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Many first responder skill sets are either gained through employment experience, military service, disaster related deployments, licenses, certification training programs, including those offered online by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or accredited universities , or acquisition of a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®) or Associate Emergency manager (AEM®) designation through International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). PLA is not awarded for experience per se; rather it is awarded for college-level learning, which entails knowledge, skills, and competencies obtained as a result of prior learning experiences through certifications, licensures, veteran status, workplace skills and acquired knowledge.

Individuals majoring in Disaster Management at FIU can submit evidence of documented prior learning. The department offers two DIFFERENT types of PLA credit depending on an individual's personal experience.

  • Between 0-30 credits of upper division academic credits will be awarded based on the extent of an individual’s prior learning experience in the field of disaster management. Please see the Upper Division PLA Instructions tab.

  • Between 0-39 credits of lower division academic credits will be awarded based on the extent of an individual’s prior learning experience in the field of disaster management. Please see the Lower Division PLA Instructions tab. (coming soon)

Any individual who prepares and submits a portfolio for review will be required to formulate a justification and rationale on how the prior learning experience relates to the discipline and learning outcomes associated with the degree. Mandatory attendance at the Introduction to Portfolio Development for Prior Learning Assessment for Disaster Management (offered every semester for 0 credits) is required in order to submit a portfolio for upper OR lower division academic credits.  Portfolios may only be submitted once and are bound by FIU’s Academic Integrity Policies.