These procedures define the requirements for implementation of Policy 3.3501 to enable students to enrich or accelerate their programs of study by eliminating duplication of learners’ educational efforts through the awarding of credit for prior learning.
Subpart A. Methods of Assessing Credit for Prior Learning and Definitions
The assessment of CPL includes the use of a broad range of tools for demonstration of competence that includes, but is not limited to: nationally recognized and locally developed examinations; individual assessments; portfolio review; non-college education and training and industry recognized credentials.
Section 1. Standard Exams:
- Advanced Placement (AP) is a program that offers college level courses at high schools followed by an examination.
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a series of examinations that test an individual’s college level knowledge.
- DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) is a series of 37 examinations in college subject areas that are comparable to the final or end-of-course examinations in undergraduate course examinations in liberal arts and sciences subject areas.
- Excelsior College Examinations (UExcel) is a credit by examination program offered in a computer-based format at thousands of test centers globally. These exams include the Excelsior College Examination or UExcel exams and their predecessors, the Regents College Examination and the ACT Proficiency Exam Program.
- International Baccalaureate (IB) is an educational program and examination administered in English, French, or Spanish.
- New York University Foreign Language Proficiency (NYUFLP) tests three skills - listening, reading, and writing in over 50 languages.
- National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) delivers assessments or standardized tests for students studying career and technical programs.
- Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP®) exams are similar to final exams for college courses. College credit is awarded based on scores earned on the Thomas Edison State College Examination Program.
Section 2. Challenge Exams/Credit by Examination (Test Out)
- A challenge exam is an opportunity for a student to demonstrate college-level learning through course-specific institutional examination designed by college faculty who teach the course.
Section 3. Individual Assessments
- Portfolio Assessment is a method of prior learning assessment that includes, but is not limited to: documentation review; candidate interview; performance assessment; product review; written narrative; a combination of these methods; or other means.
- Skill Simulation or Demonstration is an assessment of a student’s performance or demonstration of a specific skill or competency.
- Interview-based Assessment is an evaluation of responses given during a structured interview on the subject matter.
Section 4. Evaluation of Non-College Education and Training:
- ACE Military – Training, Occupations and Other Military Credit utilizes the American Council on Education’s Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces which recommends college credit for formal courses offered by all branches of the military and for military occupations. These recommendations appear on the service member’s Joint Services Transcript (JST) for the Army/National Guard, Navy/Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Other Military Credit refers to SCC’s evaluation of military training or experience which has not been recommended by the American Council on Education.
- ACE CREDIT – Education, Workplace and Training utilizes the American Council on Education’s Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training which recommends college credit for non-accredited general education, corporate, workplace and (non-military) training.
- NCCRS Workplace and Volunteer Training utilizes the recommendations of the National College Credit Recommendation Service.
- Technical or Professional Certification/Credential is a review of technical or professional certification or industry recognized credential.
- Technical or Professional Apprenticeship is a review of apprenticeship programs. Credit is considered for a combination of comprehensive on-the-job training and related instruction of theoretical and practical aspects of highly skilled occupations.
- Technical or Professional Licensure is a review of technical or professional licensure programs.
- Digital badges are an online validation of proof of skills, achievement, outcome, competency or completion of a course that a student has earned.
Section 5. Other:
- Minnesota Articulated College Credit (Tech Prep) is an opportunity for students to explore careers and earn college credit before graduating from high school.
- Assessment of previous education includes, but is not limited to, non-equivalent and/or non-transferrable education, hour-based, expired credits, and discontinued programs.
- Evidence of prior learning that does not fit within the other categories but aligns with a SCC program.
Subpart B. General Credit for Prior Learning Procedures
Admitted students who feel they have mastered the content of a college course may apply for Credit for Prior Learning (CPL). This process may be initiated at any time.
- Students review the CPL information found on the www.southcentral.edu/cpl website to gain an overview of the process and to self-assess eligibility for CPL. CPL credit will be awarded for learning that matches the competencies of a current course in a student’s declared program of study.
