3.35.1. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Procedure

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Chapter 3: Educational Policies

3.35.1. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Procedure


Related Minnesota State Board Policy:  3.35: Credit for Prior Learning
Related Minnesota State Board Procedure: 3.35.1 Credit for Prior Learning – External Assessments
Related Minnesota State Board Procedure: 3.35.2 Credit for Prior Learning – Internal College/University Assessments
Related Minnesota State Board Procedure: 3.35.3 Credit for Prior Learning – Military Courses and Military Occupations

Purpose: This procedure articulates the process for the assessment and awarding of credit for prior learning (CPL) at Normandale Community College (Normandale). 

Part 1: External Assessments of Prior Learning
 

1. Credit by Examination

a. Advanced Placement (AP)

1. Students must request to have their AP scores sent to Normandale’s Office of Admissions. 
2. Students who earn a score of 3 or higher on the examinations are awarded credit upon submission of an official AP score to the Office of Admissions.
3. Students interested in waiving placement testing must submit their AP score report to the Office of Admissions at the time of application to the college.
4. Courses will be recorded in the transfer section of the transcript. 
5. Normandale does not release copies of AP score reports to students.

b. International Baccalaureate (IB)

1.  Students must present a full IB diploma or a certificate recognizing specific subject examinations to be considered for credit based on the examination level and result.
2. Students shall be granted 6 semester credits for scores of 4 or higher on each higher-level examination, plus 2 credits for each standard level examination with a score of 4 or higher. 
3. Where test material is substantially similar to the content of a Normandale course, credit for that course will be awarded.  Where test material is considered to be at the college level but not substantially similar to the content of a Normandale course, elective credit will be awarded. 
4. Courses will be recorded in the transfer section of the transcript.


c. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

1. Students take CLEP exam(s) at an approved testing center.
2. Students must request to have their official test scores from College Board be sent to NCC Office of Admissions.
3. For examinations completed July 2001 or later, the minimum CLEP score for acceptance of credit is 50, with higher scores required in level 2 foreign language examinations. 
4. There is no limit to the number of credits a student may earn through CLEP examinations; however, students who are seeking a degree or certificate must meet the college residency requirement.  Exam(s) will be recorded in the transfer section of the transcript.

d. Other Examinations.  Admitted students may also demonstrate college level learning through other nationally recognized examinations such as:

• Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP)
• The New York University Foreign Language Proficiency examination (NYUFLP)
• National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI)
• Dantes Subject Standardized tests (DSST)
• Project Lead the Way (PLTE) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Examinations (must submit within three years of high school graduation)
• World Language Seals and Certificates (ACTFL)

1. Students take the exam, test, or certification at an approved testing center.
2. Students must request to have their official test scores be sent to NCC Office of Admissions.
3. There is no limit to the number of credits a student may earn through examinations; however, students who are seeking a degree or certificate must meet the college residency requirement.  Exam(s) will be recorded in the transfer section of the transcript.


2. Industry Recognized Credentials, Licenses, Certifications, and Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

a. Students must present the original credential, transcript or other like evidence for consideration. 
b. Examination levels or other standard results will be considered content evaluation.

3. Continuing Education and Customized Training.

a. Coursework in continuing education or customized training may be articulated to college credit.
b. Students must petition to have this coursework evaluated and articulated to credit using the academic petition form.

4. Military Experience Credit

a. Credit may be granted for military training or service if courses and/or occupational service meet the standards of the American Council on Education or the equivalent.
b. Up to 16 technical and/or vocational credits and an unlimited number of associate and baccalaureate credits will be accepted for unduplicated course content.
c. Students may use the academic petition process to gain credit where articulations do not occur.

5. Other American Council on Education (ACE) Training

a. Students must submit an official ACE transcript to be considered for credit.
b. Where learning outcomes are substantially similar to a Normandale course, credit for that course will be awarded.  Where learning outcomes not substantially similar to the content of a Normandale course, elective credit will be awarded. 

