The Portfolio documents significant learning experiences throughout the student’s life and provides detailed analysis of some of those experiences. This serves as the final exam for the course and is evaluated by the course instructor. The course instructor offers extensive feedback to students as they prepare the portfolio components.

The Portfolio includes:

  • a Chronological Learning Record – A list of 20-25 adult learning experiences that discusses what you did and what you learned.
  • an Autobiographical Essay – A 5-7 page memoir of your life, focused on who you are as a “learner.”
  • an Educational Goals Statement – A 1-2 page statement of what your current, short-term, and long-term goals are for your education (what you wish to achieve and how you wish to use it).
  • a Narrative Essay – A 12-15 page essay about a significant learning experience from your life. You will be expected to discuss the experience in terms of whether it provided college-level learning and analyze it within the context of defined educational goals. Students analyze their learning through the perspective of the following six goal areas:
    • Career Education
    • Cultural Diversity
    • Engaged Citizenship (Students who seek to use IPL 305/501 to satisfy their ECCE Engagement requirement MUST address Engaged Citizenship as one of their three goal areas.)
    • Personal Growth
    • Self-Directed and Lifelong Learning Skills
    • Theory/Practice

Documentation – A form of third party documentation that provides evidence for the experience you cite. This can be documentation from the time or a letter of confirmation from your workplace (or wherever your experience occurred).

Course Information

IPL 305: Undergraduate Prior Learning Portfolio Development

The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program guides students through the development of a portfolio in IPL 305, an online course.

In the IPL 305 course (syllabus), students earn credit by completing assignments that are designed for the process of reflection, description, evaluation, and analysis of learning experiences. The course is writing-intensive and enhances such academic skills as oral communication, reflective and critical writing, analysis, and evaluation.

IPL 501: Graduate Prior Learning Portfolio Development

Graduate students may earn prior learning credit through IPL 501. The course follows the same structure as the undergraduate course, but the student must document learning experiences that represent graduate-level learning.

Additional Portfolios

After students have completed the IPL 305/501 course, students may be eligible to earn additional credits by creating and submitting additional portfolios. Additional portfolios are reviewed by the course instructor and/or a faculty assessor with expertise in the topic area to determine if credit should be granted.

Note: A maximum of 16 credit hours can be earned through the PLA process, depending on the student’s academic program and as recommended by the program advisor. Some programs utilize the PLA program on a wider basis than other programs.