- CPL Assessment Request form
- Current resume and/or brief summary that explains learning experiences (see Career and Counseling Center for resume assistance)
- Student and the CPL Coordinator discuss what potential options for CPL are available to the student and the feasibility of documenting skills and knowledge, based on course competencies and learning objectives.
- When credit can be attained through methods other than CPL, the student will be referred directly to the Transfer Coordinator.
- The Academic Dean will identify the credentialed faculty to conduct the assessment. The faculty will confer with the student to determine appropriate assessment method(s), CPL method expectations, and timeframe. If agreed upon, the student and faculty sign the CPL Assessment Confirmation form.
- The faculty submits the CPL Assessment Confirmation form to the Academic Dean for approval, and then it’s routed to the CPL Coordinator. The CPL Coordinator documents approval and forwards to the business office to charge the student account.
- The student is charged a non-refundable fee based on the CPL assessment method.
- Once the fee has been paid, the student submits paid student account information and appropriate assessment materials to the CPL Coordinator, who verifies payment to faculty and routes materials to the faculty reviewer, if applicable. Students are encouraged to make a complete copy of assessment materials for their own use before submittal. Submitted assessment materials become the property of South Central College.
- Faculty conducts the assessment of the student’s submission and may request further information from the student.
- Faculty determine whether a student’s prior learning demonstrated the equivalency of the course based on meeting 75% of the learning outcomes. Faculty will specifically state what outcomes are met and what outcomes are not met to clearly illustrate whether or not the stated goal of 75% equivalency has or has not been met. If the student met a portion of learning outcomes, the faculty may consider other CPL options or credit awards (for example: partial credit award and/or an independent study).
- Faculty will complete the CPL Evaluator Response form for each course where credit was requested signifying approval and a corresponding letter grade or denial of the credit request with a sufficient explanation. The CPL Evaluator Response form will be forwarded to the CPL Coordinator.
- The CPL Coordinator will review the CPL Evaluator Response form, document completion by faculty, verify payment for the CPL assessment, and make appropriate entries to the student transcript. The CPL Coordinator will notify the Registrar, Faculty, and the Dean’s Administrative Assistant of process completion.
- Credits shall be transcribed according to Minnesota State System Policy.
- The CPL Coordinator will notify the student in writing of the final outcome of their CPL Assessment Request.
- If the evaluation outcome is a denial of credit, the student may attempt a second time, upon approval of the faculty. Students are limited to two attempts at CPL per course.
- If a student disagrees with the CPL evaluation outcome, an appeal process is available from the CPL Coordinator. The student must submit an appeal within six months of notification of the CPL assessment decision.
Subpart C. Standardized Exams General Procedure and Specific Exam Procedures Standardized Exams General Procedure
Credit for prior learning can be earned through standardized exams administered by nationally recognized testing organizations.
- Admitted students must have an official score report sent directly to South Central College, Attn: CPL Coordinator; 1920 Lee Boulevard, North Mankato, MN 56003.
- When a standardized examination outcome covers substantially similar material to course competencies, SCC will award equivalent course credit.
- When a standardized examination outcome is deemed to be college-level, but is not substantially similar to an existing course, elective course credits may be granted in a program area and/or in a Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) goal area(s).
- There is no limit to the total number of credits a student may earn through standardized or national exams so long as the total earned credits apply to their academic program and do not exceed the academic program credit limit.
- Credits earned through standardized exams are not resident credits and may not be used to satisfy resident credit requirements for graduation nor do the credits count toward financial aid calculations.
- The list of available standardized and national exams and the number of credits granted at SCC is available on the SCC website at www.southcentral.edu/cpl.Section 1. Specific Exam Procedure:
Subsection a. Advanced Placement Exam (AP)
Advanced Placement is a program of the College Entrance Examination Board through which secondary student’s complete college-level courses in high schools that are designated as AP and earn college credits by demonstrating a specified level of performance on AP examinations. The AP examinations, which are scored on a 5-point scale, can be taken by any student who feels prepared by independent study or other preparation as well as by students who complete AP courses.
SCC will grant credit for AP examinations according to the following:
- A score of 3 shall be the minimum for credit awards
- AP testing information can be found at www.collegeboard.org/AP
Subsection b. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Credits may be awarded through the successful completion of CLEP in the general examinations in composition and literature, history and social sciences, and science and mathematics, provided no previous academic credits have been earned in these areas.
