Operating Instruction Coding Credit for Prior Learning - Internal Assessments

System Procedures
Chapter 3 - Educational Policies

Access a PDF copy of this operating instruction

for Board Policy 3.35

Part 1. Purpose

To provide guidance for setting up courses for internal credit for prior learning in the student information system used by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to:

  • Increase consistency and transparency of CPL coding.
  • Create a more standardized course set up for internal CPL across system campuses.
  • Improve data collection of CPL impacts on persistence and completio.

Part 2. General Campus Workflow

  • A student with prior learning not previously assessed may request an internal assessment.
  • The student is directed to a faculty reviewer who informs the student of assessment process.
  • Faculty recommend or do not recommend the student complete an assessment.
  • If applicable, the student is charged (and pays) an internal assessment fee which is determined by the college or university.
  • Faculty are compensated to perform internal assessments based on applicable faculty labor agreements.
  • Information on the assessed course is submitted for scheduling and course registration.
  • The assessed CPL course is graded per college or university policy.

Part 3. Course Setup Guidance
Some aspects of campus-level workflow, course setup, and student registration will vary based on campus processes.

When setting up a course structure for the assessment of prior learning, some details on course setup to consider are below.

  • The Year Term and Session Dates should be the term of the assessment. 
  • Individual campuses should use a consistent Section Number(s) or Course Numbers for CPL internal assessments.  
  • A course should be set up with Max Seats = 1. If another student requests this same course during the same term, the Max Seat field will need to be changed if the same faculty are performing the assessments.
  • The Special Credit Type - internal assessment codes (IC) - Use the appropriate special credit type beginning with “IC” to indicate the type of assessment used.
IC types for internal CPL include:
  • IC30 - Portfolio review  
  • IC31 - Test out (Credit by Exam) 
  • IC32 - Skills demonstrations  
  • IC33 - Oral interview  
  • IC34 - Written research papers  
  • IC35 - Project evaluation  
  • IC36 - Multiple assessment types used
  • IC37 - Creative process demonstration
The workflow used to gather data from faculty on assessment of prior learning must indicate the specific type of assessment used. This information determines the appropriate IC type.
  • Instructional Unit Type – determined at the campus level based on their setup and processes. This controls tuition charges so each campus must work with their business office staff to set up proper fees. Some campuses set this to not charge anything and manually add the CPL fees, while others have this set to charge the appropriate CPL fee automatically when a student is registered.
  • Instructional Type – can be used to determine the aid eligibility of the course. Work with the financial aid staff to ensure coding produces proper aid calculations for the campus.
  • Grading Method – Choose the grading method appropriate for your campus CPL practices. It will default to what is set up in the curriculum. The grading method set up can also affect financial aid calculations so work with the campus financial aid office to ensure proper setup.
  • FTE Percent – Change the 100 to 0.
  • Credit Hour – Enter number of course credits (should default to curriculum value).
  • Instructor ID/Name – link to faculty assignment in faculty workload management (FWM).
  • Instructor – A best practice is to create a course for each specific CPL activity by instructor. This allows for better data to be collected and clearer payment of faculty.
  • Permission Required – Under Registration Tab – set to Yes (An override must be entered on the student’s record to grant permission for registration if the student is to register for the CPL course themselves).
  • Display on the web – should be “N” if the campus process is to register the student manually after the course is set up, if the student registers themselves, web display should be “Y”.
  • Wait list – “No” should be the setting.
  • Textbook Cost Level – Under Academic Tab: unknown (this is a required field).

Related Documents:

To view any of the following related statutes, go to the Revisor's Office website. You can conduct a search from this site by typing in the statute number.

  • Minn. Stat. § 197.775 Higher Education Fairness

Operating Instruction History:

Date of Adoption: 05/31/23
Date of Implementation: 09/14/23
Date of Last Review:

Date & Subject of Amendments:

No additional HISTORY.