Credit for Prior Learning Assessment Network
The Credit for Prior Learning Assessment Network (C-PLAN) is a Minnesota State collaborative that supports 26 colleges and 7 universities in credit for prior learning (CPL) implementation. C-PLAN’s campus partners contribute to the successful implementation of credit for prior learning at Minnesota State by developing and sharing best practices.
CPL implementation supports Equity 2030 goals by broadening equitable and effective pathways through the recognition of student learning that occurs outside the college or university classroom.
C-PLAN welcomes all Minnesota State colleges and universities to learn more about contributing to CPL implementation at Minnesota State. Participating in the Network’s CPL activities is easy - simply complete this brief contributor interest form.
Benefit by participating in C-PLAN
- Raise institutional awareness and acceptance of CPL on your campus.
- Increase opportunities for diverse kinds of assessments, both on individual campuses and in collaboration with other partners.
- Get assistance on long-range planning for CPL with a broader system context in mind.
- Improve CPL processes and implement new practices.
- Learn how to boost faculty engagement in CPL assessments. for engaging and training faculty.
- Develop a business case for investment in CPL on your campus.
- Share strategies and tools that capitalize on CPL’s role in strategic enrollment management and Equity 2030 goals.
Learn more about C-PLAN
As a leading authority in credit for prior learning, C-PLAN supports Minnesota State colleges and universities in broadening innovative credit for prior learning pathways, with emphasis on transparency, excellence, equity and inclusion.
- Provide Minnesota State students with increased access to CPL assessment opportunities, supporting students’ progress to educational goals and degrees.
- Facilitate a comprehensive spectrum of choices for campus faculty to assess student learning for credit, certify transferable student competencies, and ensure quality.
- Collaboratively capitalize on subject-area and resource-based strengths to offer effective CPL pathways, create cross-institution crosswalks and expand the network of campus partners using CPL standards and best practices.
- Equity: Promote equitable access for all students to consistent, transparent, and affordable opportunities to earn credit for prior learning.
- Integrity and Quality: Support and disseminate standards and best practices among all stakeholders in the evaluation, documentation, and award of prior learning credit, informing system and campus policy, procedure, and practice.
- Awareness: Increase awareness and knowledge of CPL and its benefits to students, campuses, and communities through wide-ranging, integrated communications that reach out to all constituencies.
- Collaboration: Extend the network throughout Minnesota State to share resources, build capacity, expand CPL expertise, and facilitate campus collaboration.
- Professional Development: Establish a comprehensive professional development structure to respond to and recognize the needs, interests, and efforts of faculty and staff engaged in CPL work.
- Navigation: Create a transparent, accessible web platform to display crosswalks, provide resources and tools to help students navigate CPL pathways, guide campus stakeholders on best practices, and reach out to external partners.
As a collaborative, C-PLAN works best when colleges and universities partner in CPL efforts, and contribute to the network by sharing issues, strategies, resources, expertise, and successes.
Current C-PLAN partners are Century College, Dakota County Technical College, Inver Hills Community College,Hennepin Technical College, Metropolitan State University, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Normandale Community College, North Hennepin Community College, Northwest Technical College, Pine Community and Technical College, Rochester Community and Technical College, Saint Cloud State University, Saint Paul College, and South Central College.
Activities, such as the advisory council, workgroups, and special projects, are facilitated through system-wide teams of C‐PLAN contributors representing campus administrators, faculty and staff, and system divisions. C-PLAN encourages campus and system colleagues to learn more about participation by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or completing a contributor form.
- C-PLAN Advisory Council: The Council meets quarterly to discuss CPL policy and practice implementation across Minnesota State, identify strategies for advancing capacity and commitment, and expand stakeholder engagement.
- Certificates to Credits (C-to-C) Workgroup: The C-to-C Program, developed by a faculty team across programs and institutions, provides guides, rubrics, and checklists to institutions for evaluating industry- and community-based certificates and training. A workgroup meets bi-monthly to identify opportunities for expanding C-to-C crosswalks.
- Policy and Procedure Workgroup: The Policy and Procedure (P & P) Workgroup meets bi-monthly to discuss policy, procedure, and process at the system and campus level. The guiding principles for the workgroup can be found here:
- MyCPL Web Platform: C-PLAN is facilitating the system-wide implementation of a CPL web-based platform (MyCPL). MyCPL will help participating campuses streamline workflows and assist potential and current students in navigating CPL options at Minnesota State.