SCC will award credit for the completion of CLEP with a score of 50 or higher with the exception of Level 2 foreign language examinations for which a minimum score of 63 for German language, 62 for French language, and 66 for Spanish language is required.
- To register for a CLEP exam and select a test center near you, visit www.CLEP.Collegeboard.org
- The number of credits granted at SCC is available on the SCC website at www.southcentral.edu/cp
Subsection c. DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST)
DSST exams are available to anyone who is seeking college credit outside the traditional classroom, including college students, adult learners, high school students, and military personnel. Credit may be awarded in subject areas such as social sciences, math, applied technology, business, physical sciences, and humanities.
- Students who desire to complete DSST Exams should visit: www.getcollegecredit.com/
Subsection d. Excelsior College Examinations (UExcel)
UExcel Excelsior College Examination Program is a credit by examination program offered in a computer-based format. Credit may be awarded in subject areas such as business, education, humanities, natural sciences & mathematics, nursing, social sciences/history, technology, and business ethics.
- Students who desire to complete UExcel Exams should visit: www.excelsior.edu/exams/
Subsection e. International Baccalaureate (IB)
The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is an internationally recognized program through which secondary students complete a comprehensive curriculum of rigorous study and demonstrate performance on IB examinations. The examination for the diploma covers six subjects, three or four of which must be at the higher level and others at the subsidiary level. Students may present an official IB diploma or a certificate recognizing specific higher level or subsidiary level test scores for consideration.
SCC will grant credit for IB examinations according to the following:
- IB diploma
- Students who attain an IB diploma will be granted six (6) lower division course credits for scores of 4 or higher on each higher level IB examinations and two (2) lower division course credits for scores of 4 or higher on each standard level IB examination.
- Individual IB examinations.
- Higher level examinations. A student will receive three (3) or more course credits for scores of 4 or higher on individual higher level IB examinations.
- Standard level examinations. A student shall receive two (2) or more credits for scores of 4 or higher on individual standard level IB examinations.
- IB testing information can be found at www.ibo.org
Subsection f. New York University Foreign Language Proficiency (NYUFLP)
The NYU School of Professional Studies offers more than 50 different language-testing examinations to evaluate knowledge of a foreign language.
- Students who desire to complete NYUFLP Exams should visit: http://www.scps.nyu.edu/academics/departments/foreign-languages/testing.html
Subsection g. National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI)
SCC may grant credit to students who have met or exceeded national average scores on the NOCTI assessments for specific skill sets in specific program areas.
- Students are responsible to provide documentation to support their request
Subsection h. Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP)
TECEP® exams are similar to final exams for college courses and are available to adults who have acquired college-level knowledge outside the classroom. Credit may be awarded in subject areas such as English composition, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences/mathematics, business and management, computer science technology, and applied science and technology.
- Students who desire to complete TECEP Exams should visit TECEP at: www.tesu.edu/degree-completion/Testing.cfm
Subpart D. Challenge Exams/Credit by Examination (Test Out)
A Challenge Exam is developed by SCC credentialed faculty in the academic discipline that offers the course. Credit is granted for demonstrated proficiency of course-specific requirements by the student through successful completion of the examination.
- Students may not enroll in the course for which they plan to attempt a Challenge Examination
- A Challenge Examination may not be attempted for a course in which the student is currently enrolled, has previously taken (earned a grade, failed or withdrawn), or has transferred from another institution
- Students are limited to two challenge examination attempts per course. After two unsuccessful examination attempts, students should enroll in the course
- Credits earned through Challenge Examination count toward institutional residency requirements
Subpart E. Individual Assessments
Section 1. Portfolio Assessment
A CPL Portfolio is a collection of information gathered by the student and presented in a systematic format that validates the prior learning.
The assessment of prior learning will be based on the documentation presented. After meeting with the assigned faculty evaluator and agreeing to the portfolio assessment method, expectations, and timeline, the student will submit portfolio materials and any additional documentation requested by the assigned faculty evaluator. Please refer to the portfolio template for assistance with portfolio structure, documentation and writing. If the portfolio is returned for minor revisions, a date of return will be listed on the Evaluator Response Form.
