Statement of Policy
Excelsior College offers a prior learning assessment (PLA) opportunity through an established partnership with LearningCounts.orgTM, as a means of documenting learning for enrolled students for whom there are no available standardized options (see section B, Degree Planning Considerations).
- Enrolled students must receive advisor approval to register for CCS 202: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice.
- Students must pass the 3-credit course, CCS 202: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice.
- Enrolled students will use the official Excelsior College Advisor Approval Form (AAF) for LearningCounts.org™ Prior Learning Assessment Program (PDF, login required).
- Completion of the Information Literacy and Written English requirements is a prerequisite for CCS 202: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice for enrolled students.
B. Degree Planning Considerations
Excelsior College recognizes that pre-portfolio advising is critical to a student's success. Students who elect to use the LearningCounts.org PLA portfolio method, must consult their Excelsior College academic advisor for approval and complete an AAF. The AAF does not guarantee that the student will receive credit from LearningCounts.org in the subject area(s) being petitioned. The AAF does not bind a student to submitting a portfolio to LearningCounts.org in the areas being petitioned. Advising staff use the following criteria to determine if a student's petition for portfolio credit is valid:
- Credits do not duplicate previously awarded credit (in other words, students cannot earn credit twice for the same learning).
- Credits cannot be fulfilled by existing approved standardized examinations e.g., Excelsior College® Examinations (ECEs), UExcel®, CLEP®, DSST®, Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP), or the foreign language exams offered by NYU and the Defense Language Institute (DLI).
- Credits are targeted to meet unfulfilled requirements in a student's current degree plan.
- Credits are based on college-level learning or learning that is equivalent to a college-level course from a regionally accredited educational institution.
- Credit values on Excelsior College Advisor Approval Form must match the corresponding course value.
- Portfolio credit is not permitted to be used to fulfill the Capstone, Information Literacy or Written English requirements.
- Each portfolio submission to LearningCounts.org™ must not exceed 12 semester hours; however, students are permitted to pursue multiple portfolios simultaneously. Individual schools may place restrictions on the number and type of credits earned, or requirements to be completed, through portfolio assessment. It is encouraged that each student work directly with their academic advisor to discuss what restrictions, if any, would impact their prior learning assessment process.
LearningCounts.org identifies a deadline of 6 months from the beginning of CCS 202: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice in which a student may submit a portfolio. Please see the LearningCounts.org Student Policy Handbook regarding student access timeframes. Note: The 6-month deadline was implemented by LearningCounts.org effective January 1, 2013. Students who took CCS 202 prior to this date have one year from the completion of CCS 202 to submit their portfolio.
Students who successfully passed CCS 201: Introduction to Prior Learning and Portfolio Development between March 2005 and March 2012 will have one year from July 2012 to submit the LearningCounts.org portfolio process. If the student does not submit the LearningCounts.org portfolio within this year, and they want to pursue a portfolio at a later date, they must take CCS 202: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice.
Weekly attendance in CCS 202: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice will be monitored by LearningCounts.org. Attendance reports, indicating all inactive students, will be furnished to the Excelsior College Office of Registration and Records, the Monday of each week if the student was not present the week before. The Office of Registration and Records will send an email/message to the student notifying them of their nonparticipation and encouraging them to contact the instructor and/or begin participating in the course immediately. The student's attendance record will be documented in the SIS. (See the online courses section of our Excessive Absenteeism Policies for Courses page.)
CCS 202: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice tuition will be priced according to the current fiscal year fee schedule (partnership rates may apply) and will be paid directly to Excelsior College.
The fee paid for each PLA portfolio assessment is paid directly to LearningCounts.org and the price is set by LearningCounts.org.
F. Prior Learning Assessment Credit Determination and Credit Award Notification
- Upon completion of each portfolio assessment, students will receive credit award notification directly from LearningCounts.org. Credit recommendations are the sole responsibility of LearningCounts.org and the student. Disputes with credit recommendations are to be addressed by and with LearningCounts.org directly. (See LearningCounts.org Appeals Process.)
- Students completing LearningCounts.org portfolios must have an official LearningCounts/NCCRS transcript mailed directly to Excelsior College's Office of Registration and Records. (The transcript will be sent by Docufide by Parchment, a transcript service hired by LearningCounts.org.) For enrolled students, these credits will be added to their academic record if the credits are degree applicable. For non-enrolled students, these credits will be added to their files upon either enrollment if degree applicable, or listed on the OneTranscript® service. Note: Students who started CCS 202 before January 30, 2013 and submit their portfolio by May 15, 2013 will request an ACE CREDIT transcript for these approved PLA credits. For any portfolios these students submit after May 15, 2013, they will need to request a LearningCounts/NCCRS transcript.
- Credits for LearningCounts.org portfolio(s) are graded Pass/Fail and will be listed on the Excelsior College transcript as credits from Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.
- Credits for CCS 202: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice are graded Pass/Fail and will appear on the Excelsior College transcript as an Excelsior College course.
G. Overview of Steps in the Portfolio Assessment Process
- Student (if enrolled) obtains course approval for CCS 202: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice.
- Student successfully completes CCS 202: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice.
- Student completes the Excelsior College Advisor Approval Form for LearningCounts.org Prior Learning Assessment Program and receives approval of their plan from their Excelsior College advisor.
- Student works directly with LearningCounts.org to develop and submit portfolio.
- LearningCounts.org evaluates student portfolio and indicates student results (credits awarded and credits denied).
- Students completing LearningCounts.org portfolios must request an official LearningCounts/NCCRS transcript to be mailed to Excelsior College's Office of Registration and Records. Credit will be applied to the student file, upon enrollment, use of the OneTranscript service, or a Preliminary Review. Denied credits will not be posted on the LearningCounts/NCCRS transcript.
- Excelsior College academic advisor awards credit if it applies to student's remaining degree requirements.
H. Appeals Process
Learning Counts.org will be responsible for any appeals requests.