Adults returning to college or beginning to seek a college degree may wish to investigate opportunities available to them through Credit for Prior Learning. In order to earn Credit for Prior Learning, students must demonstrate that from significant experiences in their lives they have acquired knowledge and/or skills and abilities that are the equivalent of learning acquired from a college course. This learning (called Prior Experiential Learning) can be the result of a variety of life experiences: employment, volunteer work, community service, travel, military service, or courses at non-collegiate institutions.
Credit is granted for learning, not experience, and will be earned only when the student has successfully demonstrated that the learning acquired is the equivalent of that gained through courses traditionally taught in colleges, that it is at a level of achievement equal to what is normally required in college courses, and that it consists of current knowledge that shows both theoretical understanding and practical application of the subject area.
Credit for Prior Learning is limited to a maximum of 30 credits for undergraduate students and 6 for graduate students, and may be used to fulfill the core curriculum requirements and electives. In some cases, they may be used to fulfill program requirements. Grades for credit earned for prior learning are given as pass or fail. Students in a degree program at Stevenson University can pursue Credit for Prior Learning through the following:
To qualify to petition for prior learning credit through the portfolio, students must meet with the Associate Dean for Accelerated Programs and submit documentation of at least three years full-time and/or five years part-time professional or community experiences, be in good academic standing (cumulative GPA 2.00 in course work at Stevenson University), and seek approval of the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies for specific courses for which to petition for credit.
After qualifying, undergraduate students register for PLA 101Prior Learning Assessment Portfolioand select the course to be petitioned for credit. PLA 101 is an eight-week, online three-credit course during which students compose their portfolios. Up to thirty college credits may be petitioned through the portfolio process for the undergraduate student, six for the graduate student. Each course must receive prior approval by the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Completed portfolios are reviewed by faculty evaluators who determine a grade of "P" (Pass) or "NC" (for "No Credits Awarded"). Credits are awarded only if students successfully demonstrate that their documented experience meets the requirements of the course petitioned. Awarded credits are posted on the student's transcript and are counted toward degree completion requirements.
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