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While courses provide students with a familiar learning environment, Metropolitan State also encourages students to seek a variety of creative learning strategies. To explore these unique ways of gaining college credit, the College of Individualized Studies offers working labs for prior learning assessment and student-directed learning. Creative learning strategies include prior learning evaluation, theory seminars, independent studies, online learning and internships.

Types of Learning Strategies

Experiential and Student Directed Learning

Builds upon a student's prior knowledge, or provides a way to incorporate experiential learning into future goals.

Alternative Learning

Provides alternative learning environments such as a variety of web-based courses and faculty or student directed courses.

For information and support:

  • Register for the one-credit course METR 100, Getting Credit for What You Know, which is offered each semester. See Class Schedule.
  • Contact the College of Individualized Studies.
  • Attend a "Get Started Lab" on prior learning assessment (PLA) and student-directed learning (SDL), offered for College of Individualized Studies students regularly during the academic year.  View  PLA/SDL"Get Started" Lab Schedule. The lab is a place to get help to: identify a proposed PLA/SDL subject area and develop a competence description or statement; identify a prospective evaluator; and develop a Registration Proposal Form for a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) or Student-Designed Independent Study (SDIS).

    Students should be planning to complete an individualized degree, and know how the learning will be used in their degree plan.  Preferably, students should have completed or be in Perspectives or Metro 100 before attending the lab. 

Registration deadline for PLA and SDIS for Fall Semester is Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. 

Labs during Fall Semester 2014 will be held:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 24, 4 - 5 pm, St. John's Hall, Rm. 250
  • Monday, Sept. 29, 4:30 - 5:30 pm, Partnership Center,
    Normandale Community College, Rm. 1082
  • Tuesday, Sept. 30, 4:30 - 5:30 pm, Midway Campus, Rm. 7
  • Thursday, Oct. 9, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm, St. John's Hall, Rm. 250
  • Wednesday, Nov. 5, 4:30 - 5:30 pm, Minneapolis Campus,
    Management Education Center, Rm. M2600

Please e-mail your RSVP to Marcia Anderson, SDL Coordinator in
the College of Individualized Studies, at marcia.anderson@metrostate.edu  Please send your draft competence description(s) or proposal(s) in advance, if ready. 

For more information, see email above, or call 651-793-1772/1782.
To request accommodations for disability: Call 651-7931549 or 651-772-7687 (TTY)

To Identify PLS/SDL Faculty Evaluators:

Students may ask faculty to serve as consultants in developing proposals for prior learning assessment (PLA) or student-directed learning (SDL).

Assessment and evaluation of PLA and SDL must be done by approved university faculty evaluators, and student must be registered.

Updated evaluators coming soon.



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