Written Prior Learning Portfolio

You may earn academic credit through the portfolio evaluation procedure. A key criterion in the evaluation of a portfolio for academic credit is the student's ability to organize and present verifiable evidence of college-level learning. Therefore, the portfolio must be compiled and written by the student with guidance on portfolio preparation from one of the Credit for Prior Learning Coordinators.

What is a prior learning portfolio? Am I required to submit a prior learning portfolio?

A prior learning portfolio is a document, written and compiled by you, describing your learning that can be documented to be equivalent to learning gained in a college course. This information must be presented in such a way as to provide convincing evidence of learning to College faculty evaluators. Students are not required to submit a portfolio.

How can I tell if the prior learning portfolio is a useful option for me?

If you have had significant college-level learning from activities and can describe and provide independent documentation for this learning, the portfolio may be a helpful tool in completing your degree. There is no guarantee that writing a prior learning portfolio will result the awarding of academic credit. However, credit awarded may count toward meeting appropriate credit hour graduation requirements.

Is there a limit to the number of credit hours gained through a portfolio that can be applied to my degree?

Yes. There is a limit of 10 hours that can be applied to your graduation requirements.

When would be the best time to write a prior learning portfolio?

We strongly urge that if you intend to submit a prior learning portfolio that you start to work on it as soon as you complete any required basic skills courses. With the portfolio evaluation completed, you can better assess which and how many courses you will need to complete your degree. You may submit a prior learning portfolio at anytime before meeting all graduation requirements and as long as you are enrolled in a degree or certificate program.

If I decide to prepare a prior learning portfolio, what preliminary steps are required?

Your first step should be to contact one of the Credit for Prior Learning coordinators and make an appointment to come in to speak with us.

What kind of writing quality is expected in the prior learning portfolio?

Since you will be submitting this portfolio as a request for College credit, it is expected that your document will conform to College standards for written work; that is, it will be neatly typed, double spaced, and with adequate margins. Standard spelling and proper grammar are essential, and the content should be arranged in an orderly and coherent manner.

How do I identify my prior learning which may earn college credit?

The simplest is to find out whether what you know is taught in a college course. One useful process is to read the LaGuardia Catalog and check off the courses which correspond to your learning.

Who evaluates my portfolio?

Each course request will be submitted, by the Credit for Prior Learning Coordinators, to an appropriate LaGuardia faculty member (usually an individual who teaches the course that has been submitted) for evaluation. Every effort is made to ensure the prior learning portfolio will be evaluated during the semester of submission. Faculty credit recommendations will be reviewed and approved by the department chairperson.

The ePortfolio Course

This course is available to assist you in designing an ePortfolio as a means of documenting your prior learning for credit request, employment search, or your personal use. Please contact one of the Coordinators for further information.

IND 100 (one credit)
This course will assist students to develop a portfolio that provides a description of life/workplace experiences and learning accomplishments as they relate to the objectives of a college course. As a process for reflective learning and professional development, it will require students to design and create an ePortfolio that contains evidence of, and reflection on, curricular, co-curricular, and personal accomplishments. A request for additional credit through various departments is optional.
The following is a recommended outline. Each instructor will choose his/her personal instructional methods to accomplish course objectives.
Week 1
  • Introduction to class, expectations of semester
  • Portfolio Overview
  • Introduction to Prior Learning Assesment (PLA)
Week 2
  • Introduction to learning and learning styles
  • Completion of learning styles inventory
Week 3
  • Learning theories; adult learning; lifelong learning
  • Learning taxonomies: Bloom
Week 4
  • Experiential learning; Kolb's experiential model (concrete experience; observation and reflection; forming abstract concepts; testing in a new situation)
  • Introduction to portfolio development
Weeks 5-7
  • Types of reflection in turning experience into learning (Dewey)
  • Reflection-on-action; reflection-in-action (Schon)
  • Critical reflection
Weeks 8-9
  • Portfolio development
  • Lifelines and autobiography discussion
Weeks 10-12
  • Identifying and matching learning to courses.
  • Tools to identify essential elements of learning; knowledge, skills and abilities.
  • Portfolio exercises and documentation
Week 13/Finals
  • Portfolio presentations