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Credit for prior learning

Undergraduate transfer and returning students may receive credit for prior learning  for knowledge and skills acquired from study and professional practice before enrollment. The assessment is used to verify that the student’s knowledge and skills meet the learning outcomes of an existing course in the program. The student must present objective evidence demonstrating that the learning outcomes have been met.

Whether credit is granted, or prior learning is even considered, is at the discretion of the course instructor. In addition, the instructor may require the student to complete coursework and/or class activities to demonstrate the learning outcomes.

Examples of prior learning documentation

  • Completion of recognized academic programs
  • Certificates and other credentials with their fulfillment criteria
  • Curriculum vitae or résumé
  • Documentation of project management skills
  • Documentation of skills consistent with those expected in the course being reviewed (e.g., an animated short film, a mobile application, an e-commerce website)
  • Job descriptions
  • Passing a comprehensive examination on the contents of the course
  • Service to a nongovernmental organization or the government (e.g., a volunteer organization, the military, diplomatic corps)
  • Report on funded and unfunded research projects
  • Syllabi of courses covering similar content
  • Testimonials of course-related knowledge and skills acquisition
  • Documentation of professional activities clarifying acquired knowledge and skills concerning the course’s contents, such as developing a website for a community service organization, contributing to IT fair projects, mentorship, performance reviews, presenting or publishing scholarship, and producing a video

Guidelines for documenting prior learning

Credit for prior learning may be granted by the course instructor in consultation with the Program Director or Chair. The student must pass an exam, construct a persuasive and comprehensive portfolio demonstrating how course learning outcomes have been satisfied, or both.

For a portfolio, the course instructor and student meet to determine whether its review is feasible, whether the student’s expectations are appropriate, and the schedule for portfolio completion. The portfolio review should be completed soon after enrollment but no later than the semester before the course must be taken in the plan of study.

Prior learning assessment is only available to students who are in good academic standing.

The process

  1. The student and course instructor meet to determine the feasibility of prior learning assessment.
  2. The student obtains a special credit form from the academic advisor, completes the form, and has it signed by the instructor.
  3. The student collects comprehensive documentation according to the instructor’s guidelines and presents the documentation by the scheduled date.
  4. If the student’s documentation is accepted, the student pays the special credit fee, and the course will be assigned to the academic transcript.