Chapter 3 - Educational Policies
Part 1. Purpose
To establish consistent practices and procedures among colleges and universities regarding credit for prior learning internal assessments, evaluations, and the award of undergraduate or graduate credit to students admitted to a college or university.
Part 2. Definitions
Learning outcomes that demonstrate proficiency in a subject, described in terms of what the learner knows and can do or apply. Competence outcomes may be standardized or individualized, and must be set at college-level if assessed for credit.
Assessment of learning outcomes described and demonstrated in terms of skill or proficiency (competence). Competence may be assessed for comparable college-level credit.
Comparison of competence-based learning outcomes to the scope and levels of credit-hour-based learning outcomes to establish credit measures or equivalencies. This contrasts with models that transcript competence by “direct assessment,” without competence-to-credit-hour comparative measures.
Assessment of learning outcomes that substantially demonstrate comparable outcomes expected in or required for a specific course, as described in the official course outline.
Credit by exam
Credit awarded through assessment based on an examination developed by college or university faculty, commonly for, but not limited to, course-specific learning equivalency.
Credit for prior learning (CPL)
Academic credit awarded for demonstrated college- and university-level learning gained through learning experiences outside college or university credit-bearing courses and assessed by academically sound and rigorous methods and processes.
Credit for prior learning (CPL) - internal college/university assessments
College or university assessment methods and processes used by Minnesota State faculty members to assess students’ demonstrated learning. Such assessments determine competence-to-credit comparability, course-equivalency, individualized subject status, and application to degree requirements or electives. CPL internal assessment types may include, but are not limited to, credit by exam, prior learning portfolio assessments, individualized subject-area assessments, group or seminar assessments, and competency-based assessment.
Group or seminar assessment
Assessment conducted in a group or seminar, typically including but not limited to assessment of standardized learning outcomes. Assessment seminars may also include instruction to prepare for assessment.
A subject area that is not equivalent to any course offered at the college or university.
A method of documentation of college-level learning gained from learning experiences outside of the college or university credit-bearing course, in which a student assembles materials demonstrating evidence of learning outcomes into a portfolio. College or university faculty assess the portfolio materials as evidence of learning to determine whether and how much credit will be awarded. Portfolios may assess individual subjects or a range of subjects, depending on the procedure developed by the college or university.
Learning gained in life, community and/or work-based settings, and through experiences outside of the college or university credit-bearing course, including but not limited to independent study, life experience and reflection, non-credit study programs, career education, continuing education, online learning or instruction and training or certificate programs. The learning occurs “prior to” the student’s request for assessment at a college or university.
Part 3. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) - Internal College/University Assessments
Colleges and universities shall offer students the opportunity to demonstrate college-level learning for CPL internal college/university assessment options that includes the components listed below.
Subpart A. Types of CPL internal college/university assessment
CPL internal assessments may include, but are not limited to, credit by exam, course-equivalency assessment, individualized-subject assessment, portfolio assessment, group or seminar assessment, and competency-based assessment.
Subpart B. Credit award for CPL college/university assessments
CPL internal college/university assessments of student learning outcomes and competence must be conducted by college or university faculty with related subject-area expertise. College or university faculty evaluate student learning and determine a credit award based on learning outcomes comparable to college/university level learning outcomes.
Subpart C. CPL credit award
Colleges and universities may assess prior learning in a single-subject process, or a process that reviews multiple subjects in one documentation and assessment process.
Colleges and universities may assess prior learning outcomes for credit at lower division, upper-division, or graduate level, and shall communicate to students the expectations for the learning outcomes at each credit level. Colleges and universities shall award credit for CPL internal college/university assessments as a course offered by the college or university or as an individualized subject area. Credit awarded for prior learning may fulfill general, technical, Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), program/major/minor and/or elective courses.
Subpart D. Residency credit for CPL internal college/university assessment
Colleges and universities shall award credit for CPL internal college/university assessments consistent with the residency and graduation requirements in Board Policy 3.36 and System Procedure 3.36.1 Academic Programs. Credit awarded through CPL internal college/university assessments must apply toward residency credit requirements at the college or university awarding the degree.
