The Portfolio Program provides students the opportunity to demonstrate college-level learning obtained through experience. Visiting students are eligible to participate in the Portfolio Program and are strongly advised to obtain prior permission from their home institutions regarding eligibility of the portfolio credit for transfer purposes. Portfolio credit is not awarded for life experience, but rather for the learning resulting from that experience. A portfolio specifies the college course the student believes parallels the knowledge gained through experience and demonstrates the equivalent learning through an explanatory narrative and documentary evidence. Current forms and instructions are posted in the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) section of Student Self Service on the Acorn student portal. Current fees are posted on the Undergraduate and Graduate Current Fees pages of the College Catalog.
In order to be eligible for credit, the prior learning must:
- have college-level equivalency matching a specific credit-bearing course taught at a regionally accredited institution of higher learning;
- be verifiable in ways that can be demonstrated and documented; and
- be based on experience that is broad enough and of sufficient duration to afford the student enough opportunity to acquire an appropriate amount and level of learning.
Portfolios submitted for assessment are subject to the Student Code of Conduct and are reviewed by faculty to make recommendations regarding credit. Faculty may recommend credit, request more information, or not recommend credit. When credit is recommended, the credit is transcripted onto the student's record with a grade of "P" (Pass) and identified as from portfolio. When more information is requested, the student will have up to 30 days to respond. When credit is not recommended, it is not reflected on the student's transcript; the student may submit a second portfolio challenging the same course and pay the assessment fee. If credit is not recommended for the second portfolio, the student cannot resubmit.
Undergraduate Portfolio Credit
To pursue credit for college-level knowledge gained through experience, undergraduate students must first successfully complete IDS 102 - Prior Learning Portfolio Development with a grade of "C" or better. IDS 102 is designed to help students analyze their learning, compare it to college courses, and prepare a portfolio to challenge one specific course. Students receive instruction and feedback on their portfolio components throughout the course. To register for IDS 102, students must meet an English Composition prerequisite. IDS 102 is a three-credit research and writing intensive course taught in an online accelerated eight (8) week format. After successfully completing IDS 102 with a grade of "C" or better, students may submit one portfolio for assessment without an additional fee if it is submitted within 30 days of the end of the course. Successful completers of IDS 102 may submit an unlimited number of additional portfolios for credit assessment, paying only the assessment fee.
Undergraduate credit is awarded for portfolios that demonstrate learning equivalent to having successfully completed the specified course with a grade of "C" (73%) or better. There is no limit to the number of credits an undergraduate student can earn through the portfolio process, as long as it meets degree plan requirements.
If a student has successfully completed a course comparable to IDS102 at another regionally accredited institution of higher learning with a grade of "C" or better, the student may request an exception to submit portfolios for assessment without completing IDS 102. A comparable course must include experience analyzing one's learning and relating it to academic content areas along with instructions on preparing a portfolio to challenge a course for credit. Determinations regarding equivalent courses eligible for this process are made by the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) director.
Credit cannot be granted through portfolio for English Composition I, Physical Education (except theory), and for learning that cannot be documented. Credit typically cannot be granted through portfolio for an internship, practicum, independent study, field experience, graduate course, or senior thesis/capstone type course. Courses not eligible for undergraduate portfolio assessment:
- Graduate courses.
- English Composition I
- Physical Education (except theory) courses.
- Applied courses such as internship, practicum, student teaching, field experience, independent study, senior thesis, capstone.
- Courses offered by non-US colleges.
- Courses offered by colleges that are not regionally accredited.
- Courses not offered for credit toward a degree at a regionally accredited college or university.
Authorization from the PLA director is required for an exception to pursue credit for such a course through portfolio.
Graduate Portfolio Credit
Graduate credit is awarded for portfolios that demonstrate learning equivalent to having successfully completed the specified graduate-level course with a grade of "B" (83%) or better. Graduate students may use up to six (6) credits earned through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) toward the master's degree. PLA credit includes all credit awarded through portfolio assessment in addition to any credit awarded from exams, credentials, and non-collegiate training and instructional programs. To pursue graduate-level credit for knowledge gained through experience, graduate students should reference the Graduate Portfolio Program Manual posted in the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) section of Student Self Service in the MyCharterOak student portal and consult their advisor.