Policy 2150: Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

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Academic Affairs Policy #2150

Section 1.        Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide all students at Metropolitan State University with opportunities to demonstrate college and university-level learning gained in non-credit or experiential settings according to procedures and practices established for evaluating and granting undergraduate credit for such learning.

Section 2.        History and Approach

Since its inception, Metropolitan State University has been in the forefront nationally of providing opportunities for students who wish to have their experiential learning assessed for college credit.  The university was founded on and remains committed to the fact that there are life and work situations through which students  may have acquired college-level learning, particularly if the experience has been supplemented by workshops, seminars, training sessions, reading, professional conferences and/or individual study. 

Metropolitan State University views prior learning as one end of a continuum of student-directed learning (SDL).  Theory seminars or Student Designed Independent Studies (SDIS’s) are used to augment prior learning in a particular subject area or discipline, to help learners meet university-level standards.

Throughout its history, Metropolitan State University faculty have also played a significant role in assisting faculty, including community faculty, and other institutions in assessing experiential learning, and this policy affirms that tradition of leadership.  

Section 3.        Implementation of this policy through procedure and practice

Any procedure or practice developed pursuant to this policy shall:

  1. Support the awarding of prior learning credits, inclusive throughout the university;
  2. Provide for ease of understanding  and implementation by students and faculty;
  3. Ensure that prior learning credits satisfy university requirements;
  4. Provide departments the autonomy to decide whether or not to accept prior learning credits toward their majors and minors;
  5. Enable departments to evaluate prior learning in their disciplines on a service basis, whether or not that learning is accepted toward majors and minors in their department;
  6. Be designed to be accessible and described clearly, simply, consistently, and in a timely manner in all university electronic and paper publications for all prospective and admitted students.

Section 4.      Authority

This policy is issued pursuant to the Minnesota State College and University System Policy 3.35 (Credit for Prior Learning Policy) and Procedure 3.35.1 (Credit for Prior Learning Procedure)

Section 5.        Effective Date

This university policy shall become effective upon signature of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and shall remain in effect until modified or expressly revoked.

Section 6.        Procedures and Practices

Procedures and practices developed pursuant to this Policy shall be developed, maintained and publicized and be consistent with this policy and MNSCU Policy 3.35 (Credit for Prior Learning Policy) and MNSCU Procedure 3.35.1 (Credit for Prior Learning Procedure).

Section 7.        Compliance with Legislation 

The university shall grant credit for prior learning for a veteran’s military training or service in compliance with Subd.2 of Minnesota Statute 197.775 Higher Education Fairness.

Section 8.        Exceptions

Any exception to this policy requires approval from the dean of the college in which the prior learning credit is recorded.

Section 9.        Review

This policy will be reviewed and modified as appropriate.

Section 10.      Signatures

Issued on this 10th day of December, 2010.

 

Gary Seiler, Ph.D.
Interim, Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs

 

Sue K. Hammersmith, Ph.D.
President