- CPL Community: The Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Community offers Minnesota State campus stakeholders resources and links to facilitate a cross-functional team approach and expand CPL opportunities for students at your campus. We are here to help you support Minnesota State students through their CPL journey.
- CPL Academy: A free, online, interactive course, offered throughout the year, the CPL Academy is facilitated through D2L/Brightspace, and benefits cross-functional teams with a wide array of information and resources on CPL assessment and implementation.
- Ask C-PLAN Webinars: Bi-monthly webinars offer campuses CPL information and opportunities to share best practices on topics such as advising, marketing, and workflows. C-PLAN facilitates faculty-led webinars on CPL assessments in the fall and spring semesters.
C-PLAN offers workshops and technical assistance for individual campuses upon request.
- Visit Minnesota State CPL Webpage: minnstate.edu/cpl
- Ask C-PLAN form
- Email C-PLAN
- CPL LIstserv: Ask your CPL-related questions to Minnesota State’s CPL champions and colleagues.
- CPL Essentials: Bimonthly Newsletter highlighting Minnesota State CPL activities, campus accomplishments, and national/state research.
- Minnesota State Credit for Prior Learning Policies and Procedures
Mary Beth Lakin is the Director for the Credit for Prior Learning Assessment Network at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, where she oversees the development of a collaborative network to support credit for prior learning policy and practice implementation. With three decades of experience in higher education, Mary Beth has extensive knowledge and skills in building policies, programs and collaborations.
Previously for 15 years at the American Council on Education (ACE) in Washington D.C., Mary Beth developed training and technical assistance in assessing workplace and military training for academic credit. This work involved leading workshops for faculty and cross-functional teams at individual institutions and state systems, and facilitating pathways, articulations and memorandums of understanding across sectors.
Before serving in her position at ACE, Mary Beth directed the Weekend College and Experiential Learning Programs at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and served as an advisor, faculty member and program coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Degree Studies Program. She earned a Master of Arts in Human Development with a specialization in College Teaching/Teaching Adults at Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, California. In her various roles, Mary Beth has fostered greater awareness and acceptance of credit for prior learning, mentored students and staff, and contributed to the research on adult learners and learning recognition.
Charlotte Nitardy is C-PLAN Coordinator and Advisor. She provides and coordinates resources, technical assistance, and related services to support campuses in their work with students seeking credit for prior learning. She develops, coordinates, and promotes CPL internal and external assessment projects, programs and professional development opportunities for campus faculty, advisors, and other CPL stakeholders, such as CBOs (community-based organizations).
Charlotte has 20+ years of experience as a CPL advisor and faculty evaluator at Minnesota State. In addition, she is a Community Faculty in the Psychology Department at Metropolitan State University and has taught in the University of Wisconsin system as well. Charlotte earned a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development, and has graduate certificates in Human Resource Development and Adult Education. She has conducted research and published articles in educational and racial disparities. She currently serves as a school board member at her local school district.
Colleen Harris-Severns is C-PLAN’s Senior Office and Administrative Specialist. Her main role is to provide administrative and program support within a growing and innovative system network. She spends much of her time making connections and implementing systems and does so with the philosophies of accessibility, continuous improvement, equity, and inclusivity. Her specialties include business analysis and organizational management across sectors, planning, research/writing, technology implementation, and public administration and governance skills.
Colleen has accumulated her expertise from a diverse and individualized array of professional and academic experiences. Past work has included strategic analysis and property operations management of a local career readiness and affordable housing nonprofit, office and project management for a technological startup focused on digitizing traditional industries, and records and enrollment management for higher education Admissions offices within the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Colleen is an alum of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, having graduated with an Associate in Arts with Honors from the Minneapolis College.
Jodie Swearingen is a member of the Workforce and Economic Development division at Minnesota State, with a focus on adult and under-represented learners. She is working with the C-PLAN team on several initiatives including the implementation of the web-based credit for prior learning platform, MyCPL, with campuses. This platform will help increase awareness and build campus capacity for CPL work. She came to the Minnesota State system office after 20+ years at Dakota County Technical College with over a decade spent in the position of registrar. This provides her with a level of knowledge to help bridge the technology and campus workflow functions. She is dedicated to helping streamline credit for the prior learning processes to increase the number of students benefiting.
Ask C-PLAN to learn more about Credit for Prior Learning, becoming a C-PLAN partner, or to schedule a virtual visit with a C-PLAN coordinator.