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206-6695
erund1@uis.edu

 

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UIS updates Credit for Prior Learning program to reflect best practices

March 23, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – For over 30 years, the University of Illinois at Springfield’s Credit for Prior Learning program has provided students with an opportunity to receive credit for life experience by developing experiential learning portfolios. UIS students who have acquired college-level learning through paid employment, volunteer work, independent reading, travel, and other interests can develop portfolios that detail this learning. Eligible students whose completed portfolios reflect college-level learning congruent with their degree goals can receive up to 16 hours of college credit through the CPL process.

Related sites

Credit for Prior Learning
Applied Study

Elaine Rundle-Schwark, who directs CPL as well as UIS’ Applied Study program, said that awarding college credit for prior learning is a widespread practice. “More than 3,500 accredited institutions award credit for course work completed through non-traditional avenues,” she said. “Learners who enjoy initiating projects and directing their own learning processes, who learn in an autonomous way, and who see a self-directed process as essential to their academic growth enjoy the experience of completing an experiential learning portfolio.”

UIS recently revised its Credit for Prior Learning program to reflect best practices in the field in accordance with guidelines established by the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning. Now, UIS students who wish to participate in the CPL process must also enroll in AST 401 Prior Learning Portfolio Development, a four-credit-hour course.

Rundle-Schwark said the new requirement is timed to correspond with CPL’s move into the Applied Study program. She also noted that the portfolio development process taught in this course requires good writing skills and the ability to reflect on and analyze past learning and its impact on life-long learning.

Updated CPL requirements also state that to be eligible for the program, students must be admitted to UIS, with a declared major and junior standing, including 12 credit hours in their major. They must also have past experiences that can translate into college-level learning.

More information is available at www.uis.edu/cpl/, or contact Rundle-Schwark or Adriel Ippolito, assistant director of AST and coordinator of CPL, at 217/206-6695 or by e-mail at cpl@uis.edu.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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