Before submitting your portfolio, it is recommended that you make a copy for your own records. Minimum requirements for the content of a portfolio:
- Cover page: Include your name, SCC student I.D. number, address, phone number, and e-mail address.
- Table of contents: Include an itemized list of documents and corresponding page numbers.
- Executive summary: A summary to justify your request and reference your documentation. The summary succinctly links your experiences and learning to the course outcomes.
- Chronological autobiography: Prepare an essay that summarizes the significant prior learning in your life, and defines your educational and career goals.
- Current resume: Include education, work and volunteer experiences. Detail significant activities, exact dates, accomplishments in the workplace, and other non-work related learning.
- Course competencies matrix: Organize, categorize and tie your prior learning experiences directly to the course and the specific course competencies for which credit is being requested. For each course competency identify the documentation you provided and briefly summarize how your prior learning demonstrates achievement of each competency.
- Learning narrative: Develop an essay to summarize your prior learning based on the course description and competencies. This narrative is a detailed explanation of how your knowledge applies to the course competencies.
- Documentation: Provide verification (evidence) for each learning experience and competency specific to the course.
- Appendices: Documentation of additional materials such as references used in citation.
- Assessment form(s): Include one form for each course. The portfolio is reviewed by a faculty evaluator who determines whether there is sufficient explanation and documentation to assess learning and award credit.
Section 2. Skill Simulation or Demonstration
A skills demonstration is used to assess a wide range of practical based learning outcomes including applied skills and knowledge, such as laboratory skills, interpersonal skills or oral language skills. Sufficient evidence must be made available from the skills demonstration for verification and authentication of learning.
After meeting with the assigned faculty evaluator and agreeing to the skills demonstration assessment method and expectations, the student and faculty agree to the skill demonstration schedule and parameters for assessment:
- Student receives clear instructions and guidelines on how the assessment will proceed and what will be assessed.
- Necessary equipment and/or materials are made available to the student.
- Student is observed performing tasks required within a specified timeframe.
Section 3. Interview-based Assessment
An interview-based assessment is used to evaluate a wide range of learning outcomes such as interpersonal skills or oral language skills. Sufficient evidence must be made available in the interview for verification and authentication of learning.
After meeting with the assigned faculty evaluator and agreeing to the interview-based assessment method and expectations, the student and faculty agree to the interview schedule and parameters for assessment:
- Student receives clear instructions and guidelines on how the assessment will proceed and what will be assessed.
- Necessary materials are made available to the student.
- Student responds to interview questions in order to demonstrate learning related to course competencies.
Subpart F. Evaluation of Non-College Education and Training
Section 1. ACE Military – Training, Occupations and Other Military Credit
SCC awards applicable credit for validated military service training, experience, or coursework that is recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE) in accordance with Minnesota Statutes §197.775, Subdivision 2, Recognition of Courses. Boot camp, basic training, officer training school, and other courses offered by the military may be eligible for college credit.
The ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services will be used as the evaluation tool. For further information see A Transfer Guide: Understanding YourMilitary Transcript and ACE Credit Recommendationsat www.acenet.edu/news- room/Pages/Military-Guide-Online.aspx
In order to seek credit for military training, complete the following:
- Obtain your military transcript:
- If military transcripts are unavailable, you may submit DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty ) in addition to Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and copies of non-commissioned officer enlisted evaluations
Section 2. ACE CREDIT – Education, Workplace and Training
The American Council on Education (ACE) College Credit Recommendation Service helps adults gain access to academic credit for formal courses and examinations taken outside traditional academic programs.
To find out if an organization or company you've trained with has a recommended credit award, visit the ACE Guide at www2.acenet.edu/credit/?fuseaction=browse.main. This guide will give you the credit equivalence that you can use to discuss earning credit with SCC’s CPL Coordinator.
In order to seek credit for ACE recommended education, workplace and training, complete the following:
- Have an official ACE transcript sent directly to South Central College, Attn: CPL Coordinator; 1920 Lee Boulevard, North Mankato, MN 56003.
