PRIOR LEARNING ASSESSMENT
A growing number of
institutions of higher learning are implementing
programs designed to award credit for
experiential learning - that is, learning
acquired outside of the classroom. This learning
may result from such activities as work
experience, work-related in-service training,
ministry or self-directed independent study.
If you are among those
who are interested in receiving credit for prior
experiential learning, a syllabus is designed to
assist you in the preparation of a portfolio, a
formal written communication which requests
credit and supplies supporting information.
The syllabus is issued upon acceptance of a
completed application, the payment of the
required fees, and approval to complete a PLA.
Maximum PLE credits not to exceed 25% of
credits required for CTU degree.
First of all, the
preparation of a portfolio will allow you to
request credit for a significant number of
assessable CTU courses for which a portfolio is
the only acceptable evaluation method.
It is important for you to have a realistic
understanding of your present levels of
competence. With such realistic appraisal of
what you know and can do, you can better plan
further educational activities.
Many ministers have felt for a long time that
some of their non-seminary experiences are
equivalent to what is taught in Bible college or
seminary, and that they should receive credit
for those experiences toward a seminary degree.
CTU is willing to recognize and award
appropriate credit for what a person knows and
can do as a result of non-seminary experience.
Credit will not be awarded simply for your years
of experience. Rather, you will be requested to
demonstrate what important knowledge, skills,
and/or competencies you have attained as a
result of the experiences you have had. In order
to award such credit, your learning must meet
certain criteria. These criteria includes the
1. The learning
should be publicly verifiable. You should be
able to demonstrate to an expert in the
field that you possess the learning, which
you have claimed, and such an expert should
be able to objectively measure and evaluate
the learning, which has occurred.
2. The learning
should be equivalent to college/seminary
level work in terms of quality. It is
required that the prior experiential
learning be related directly to courses in
3. The learning
should have a subject matter or knowledge
base. The student also should have a subject
matter or knowledge base. You should not
expect to receive college/seminary credit
for mere application of manual skill or a
narrowly prescribed routine or procedure.
You should understand why you are able to do
what you do.
4. The learning
should have a general applicability outside
of the specific situation in which it was
5. You should be
able to demonstrate that you know the
relationship between what you have learned
and other related subject fields.
CONTENTS OF YOUR PORTFOLIO
When complete, your
portfolio will contain the following items:
a. Title Page
Name, address and phone number of the
author, month and year.
b. Credit request
A list of the catalog courses for which you
wish to receive along with a brief statement
of the corresponding competencies.
c. Narrative descriptions of your
d. Index to
A table of contents, which allows easy
access to any particular document.
The evidence that you have actually done
what you claim to have done.
See PLA application
It is necessary that the learning be
equivalent to courses designated as "assessable
courses." A listing of assessable courses is
available through the Office of assessment and
If you have already
determined which assessable courses are designed
to produce competencies equivalent to yours,
complete the Credit Request List. If you are not
yet able to describe your prior learning
experiences in terms of specific competencies
and equivalent courses, complete the exercises
designed to assist you in accomplishing this.
After completing the
credit request list you should begin to develop
a separate narrative description of your prior
learning experience for each course listed. Each
description should describe what you learned.
Explain why the learning is equivalent to the
course for which you are seeking credit.
Be sure to refer to the documentation which
supports your claim and state where it may be
found. The presentation of documentation does
not relieve you of the requirement of describing
CREDIT REQUEST LIST
CTU COURSE CO-201
NARRATIVE PAGE PAGE
NUMBER & TITLE
PAPER SIZE 8 ½ X 11
NOTE: The PLA
syllabus will provide step-by-step instructions
for the development of your PLA. Submit your
completed portfolio to the director of
assessment and evaluation. From there it will go
to the appropriate academic department for
assessment. Generally there will be a time lapse
of 60-90 days for the evaluation and report sent
to the student.
THE EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING ASSESSMENT WORKS
The faculty of each department has
determined which courses are assessable and how
they are to be assessed. The faculty members
themselves do the assessment of your portfolio
and decide on whether or not to award credit.
You are notified of the results through the
director of assessment and evaluation office,
which also notifies the university records
department so that your credit can be recorded
on your transcript. Credit will be recorded
using the appropriate course prefix and number
and will be labeled as assessment credit. No
letter grades are assigned to assessed courses.
Because of the element of subjectivity, all
decisions of the Assessment and Evaluation
Committee are final. There are NO
automatic credits given just for the production
of a PLA.