3.35 Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Policy

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Chapter 3: Educational Policies

3.35 Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Policy

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
Related Minnesota State Statute: 197.775: Higher Education Fairness
Related Minnesota State Statute: 120B.13: Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs
Related Minnesota State Statute: 120B.131: College Level Examination Program

Purpose: It is the purpose of this policy is to provide Normandale Community College (Normandale) students with the opportunity to demonstrate competence at the college level from learning experiences outside of college.

Part 1: Guiding Principles
  1. Students acquire college-level knowledge, skills, and abilities outside of college coursework and can be awarded credit for prior learning (CPL).

  2. There is no qualifying age at which Normandale will award credit, so long as a student is admitted to the college. 

  3. Students are responsible for initiating the transfer of prior learning credit and/or assessment of prior learning. 

  4. CPL includes internal and external assessments, and military education and occupations to award credit.

a. Normandale faculty are responsible for internal CPL assessments and determining appropriate credit awards.  Internal CPL credits count
    towards the college residency requirement. 
b. External CPL assessments are a result of credit assessed through a nationally recognized third party assessment agency or organization,
    regionally or nationally accredited postsecondary institution, or noncredit instruction.  External CPL credits do not count toward the
    college residency requirement.
c. Students may demonstrate college level learning for military occupations and courses with internal or external CPL assessments. 
    External credits awarded for military courses and occupations do not count toward the college residency requirement.

5. Learning is subject to verification. Learning must meet standards as set by the learning outcomes on the Normandale course outline and course syllabi.

a. Faculty evaluate internally assessed CPL with respect to course learning outcomes for courses offered by Normandale. Faculty identify
    these course-learning outcomes on common course outlines (CCOs). 
b. Students must demonstrate that their college level learning is up-to-date and fulfills course outcomes.  In most cases, life/work
    experiences will have taken place within five years prior to the request date.
c. Faculty determine internal CPL credit awards based on life/work experience. 
d. Grading methods for CPL credit shall be Pass (P) or No Credit (NC).  Students will receive documentation that denotes grade
    equivalencies, as they may be required for transfer or reimbursement.
e. CPL assessment is documented to ensure academic integrity, consistency, and transparency.

6. CPL credit must be applicable to programs or degrees offered by Normandale.

7. Per Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system policy, Normandale will not limit the total number of credits students may be awarded for CPL.

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Part 2: Prior Learning Assessment Methods

Normandale permits students to receive credit for prior learning through external and internal assessments.

Subpart A: External Assessments

  1. Credit by examination
    a. Advanced Placement (AP) – The Advanced Placement (AP) Program of the College Board allows high school students the opportunity to earn
        college course credit by providing examinations in introductory courses. 
    b. International Baccalaureate (IB) – An internationally recognized program through which secondary students complete a comprehensive
        curriculum of rigorous study and demonstrate performance on culminating examinations. 
    c. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) – Students of all ages may take a college-level examination in a specific subject area and receive
        college credit for knowledge and skills they have obtained both inside and outside the classroom.
    d. Other Evaluations – Students may also demonstrate college level learning through other nationally recognized examinations such as
          i. Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP)
         ii. The New York University Foreign Language Proficiency examination (NYUFLP)
         iii. National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI)
         iv. Dantes Subject Standardized Test (DSST)
          v. Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Science, technology, Engineering and mathematics (STEM) Examinations
         vi. World Language Seals and Certificates (ACTFL)

  2. Industry recognized credentials, licenses and certifications, and registered apprenticeship programs.
  3. Articulated credit earned through a continuing education or customized training course offered by Normandale (or other colleges/universities) that has been articulated to a credit course.
  4. Transfer credit awarded for CPL by another Minnesota State system college/university that is evaluated.

Subpart B: Internal Assessments

  1. Course Test Out/Credit by Exam.  Credit awarded through assessment based on examination developed by the faculty or college. 
  2. Portfolio Review.  Documented work experience, professional development, continuing education, and personal study where materials demonstrate evidence of learning outcomes.
  3. Military Experience Credit – A veteran will be granted credit for military training and service in compliance with Subd. 2 of Minnesota Statute 197.775 “Higher Education Fairness” according to the standards and equivalencies of the American Council on Education and internal campus assessments of training.
  4. Other American Council on Education (ACE) Training.  A student may be given credit for ACE approved training based on ACE recommendations and faculty approval.
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Part 3: Residency

CPL awarded through external assessment shall NOT count toward the college residency requirement.  CPL awarded through internal assessment shall count toward the college residency requirement.  Normandale does not limit the number of credits that can be earned through CPL.

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Part 4: Transferability

Normandale shall determine the credit award for students pursuant to system policy and procedure and state statute.  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.

Normandale will evaluate transfer 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 5: Data Collection and Reporting

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

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Part 6: Appeals

Students may appeal denial of credits requested for prior learning through the Normandale 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:  04/30/2022
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