- To request an ACE transcript go to www2.acenet.edu/credit/?fuseaction=transcripts.main##
Section 3. NCCRS Workplace and Volunteer Training
NCCRS (National College Credit Recommendation Service) evaluates training and education programs that are offered outside of the traditional college classroom setting and translates them into college credit equivalency recommendations.
In order to seek credit for NCCRS Workplace and Volunteer Training Credit complete the following:
- Have an official transcript from the NCCRS official transcript source sent directly to South Central College, Attn: CPL Coordinator; 1920 Lee Boulevard, North Mankato, MN 56003.
- To request a NCCRS transcript go to www.nationalccrs.org
Section 4. Technical or Professional Certification/Credential
A certification is a designation earned by a person ensuring the individual is qualified to perform a task or job. Certification is often an employment qualification but not a legal requirement for that profession and can be earned through classes or tests. If you have earned any certifications or industry recognized credentials that align with SCC’s programs you may be able to earn college credit.
The following conditions apply:
- Certifications and industry credentials will be checked for validity through the issuing body
- Certification/Industry Credential may need to be verified through demonstration of continuation of the knowledge and skill required
- Certification/ Industry Credentials must be current as of the last day of the awarding semester
- Faculty may award credit for multiple courses, dependent upon the content of the Certification/ Industry Credential
In order to seek credit for Technical or a Professional Certification or Industry Credentials complete the following:
- Provide official documentation of current certification or industry credential(s)
Section 5. Technical or Professional Apprenticeship
Students who have completed or are currently enrolled in a Technical or Professional Apprenticeship Program that aligns with an SCC program may be eligible to earn college credit.
The following conditions apply:
- Technical or Professional Apprenticeship will be checked for validity
- Apprenticeship knowledge and skill may need to be verified through demonstration
- Faculty may award credit for multiple courses, dependent upon the content of the Technical or Professional Apprenticeship
In order to seek credit for a Technical or Professional Apprenticeship complete the following: Provide official documentation of the Technical or Professional Apprenticeship.
Documentation must include:
- Occupation and the total hours completed for the apprenticeship
- Processes learned in the apprenticeship and the hours spent at each process
- Number of hours spent by the apprentice in related and supplemental instruction
- Journeymen certificate if applicable
- Employer contact information for validation
Section 6. Technical or Professional Licensure
Licensure is a means by which "permission to practice" is regulated and is a qualification required by law. If you have earned a Technical or Professional Licensure that aligns with SCC’s programs, you may be able to earn college credit.
The following conditions apply:
- Licensure will be checked for validity
- Licensure may need to be verified through demonstration of continuation of the knowledge and skill required
- Licensure must be current as of the last day of the awarding semester
- Faculty may award credit for multiple courses, dependent upon the content of the licensure
In order to seek credits for a Professional Licensure complete the following:
- Provide official documentation of the Licensure
- Provide contact information for the issuing organization
Section 7. Badges
A badge is an online representation of a skill, mastery of skill and/or recognition of expertise, as well as verification of a technical competence through projects, programs, courses, assessments, and other activities. Badges enable academic institutions and professional associations to recognize professional and experimental learning achievement in a way that can be verified and shared online.
If you have earned a Badge(s) that aligns with SCC’s programs you may be able to earn college credit.
The following conditions apply:
- Badges will be checked for validity
- Badges may need to be verified through demonstration of the knowledge and skill acquired
In order to seek credits for a Badge(s) complete the following:
- Provide evidence of each Badge
- Provide criteria for earning each badge from the issuing organization
- Provide contact information for the issuing organization
Subpart G. Other
Section 1. Minnesota Articulated College Credit (Tech Prep)
CTECreditMN is a consortium of high schools and colleges who work together to provide students a pathway from high school to college. Students may earn college credits (Articulated College Credit) for high school courses completed in 10, 11, 12 grades.
Visit www.ctecreditmn.com/schools.php to see what high schools and colleges are participating in Minnesota Articulated College Credit.
