The School of Professional and Continuing Studies offers a process to validate college-level knowledge acquired through experiential learning. The School's Experiential Learning Committee oversees the process and monitors policies and procedures that are consistent with principles of good practice established by the Council on the Assessment of Experiential Learning (CAEL). Credit is awarded for college-level knowledge/learning gained from experience, and not for the experience itself.

The link below for "Frequently Asked Questions" will provide answers to most of your questions.

Visit this page from time-to-time to explore additional links that will provide information on the experiential learning process.

Experiential Learning FAQs

  1. How does the assessment of experiential learning help me earn credit towards my degree?

    It offers you an opportunity to demonstrate and document college-level learning gained through any or all of the following:

    • Non-transferable courses
    • Licenses
    • Certificates
    • Personal and professional experience
  2. How do I present my college-level learning?

    The first step is to take a course called Human Services and Portfolio Development. The Portfolio process is covered in great detail in this class.

  3. Are there any guidelines which the School of Human Services and other institutions follow for assessment?

    Yes, the School of Professional and Continuing Studies is one of over 1500 institutional members of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and follows the CAEL assessment guidelines.

  4. Do I actually get credit for my life experience?

    No, we do not award credit for experience. Credit is awarded for the college-level knowledge and learning gained from the experience.

  5. How can I earn credits through the Experiential Learning Process?

    All of the following are options for obtaining credit:

    • Military trainings
    • Standardized tests such as DANTES and CLEP
    • Written claims for credit
    • Assessment of professional trainings, licenses, and certifications
  6. What is a claim for credit?

    It is a unique and comprehensive essay format for presenting college level learning. You must first select a college course paralleling your own experience, explain what was learned, and how you have grown as a result of the learning. Finally, you must cite corroborating theory, principles, and generalizations, and present adequate proof that the college-level learning experience actually occurred.

  7. What kind of verification is required?
    • Certificates
    • Legal documents
    • Personnel records
    • Letters from supervisors
    • Work evaluations/descriptions, are all the most common forms of verification.


  8. Who awards credit for the content of the Portfolio?

    Faculty evaluators at the School of Professional and Continuing Studies review the Portfolio for college-level learning.

  9. How do I know that I earn credit for the material I prepare?

    Evaluators compare the content of the prepared material to similar college courses. All requests for credit must show college-level writing skills and the content must demonstrate knowledge at the level of the course for which you have requested credit.

  10. How many credits may I earn through the Portfolio?

    The maximum number of credits available through the experiential learning process is dependent upon state regulations. The average experiential learning credit award is 30 credits.

  11. What kinds of licenses and certificates earn credit?

    L.P.N., E.M.T., and CADAC are just a few examples of the kinds of licences and certificates that may earn credit. Students requesting only a review of professional trainings, licenses and certificates will be assessed a $200 nonrefundable fee. This fee will be charged to the student's account at the time of review.

  12. I am fluent in a foreign language, but I haven't had courses in the language. Can I earn credit for my language ability through assessment?

    Yes, you may take a language evaluation test (C.L.E.P.) covering comprehension, speaking ability, pronunciation, use of grammar, reading, and writing. The credit award is variable depending upon the test results.

  13. How much does it cost to have my portfolio assessed?

    Credits earned through assessment are very cost effective when compared to the cost of elective courses. The Portfoliio fee is $500 which is payable at the time of registration for the Portfolio course.

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