Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for prior learning review is a way for you to receive credit for past learning acquired from outside the traditional institutional setting. Prior learning may include:

  • work experience (paid or volunteer)
  • in-service training, conferences and workshops
  • self-initiated study
  • participation in community, professional and other organizations
  • avocational, leisure pursuits

You can also transfer credits earned through military service, standardized exams or other higher education institutions.


Credits by Exam

If students can satisfy the requirements of a particular course by a written or oral examination, they may be able to get credit by departmental examination without formally enrolling in the course.

This policy allows students to receive credit if they have completed equivalent study at a non-accredited school or if they can present evidence of independent study and related work experience.

Students cannot use this process to repeat a course to improve a grade.

To be eligible, the student must be fully matriculated with a minimum 2.00 GPA at WSU and enrolled at the University during the semester in which a credit by examination is requested.

To apply, the student should meet with the faculty member of the department offering the course to be credited to initiate the process.

Credit by Examinations cost $50 per credit and will be posted to the student’s record at the end of the term. These credits are not used in determining full-time status.


Portfolio Review

A portfolio review is an opportunity to present a coherent, carefully organized and convincing case that identifies specific learning outcomes which have resulted from your experiences.

If you can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the WSU faculty evaluators that what you have learned is substantially equivalent in level and depth of knowledge to what you would acquire in the classroom, the faculty member may recommend the awarding of equivalency credits.

You may request evaluation of prior learning through the development of a portfolio. Make an appointment to meet with an Adult Entry Process Advisor in Adult & Continuing Education.

When you meet with the advisor bring along a brief outline of your prior learning experience. In consultation with the Adult Entry Process Advisor, you will need to make a realistic appraisal of your experiences and the appropriateness of the portfolio process for your educational program.

If the decision is made to proceed with the process, you, the student, will write and compile the material that you wish to have analyzed for consideration of credit.

In addition to preparation of written material, an interview or demonstration of competency may be required.

If you, along with the Adult Entry Process Advisor and a faculty member from the area from the discipline in which you are seeking credit, have determined it is in your best interest to proceed with the portfolio process, you will want to complete a Request for Prior Learning Assessment for each area for which you are requesting credit. (You will need your StarID to login.)

All requests for equivalency credit must be completed at least six months prior to graduation. There is $50 fee for the assessment of prior learning for each academic area.

For example, if you are submitting a portfolio to be reviewed for credits in accounting and another portfolio to be reviewed for credits in management, you would submit $100 with your portfolios.

In addition, a charge equal to half the resident undergraduate credit hour tuition rate will be assessed for each credit of equivalency coursework granted.

The process of assembling a satisfactory portfolio can be time consuming, and there is no guarantee that credit will be awarded. The decision to recommend equivalency credits rests with the faculty.


Categorize Your Work Experience

Using the current WSU Undergraduate Catalog, divide your work experience and training into categories that would fit in academic departments at WSU. For example, computer skills would most likely be taught in Computer Science or Management Information Systems, etc. Each academic area will be reviewed separately, so, if you are seeking credit for more than one area, you will need to prepare an individual portfolio for each area.


Identify Knowledge Skills

Begin with work experience identifying knowledge, skills and competencies demonstrated by your job functions. Identify job positions, employers and length of time spent working in each category of job responsibilities/requirements.


Identify Formal & Informal Training

Identify all formal and informal training you have received in each job area excluding training for which you have received formal college credit (either from WSU or by approved transfer credit).


Calculate Time

Calculate or estimate the amount of time spent in non-credit bearing training for each category or area that you plan to submit for credit evaluation.


Include Resources

Include any other resources you have utilized as part of your prior learning experience that would contribute to the knowledge, skills or competencies being used as a basis for your credit evaluation request.


Prepare a Written Narrative

Prepare a written narrative of your prior learning that specifically details the learning outcomes you have received as a result. These learning outcomes should match the learning outcomes for the course you are seeking equivalency credit for.