Portfolio Assessment: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I have to be matriculated as a Charter Oak student to get portfolio credit?
No, guest students are welcome to enroll in the portfolio course, IDS 102, and submit
portfolios for assessment. It is important to work with your home institution to ensure
that any credit you earn this way will be accepted in transfer and work in your degree
2. How many credits can I get through portfolio assessment?
Charter Oak does not limit the number of portfolio credits that students can earn,
but it is important to work with your Academic Counselor to ensure that any credit
earned this way will work in your degree plan.
3. How long does it take to get portfolio credits?
The portfolio course takes eight weeks. Portfolio assessment takes 2-3 months or more,
depending on faculty assessor availability and whether more information is requested.
4. How much does it cost to get portfolio credits?
The first portfolio assessment is included in the IDS102 course fee if it is submitted
within 30 days of the end of the class. See our tuition and fees
5. What kind of courses can I get credit for through portfolio assessment?
You may use portfolio assessment to challenge most any course currently offered at
a regionally accredited college or university, except for courses on learning that
cannot be documented such as internships, independent study, physical education, and
field experiences. Work with your Academic Advisor to check on a specific course and
ensure that portfolio credit from the course will be acceptable and work in your degree
6. How will portfolio credit appear on my transcript?
The credit is identified as earned through Portfolio Assessment with the name of the
course challenged, the level (upper or lower), number of credits, and a grade of "Pass"
("P"). Portfolio credit does not factor into the Grade Point Average (GPA).
7. Can I get blocks of credit for courses in the same area?
No, Charter Oak does not award block credit for portfolio assessment. Each course
must be challenged individually.
8. If the faculty assessor asks for more information, how long do I have to provide
it? What happens if I don't?
You will have up to 30 days to respond to a request for a revision or more information.
If nothing is received after 30 days, the assessment process will end and the final
results will be based on your original submission.
9. Can I get my portfolio back after the assessment?
No, Charter Oak does not return portfolios. Portfolios are typically submitted electronically,
currently as email attachments.
10. How can I tell if my learning from experience qualifies for college credit?
To qualify for portfolio assessment, your learning should:
- Be something that you can describe and document.
- Involve content that is normally taught in college.
- Contain a mix of theory and application appropriate to the course you are challenging.
- Apply to multiple contexts, not just the specific context or incident in which you
- Come from experience that was deep enough and long enough to provide the opportunity
for you to have learned what you claim to know.
11. How can I tell if I'm a good candidate for portfolio assessment?
Use this checklist to help you decide if you're a good candidate for portfolio assessment:
- Have you successfully completed 6 semester hours of college credit in English Composition? Portfolio preparation involves research and writing at the college level.
- Is your experience in an area that is normally taught in college courses? Take a look through some college catalogs (available online and in libraries) to
see if there are course descriptions for the sorts of things that you have learned.
- Is your knowledge broad and deep enough to match the content of a college course? You will need to show that have achieved each learning outcome in the course you
want to challenge. This likely will not have come from a single experience; consider
what you've learned over time.
- Has your experience provided you with the opportunity to learn what you will claim
to know? Consider your types of experience as well as the amount of your experience. Charter
Oak doesn't award credit on the basis of experience alone, so in some cases even a
great deal of experience can't support a successful portfolio.
- Can you describe and explain what you have learned? You will need to present the knowledge that you have gained in a way that will show
faculty assessors that it is equivalent to the learning outcomes for the course you
- Does your knowledge include an appropriate level of theory as well as practical application? Being able to explain both what you've done and why it should or should not! be done
that way is an indication that you're a good candidate for portfolio assessment. You
may need to know what theories and theorists have influenced the field and be familiar
with the most commonly recognized research.
- Do you have the time to devote to a writing-intensive course for eight weeks? The portfolio development course, IDS 102, involves a good deal of writing that has
to be submitted on time; each assignment builds on the next. It's recommended that
you take no more than one additional course while enrolled in IDS102.
Portfolio Assessment Process
Contact the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Office with questions.