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Credit for Prior Learning

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Credit for Prior Learning

You may be closer than you think. The Organizational and Professional Development program recognizes that students learn competences in a variety of ways and in a variety of environments. Our prior learning processes helps students identify and document college-level workplace learning and provide the opportunity to earn college level credit.

Awarding Credits for Pre-Evaluated Training and Education

Students can earn credits for prior learning through our awarded credit process. Students that have completed education and training experiences that have been previously evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) can earn up 20 credits towards the completion of their Bachelor Degree in Organizational and Professional Development. Examples of training that have been previously evaluated by ACE include: Military Training (AARTS, SMARTS), FBI Academy, McDonald's Corp. Credits for previously evaluated training and education will be awarded as OPD 3300 credit.

***Please Note*** Only training that has been previously evaluated by ACE is eligible for the automatic awarded credit process. If you have completed training or education that has not been evaluated by ACE, those experiences will follow the portfolio writing process described in the section below.

Portfolio for Prior Learning Credits

Students may also earn credits for prior learning through the development of an occupational portfolio. Based on an evaluation of the portfolio, students may earn as much as 30 credit hours towards their Bachelor Degree in Organizational and Professional Development. Credits evaluated through the portfolio process will be awarded as OPD 3200 credit.

To prepare the portfolio, students enroll in OPD 3000 Learning Analysis Through Portfolio Development where they are guided through the various stages of portfolio development.

There are four major stages of portfolio development:

  • gain a basic understanding of educational theories and background concepts that validate the experiential learning process
  • become familiar with portfolio guidelines and identify topics of expertise
  • gather and compose the information needed to prepare the portfolio and execute the preparation process
  • submit the portfolio for review and assessment

The OPD portfolio process aligns with national standards sponsored by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).

Portfolio Timeline

The OPD 3000 Learning Analysis Through Portfolio Development Course is offered during the fall and spring semester. Students writing a portfolio will have one year from the start of their enrollment in OPD 3000 to complete and submit their portfolio. For example: If a student enrolls in OPD 3000 in fall 2014, their portfolio is due the first day of class in fall 2015 (unless fall 2015 is their intended graduation date, in which case the portfolio would be due during finals week of the spring 2015 semester).

Students that experience unforeseen circumstances that prevent them from completing their portfolio according to the department policy, may petition the OPD program committee for an extension.

Students interested in completing a portfolio must enroll in the OPD 3000 course in their first eligible semester. This will allow students to work with OPD faculty to determine a proper course of study, including course credit and potential portfolio credit.

Portfolio Due Dates and Requirements

Based on the portfolio timeline, students may end up submitting their portfolio well in advance of their graduation. For example: Students completing OPD 3000 in fall 2014 and who's portfolio is due by the start of the fall 2015 semester, may not intend on graduating until spring of fall 2016. In these cases, the submitted portfolio would be reviewed during the semester of submission (fall 2015).

Portfolios are due to the OPD 3000 instructor no later than Finals week of the semester before the student plans to graduate. For example: Students intending to graduate fall 2015 would need to submit their completed portfolio by finals week of the spring 2015 semester. This allows time for reviewers to be identified and for reviewers to adequately complete evaluations of portfolio chapters, without hindering the student's progress toward graduation.

Credits earned through portfolio will be reflected on the student's transcripts after the student successfully completes all OPD core courses.

Students may not enroll in OPD 3000 the semester they intend to graduate.

Portfolio Chapter Submission Evaluation

Each portfolio chapter submitted is worth up to a maximum of 3 credits. Students are eligible to submit up to 10 total chapters, resulting in a potential to earn 30 credits. Students submitting portfolio chapters will have these chapters evaluated by CAEL approved evaluators. Evaluators will provide the feedback on portfolio chapters indicating the total number of credits each chapter is worth.

Please note: Since each chapter is worth a maximum of 3 credits, evaluators may judge chapters to be worth between 0-3 credits.

Portfolio Fee

There are expenses involved in offering a quality experiential learning portfolio. These expenses include copying, postage, and evaluation fees as well as the time commitment on the part of the OPD 3000 instructor.

Students choosing to develop an experiential learning portfolio with credit awarded through OPD 3200 will be charged the following fees:

  • An initial portfolio fee whose dollar amount is equivalent to one semester hour of current tuition includes the evaluation of the first portfolio chapter, based on the semester in which the portfolio is submitted, as communicated on EIU's Financial Aid website: http://www.eiu.edu/finaid/cost.php
  • If student submits more than one chapter (2nd through 10th portfolio chapters), each subsequent chapter will also carry a fee whose dollar amount is equivalent to one-third of one current semester hour of tuition. For example: If a student submits 3 chapters in fall 2015, the total portfolio fee would be as follows:
  • Initial Portfolio Fee (includes the review of the 1st chapter): $285.00
  • Chapter 2 Fee: $95.00
  • Chapter 3 Fee: $95.00

Total Due at Time of Portfolio Submission: $475.00

NOTE: All portfolio fees are due at the time of submission.

Additional Information

To find out more about OPD 3000 or to find out if you have adequate experience for prior learning credits contact:
Diana Wyatt, OPD 3000 Instructor
dawyatt@eiu.edu