Many adult (non-traditional) students may underestimate the value of learning that has occurred during their life experiences.  Each day that a person works, engages the community, serves others, reads, and performs other various activities provides opportunities for him or her to learn valuable and quality knowledge. Some of this knowledge may approximate college level learning, and such learning can be evaluated and may be awarded college credit.

Learning could have resulted from jobs, hobbies, volunteer work, training seminars, or other experiences resulting in intellectual growth and understanding. It should be highlighted that college credit for these experiences can be awarded only upon demonstration of college-level learning applied to specific learning outcomes. This credit cannot be awarded simply for life experience.

Sites Where Learning Outside the Classroom Can Occur:

  • Jobs
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Religious Organizations
  • Hobbies
  • Travel
  • Civic Involvement
  • Work-Related Training
  • Professional Licenses
  • Professional Certifications
  • Professional Memberships
  • Professional Accomplishments
  • Community Service
  • Volunteer Services

The documentation a student presents to demonstrate the mastery of learning varies by course and may include:  a self-assessment; awards; honors; examples of documents developed; examples of materials made (like a machine part); an essay explaining knowledge and experience; documents developed at work; documents developed during a civil engagement; certificates showing completion of workshops; or certificates showing completion of a seminar offered by professional organizations, business, industry, or government agencies. Provide the evaluators with qualitative evidence for evaluation. 


Restrictions to Portfolio Receiving Credit

Students may not request credit through portfolio assessment for the following instances:

  • for being a client or resident of an agency or organization.
  • for an academic course that he or she enrolled in and failed to pass.
  • for the same experiences multiple times from different departments.