2:015 Experiential Learning Credit
|Austin Peay State
|Experiential Learning Credit
It is the policy of Austin Peay State University to provide experiential college level learning for its students.
Credit for Experiential Learning may be requested for college level learning (not necessarily matched with specific courses) acquired through certain life/work experiences: however each department may determine whether it will participate in the experiential credit process or accept credits earned via the portfolio process. Credit will not be restricted to the area of concentration. All experiential learning must be validated through the portfolio preparation procedure and/or some other suitable evaluation process. Students will prepare a portfolio to be evaluated. Credit may be recommended by members of the faculty through the department head in the department(s) appropriate for the credit being requested. The amount of credit that can be earned through such prior learning will be restricted only by the appropriateness to the degree as determined by the advisor and/or the department chair.
By assessing experiential learning portfolios Austin Peay State University recognizes
that learning takes place throughout life and that college level learning is not limited
to the institutions of higher education or to classroom settings. The rational for
portfolio assessment is that adult life and work can offer learning equivalent in
substance and complexity to that offered in classrooms.
A portfolio is an organized collection of essays and documentation demonstrating the student learning through life/work experiences. Through the portfolio, the student provides evidence that the knowledge gained through experience is equivalent to courses at Austin Peay State University. A portfolio may contain several subject areas, for example, Organizational Psychology, Public Speaking, and Information Systems Management. Each course equivalent is referred to as a section and is evaluated by a faculty expert in that field.
Students must choose CLEP, departmental challenge exams or other approved mechanisms to receive credit for prior knowledge when available in lieu of seeking credit via a portfolio.
Candidates for portfolio credit are:
With departmental approval, the student may choose to develop a portfolio for one or more courses. If significant work experience is related to the academic major without having completed a formal training program that can be evaluated, a portfolio might be a good option.
Preparation by Student
The student that has a proposed program of study that includes portfolio credit is required to take a non-credit APSU course, Portfolio Development. This course is geared to the learning component model. Students who have become experts in a certain field may lose the ability to identify the knowledge and steps in the process necessary to accomplish the skill level. Through this course students are guided in examining their experiential learning to extract specific learning components. Determining learning levels, learning components, theory and practice relationship, appropriate narration, documentation, and presentation are areas covered in this class. The student does not prepare the portfolio as part of this class, but must prepare one learning component for grading in order to insure that they grasp the concept. Later, the student independently prepares the portfolio. The student may consult with their academic advisor, subject area faculty, or the course instructor during the preparation. This is done in much the same way as faculty advising for other student projects.
Portfolio evaluation is the most comprehensive challenge examination that exists. In compiling the portfolio of experiential learning, the preparation itself involves new learning. The student identifies the learning possessed, expresses it in terms of college level curriculum or competencies. The student relates it to overall educational and career objectives. The student then compiles the evidence or demonstrating competence. In preparing the portfolio, a student must reflect on the learning and competencies possessed to transfer principles from one situation to another. The application of experiential learning to the curriculum of higher education avoids the duplication of learning and allows the student to build on the learning already acquired.
The faculty advisor or department chair reviews the completed portfolio for format,
competencies, and documentation. The portfolio is submitted to the department head
in the department relevant to the subject.
With departmental approval, the student may opt to develop a portfolio for one or
more courses. If significant work experience is related to the academic major without
having completed a formal training program that can be evaluated, a portfolio might
be a good option.
Talking with the student to explore and clarify the contents of the portfolio provides
a better understanding of the level and depth of student learning. The personal interview
corresponds to the personal contact with regular students and reveals more evidence
of learning. If the portfolio is incomplete, the student may be asked to rework it
before the completion of the evaluation. The level of the learning presented in the
portfolio should be compared with the achievement of traditional students. The amount
of credit is determined by the amount of learning found in the portfolio. The minimum
award is “no credit” and the maximum credit allowed is 15 credits and is within the
parameters of the criteria determined by the Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools Commission on Colleges. The credit will be recorded as upgraded and is specified
as experiential credit on the official transcript even if it is determined as credit
for a specific course, such as BIOl 1010. Although portfolio evaluation is not quick
and easy, APSU has determined this to be a valid and responsible response to the needs
of the nontraditional student.
Credit Options at the Undergraduate Level
APSU Policy 2:015 (previously 2:016) – Rev.: March 25, 2017
APSU Policy 2:015 – Issued: May 11, 2004
President: signature on file