Subpart E. Recording of CPL internal college/university assessment credit awarded
See System Procedure 3.29.1 College and University Transcripts, Part 5.
Subpart F. Credit limit for CPL internal college/university assessment
Colleges and universities shall not limit the total number of credits students may be awarded for CPL internal assessments.
Subpart G. Tuition and fees for CPL internal college/university assessment
Colleges or universities may charge tuition and/or fees to students for CPL internal college/university assessments through per-credit tuition structure and/or per-credit or flat-charge fee structure. Tuition may be charged for credit-bearing instruction related to prior learning assessment principles, methods, and processes, such as for a portfolio development course. Fees may be charged for CPL internal assessment services, such as credit by exam or processing portfolios and documentation.
Colleges or universities that charge tuition and/or fees for CPL internal assessments shall clearly publish and communicate all CPL internal assessment tuition and/or fees to students.
Tuition and/or fees charged for CPL internal college/university assessments or assessment services is independent of the results of the CPL internal assessments.
Part 4. Transfer of Credit Awarded for CPL Internal College/University Assessment
A student who is awarded credits based on CPL internal college/university assessments and transfers to another college or university within Minnesota State must have their credits evaluated in the same manner as course credits that have been successfully completed pursuant to System Procedure 3.21.1 Transfer of Undergraduate Courses, Credit, Associate Degrees, and the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.
Part 5. Implementation
Subpart A. Student responsibility
- A student must be admitted to the college or university to be eligible for the award of credit for prior learning through CPL internal college/university assessments.
- Students seeking credit for prior learning through CPL internal college/university assessments are responsible for seeking information and advice on the use of that credit in college or university programs, including understanding processes, expectations, and assessment criteria; academic and financial aid implications; and any applicable pre-requisites or limitations based on degree program, major, minor, MnTC criteria, etc.
- Students seeking credit for prior learning through CPL internal college/university assessments shall provide official documents and/or supporting information as specified by the college or university policy and procedure.
- Students shall adhere to college or university policies and procedures for the award of credit through CPL internal college/university assessments.
Subpart B. College or university responsibility
Colleges and universities shall establish processes for implementation that will include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Each college or university shall publish opportunities for CPL internal college/university assessments in its print and electronic media catalog and related publications. Published information must include the following:
- CPL internal college/university assessments,
- Applicable CPL policies and procedures,
- Eligible courses and content areas, and
- CPL appeal process.
- Colleges or universities shall provide a petition or proposal process that enables students to request consideration of opportunities for prior learning assessment that do not appear on the list of identified courses or content areas.
- Colleges and universities shall provide students with information about CPL internal college/university assessment processes, applicable policies, required documentations, appeals process, transfer information, and the impact that credit awarded for prior learning may have on financial aid eligibility.
- Colleges and universities that elect not to offer CPL internal college/university assessment options will refer students to a system list of colleges and universities that offer these options and information about accessing the opportunity and applying it at their home college or university.
Part 6. Appeals
Each college and university shall establish an appeals process that may be used by students who are denied credit requested for CPL internal college/university assessments. The appeals process may utilize current college or university established processes, such as the academic appeals process.
- Board Policy 3.29 College and University Transcripts
- Board Policy 3.35 Credit for Prior Learning
- Board Policy 5.11 Tuition and Fees
- System Procedure 3.21.1 Transfer of Undergraduate Courses, Credit, Associate Degrees, and the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum
- System Procedure 3.29.1 College and University Transcripts
- System Procedure 3.35.1 Credit for Prior Learning External
- System Procedure 5.11.1 Tuition and Fees
System Procedure History:
Date of Adoption: 10/01/18
Date of Implementation: 10/01/18
Date of Last Review: 12/06/19
Date & Subject of Amendments:
12/06/19 – Amendment relocates credit for prior learning transcription information to System Procedure 3.29.1 College and University Transcripts. Replaced the deleted language with the following sentence in Part 3, Subpart E “See System Procedure 3.29.1 College and University Transcripts, Part 5”.
No additional HISTORY.