In order to seek credits for a Minnesota Articulated College Credit complete the following:
- Student must be admitted and enrolled in SCC
- Provide a valid articulated college credit record which lists South Central College
Section 2. Assessment of previous education includes, but is not limited to, non-equivalent and/or non- transferrable education, hour-based, expired credits, and discontinued programs.
The following conditions apply:
- Knowledge and skill may need to be verified for currency and/or relevancy
- Student may be required to provide additional information as per program faculty request
Evidence of prior learning that does not fit within the other categories but aligns with a SCC Program.
Subpart H. Fee Schedule
SCC will charge a student fee for the evaluation of prior learning according to the annually established fee schedule.
In accordance with Minnesota legislation and System Procedure 5.11.1 Tuition and Fees, Part 5, Subpart B., “A fee shall not be charged for analysis and awarding of credit for training delivered by the United States military.”
Subpart I. CPL Transcription
SCC shall record the credit earned through Credit for Prior Learning on the official student transcript in compliance with Minnesota State Board Policy 3.29 and Procedure 3.29.1, College and University Transcripts.
When equivalent credit is awarded through Credit for Prior Learning, a letter grade will be recorded for each CPL credit course per SCC Grading and Grade Change Policy consistent with the current grading method for the course. CPL credits that apply as residential credit will be recorded the same as any other SCC resident credit.
Documentation will be maintained on file for each CPL assessment. Such documentation will provide evidence of expected learning outcomes, assessment method(s) used, and standards for award of credit.
Subpart J. Transparency and Information Dissemination
Section 1. Transparency:
- Requests should be directed to the Credit for Prior Learning Coordinator in the Student Affairs Office.
- The www.southcentral.edu/cpl website will include links to CPL forms, minimum standardized test score information, orientation information, self-assessment checklist, list of courses eligible for CPL, fee information by CPL method, sample portfolio templates and more.
Section 2. Information Dissemination
SCC shall provide timely and readily accessible information to prospective and admitted students regarding opportunities for CPL in official publications, such as the college catalog, www.southcentral.edu/cpl web site, through advisors, faculty, advising materials and at SCC events such as orientation.
Subpart K. Transferability of Credit for Prior Learning Credits
South Central College does not guarantee that another college or university will accept CPL credit in transfer. Students planning to transfer to a college or university should contact the receiving institution to determine the acceptability of transferring CPL.
Subpart L. Faculty and Staff Development
Personnel involved in CPL will receive preparation for engagement with the institution’s CPL Program Policies and Procedures. Professional development will include benefits, opportunities, assessment tools, and associated processes of SCC credit for prior learning.
Subpart M. Data Tracking and Reporting
SCC will track and report CPL credits by category and method. The benefits of CPL and its relationship to student persistence, degree completion, and time to degree will be evaluated. Credit awarded for CPL will be coded indicating the category and method of prior learning assessment used with the following codes:
SNE = Standardized/National Exams (e.g. AP, CLEP, IB)
CE = Challenge Exam/Credit by Examination (i.e. Test Out)
IA = Individual Assessment (i.e. Portfolio, Skill Simulation, Interview) NET = Non-College Education and Training (e.g. Military, ACE, Industry Credential) O = Other (e.g. Tech Prep, Previous SCC Education)
Subpart N. Procedure Review
This procedure will be reviewed and modified as appropriate through the Academic Affairs and Standards Council process.
List of Related Policies or Procedures
3.35 Credit for Prior Learning policy (System)
3.35.01 Credit for Prior Learning - External Assessments procedure (System)
3.35.02 Credit for Prior Learning – Internal College/University Assessments (System)
3.35.03 Military Courses and Military Occupations procedure (System)
5.11 Tuition and Fees policy (System)
5.11.01 Tuition and Fees procedure (System)
3.21 Undergraduate Course and Credit Transfer and the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum policy (System)
3.21.01 Undergraduate Course and Credit Transfer and the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum procedure (System)
3.29 College and University Transcripts policy (System)
3.29.01 College and University Transcripts procedure (System)
3.36 Academic Programs policy (System)
3.36.01 Academic Programs procedure (System)
3.0005 Grading policy
3.0005.0001 Grading procedure
Date of last review: 4/9/2020