Standards for the Assessment of Non-Collegiate Instruction

The Consortium for the Assessment of College Equivalence (CACE) developed the following set of review standards, adopted July 2015, to guide educational institutions in the evaluation of college-level learning and competencies delivered and/or verified through organized, structured learning experiences not sponsored for credit by an accredited college or university. Charter Oak State College is a founding member of CACE; the Connecticut Credit Assessment Program (CCAP) review process is in alignment with these standards.

Terminology used in the Standards

  • Evaluator: The educational institution or organization that conducts the assessment of Non-Collegiate Instruction.
  • Sponsor: The organization that administers and delivers the organized, structured learning experience or issues the credential being evaluated.
  • Learning Experience: The specific Non-Collegiate Instruction or related learning that is being evaluated.
  • Non-Collegiate Instruction: Organized, structured learning experiences not sponsored for credit by an accredited college or university. Non-Collegiate Instruction can take different forms including instructor-led training programs such as workplace learning and/or experiential learning verified through exam or other measurement of competencies such as professional licenses or credentials.

Evaluator Administrative Standards

  1. Written policies and procedures are in place for the evaluation of Non-Collegiate Instruction and award of credit.
  2. The Evaluator appoints an institutional representative to provide oversight of the evaluation process and ensure compliance with policies and procedures.
  3. Policies and procedures are transparent to all constituents, including the Sponsor and members of this consortium. 
  4. Policies and procedures are reviewed and adopted by standard institutional practices and they are uniformly applied throughout the institution.
  5. The Evaluator ensures the review is conducted by a team that includes academically-qualified subject matter experts drawn from internal and/or external college faculty. Additional team members may include non-academic subject matter experts and facilitating personnel.
  6. Credit recommendations and awards align with the institution's accrediting agency/ies and federal and state requirements, as well as the institution’s own standards for recommending and awarding academic credit.
  7. The Evaluator establishes a time period for the validity of credit recommendations and the periodic re-evaluation of the Learning Experience.
  8. The Evaluator maintains records indicating institutional approval of the credit recommendations.

Relationship between the Evaluator and Sponsor

  1. The Evaluator has a screening process in place to determine eligibility for the review of the Learning Experience.
  2. The Evaluator provides the Sponsor with a summary of expectations for the review process.
  3. The Evaluator informs the Sponsor of its rationale for credit award/denial and has an appeal process in place.
  4. The Sponsor provides the Evaluator with materials sufficient to conduct its evaluation.
  5. The Evaluator’s fees are based on the costs of review, not the resulting credit recommendation.
  6. The Sponsor informs the Evaluator of any changes made to the curriculum during the credit recommendation validity period.

Learning Experience Oversight

  1. The Sponsor, and not a third party, has administrative control over the Learning Experience being evaluated.
  2. The Sponsor keeps verifiable records of all individuals who complete the Learning Experience for a minimum of five years.
  3. The Sponsor evaluates the student's learning with assessment instruments aligned to the learning outcomes.
  4. The Sponsor defines successful completion of the Learning Experience and has methods in place to assess and verify that completion.
  5. The Learning Experience is developed, administered, assessed, and/or delivered by individuals with industry appropriate credentials, education and/or experience.
  6. The Sponsor conducts regular reviews of instructor performance.
  7. The Sponsor conducts periodic reviews of curriculum and assessments.

Components of a Review

  1. The review team evaluates the Learning Experience to determine if it is clearly defined and measurable, appropriate to the stated learning outcomes and/or competencies, and delivered and measured in a manner consistent with college-level learning. Learning Experience components reviewed may include instructional methods, lesson plans, instructor qualifications, learning environment, relevant materials, topics covered, learning objectives, and/or assessment tools.
  2. The review team evaluates the outcomes and/or competencies of the Learning Experience to determine if they are consistent over time, location, and instruction.
  3. The review team determines the depth and breadth of the learning and recommends with justification the level of learning, the subject of learning, and credit amount, as warranted.
  4. The review team provides a formal written report documenting its determination and rationale.


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