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Part 2: Internal Assessments of Prior Learning
 

1. Course Test Out

a. To attempt a course test out a student must be degree or certificate seeking at Normandale.
b. A student may attempt a test-out of a particular course only once.
c. The test-out option is not available to a student who wants to test-out of a course they have failed, received a NC or in which they wish to improve their course grade.
d. Students may not test out of a course in which they are enrolled past the fifth day of the semester.
e. Tests are course specific exams (oral or written) designed by the appropriate college faculty member and reflect the learning outcomes of the course.  A grade of P will be recorded for courses that the faculty member approves credit.

2. Prior Learning Experience Portfolio Review

a. Students may demonstrate the achievement of course outcomes through a portfolio review process.  Faculty determine what materials are necessary to demonstrate achievement of course learning outcomes. 
b. To attempt a portfolio review, students must be degree seeking at Normandale.
c. Portfolio review credits should be appropriate for a degree plan at Normandale Community College.
d. A student may attempt portfolio review for the same course only once and may not do so if they are currently enrolled in the course or previously attempted the course.
e. The portfolio review option is not available for all courses.
f. A grade of P will be recorded for courses that the faculty member approves.

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Part 3: Standards
 

Faculty will use the following standards established by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) for assessing CPL credit.

1. CPL will only be awarded for college-level learning.

2. CPL will only be awarded for learning that matches the competencies of a current course in a student’s declared program of study.

3. CPL credit recommendations must be made by credentialed faculty in the academic discipline of the course(s) or academic award.  If a department does not have an available faculty member to assess CPL, the college may look to other credentialed faculty in the Minnesota State system.  In this case, the NCC Common Course Outline will be used to assess credit.  The CPL Coordinator will review credit recommendations to ensure program consistency.

4. CPL will only be awarded for non-credit learning which has occurred outside of college coursework.

5. All material submitted for review of CPL will be retained by Normandale.

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Part 4: Administration
 

1. Admittance. A student must be fully admitted to Normandale Community College before any CPL can be assessed and awarded.

2. Enrollment.

a. CPL credits will not count towards the enrollment of a specific term. 
b. CPL credit will not be counted in determining part- or full-time enrollment status.
c. Students may not receive credit in a lower sequential course.

3. Type of credits. CPL may be applied towards courses in certificate and degree programs only for the purpose of satisfying graduation requirements.

4. Relationship to credit courses.  Students may not pursue credit for courses in which they have been or are currently enrolled.

5. Number of credits. There is no limit to the number of credits earned through CPL.  However, external CPL does not count toward college residency requirements for degree completion.  CPL credits awarded through internal assessment will count for institutional residency and toward graduation residency requirements.

6. Grading.

a. CPL grades will be Pass (P) or No Credit (NC).  In order to ease transferability and tuition reimbursement, students will receive documentation related to grade equivalencies.
b. CPL credits are not included in calculating a student’s GPA.

7. Cost.

a. A non-refundable fee will be charged for each credit attempted.
b. Fees allocated to the maintenance of the CPL program may include the cost of administration, transcription services, and compensation for the assessment of credit.  Fees vary by type of credit.
c. A fee shall not be charged for the analysis and awarding of credit for training delivered by the United States military.
d. A fee shall not be charged for the transcription of articulated credit.
e. Faculty will be paid for each credit assessed per the MSCF contract.

8. Financial Assistance.  Assessments completed by institution faculty and recorded as resident credit may not qualify for financial aid. 

9. Other. The CPL process may be initiated at any time. 

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Part 5: Transferability
 

A student who is awarded credits based on CPL assessments and transfers to another college or university within Minnesota State must have their credits recognized by that college or university.  CPL will be indicated in the student’s education record but will not be indicated as such on their official transcript.


Normandale Community College will evaluate credits earned through CPL 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.

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Part 6: Data Collection and Reporting
 

Normandale Community College will collect, track, evaluate, and report the awarding of CPL. 

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Part 7: Appeals
 

To appeal denial of credits requested for prior learning, student will follow Normandale’s complaint and grievance policy and procedure.

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  Policy History:
Date of Adoption: 4/30/2019
Department Owner:  Academic Affairs
Date and Subject of Revisions:
Next Review Date:  4/30/2022
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