Credit for Prior Learning

Winona State University recognizes prior learning that students may have acquired outside the traditional classroom, such as nationally recognized standardized exams, career work, community engagement, travel, military service, conference attendance and other non-college-sponsored educational experiences.

University Policy and Procedure 3-35/3-35a outline the expectations and guidelines for evaluating the various types of Credit for Prior Learning at WSU.

ACE’s role with CPL is primarily focused on the Credit for Prior Learning by Portfolio Review process. We help students navigate the process as needed and serve as a resource to faculty and staff who have limited experience with portfolio review for credit.

While our staff helps to facilitate this academic process, the colleges and departments ultimately determine if they will review a portfolio, what should be provided as evidence of college-level learning within the portfolio, and ultimately if credit will be awarded.

The Registrar’s Office is also instrumental in the CPL by portfolio review process and serves as another campus resource for faculty and students.

Credit for Prior Learning is especially important to post-traditional learners that come to us with established, unaccounted for learning that can help them expedite their time to degree completion. Researchers have found that post-traditional students who are awarded credit for prior learning have better academic outcomes than their peers, particularly when we look at graduation rates and persistence.

WSU has invested time and other resources into exploring best practices and trends in CPL over the last decade, and even convened a CPL Taskforce that met 2014 through 2016.

The Minnesota State System has also given an increased amount of emphasis and attention to CPL and has created a toolkit for campuses to pull from and utilize as they develop and modify their standard practices locally.

ACE is happy to provide printed resources related to CPL or in-person information sessions on the topic of portfolio review.

For more information please contact Program Development & Advising Coordinator, Barb Nascak, at