Submitted learning essays in the portfolio are evaluated by a faculty member with expertise in the subject matter. Portfolios with specific course matches from the LUC catalog must demonstrate learning in the specific student learning outcomes of the course. The best match for many learning essays may be to a flexible credit award in a Special Topics course. The PLA Director may recruit a faculty member from another institution as the assessor if the subject matter is not taught at LUC. Portfolios for subjects outside the LUC curriculum will normally be accepted as general elective credits.
The cost of assessment is $125 per learning essay in the portfolio. There is no cost for the credits awarded. The assessment fee is waived for students submitting learning essays in which the primary evidence is a credit recommendation from the NCCRS (i.e. LOMA credit).
Post Assessment Policies
All completed assessments are reviewed by the PLA Director and the Dean for fairness and consistency. Other quality assurance measures may be employed at any time during the assessment process. Upon the Dean’s approval, the PLA Director notifies the Office of Registration and Records and earned hours are posted to the transcript.
Students are notified of their assessment results by email. Copies of the assessor’s comments are included in this communication.
CPST 205 PLA Portfolio Seminar
In order to develop and submit a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Portfolio for credit, students are required to take CPST 205 Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio, a 1 credit hour blended course. The class is offered in the 8-week model. On-ground sections require one meeting per month (2 meetings total) over the course of a 8 week term, as well as online interaction and assignments. In the course, students will learn to develop a PLA Portfolio and document their prior learning by reflecting on relevant prior experiential learning and identifying college level learning outcomes. By the end of the term, students will submit one section (Learning Essay) of their portfolio that demonstrates how and what they have learned from a relevant professional and/or personal experience. Within one year from the completion of the course, students will submit their portfolio to the PLA Director. The completed portfolio will include a table of contents, resume, letters of recommendation, autobiographical essay, and learning essays (statements of college level learning outcomes in relevant academic content areas). Students will also include documentation of prior learning (evidence of learning) in their portfolios.
The PLA Portfolio is a substantial independent project. The process of writing a portfolio enhances academic skills. While students will always have the support of the PLA Director throughout the PLA process, the portfolio requires self-directedness and time management skills. Students who commit to this project find it rewarding, empowering, and challenging.
Offered each semester. 1 credit. Offered on a pass/no pass basis.
CPST 205 Course Description & Outcomes
Prerequisite: CSPT 200
1 credit hour, Pass/No Pass
In the course, students will learn to develop a PLA Portfolio and document their prior learning by reflecting on relevant prior experiential learning and identifying college level learning outcomes. Students will submit a draft portfolio that includes a resume, autobiographical essay, proposed learning essays, and at least one completed section (Learning Essay) of their portfolio that demonstrates how and what they have learned from relevant professional and/or personal experience, and provide evidence of learning.
Appeal of Assessment Results
Students dissatisfied with the results of a portfolio assessment may appeal by following this procedure:
- Make sure the portfolio is maintained in the same condition as when submitted. Any additions, subtractions, or alterations automatically disqualify the right to appeal. Additionally, all financial obligations to the university must be current prior to filing an appeal.
- Read the assessor’s comments carefully, confirming an understanding of the reasons why the credit was denied.
- Arrange a meeting with the PLA Director to determine whether an appeal is necessary and viable. The Director may suggest a subsequent conference with the assigned academic advisor before making the final decision.
- Petition the Dean in writing. This letter of appeal may be in an email, and it must reach the Dean no later than six weeks from the date of the results notification letter. This letter of appeal must include a detailed explanation of why additional credit should be awarded; more specifically, this letter of appeal must address the assessor’s reasons for denial. If the dean grants the petition for appeal, the student will be notified via email to pay the reassessment fee equivalent to the assessment fee.
- Upon notice from the Dean and receipt of the reassessment fee, the PLA Director arranges for a blind reassessment by a second evaluator. The second assessment takes precedence over the first. The results of the reassessment are final, and no further appeal is possible.