Chatham University

Credit by Portfolio Development - Prior Learning Assessment

Prior learning portfolios consist of written narratives along with supporting documentation that demonstrate an undergraduate or graduate student's proficiency in the learning outcomes of targeted Chatham courses. They are intended to assist students in identifying areas of college-level and graduate level learning by utilizing course-specific learning outcomes that correspond to targeted Chatham courses.

The process

A student is enrolled in a portfolio development course during the fall or spring term that guides them through the process. Once the portfolio narratives are complete, faculty members in the appropriate disciplines evaluate the portfolio's ability to articulate the student's learning as it relates to the specific outcomes of each targeted course, typically within 30 days of the narratives' submission. There is no guarantee that credits assessed will result in credits awarded, and there is no partial credit.

After the review is complete, the student will receive notification from the Office of Academic Support and Prior Learning Assessment along with a summary sheet listing the credits awarded for each course with the evaluator's comments. If a student does not agree with the results of an assessment, they can request a meeting with the Director of PLA and their advisor to review the assessor's comments. The student may also request a second review by the appropriate academic dean; however, the addition of new portfolio course materials at the time of the second review is not permitted.

Portfolio Development FAQs

How long do I have to complete my portfolio?

An individualized plan and timeline will be created with you once you begin the process. The portfolio course is structured so that your portfolio can be completed by the end of the term. However, if you are applying for 9 credits or more through the portfolio development process, you may have an additional 45 days for the completion and submission of your portfolio after the end of the course.

How to begin the process?

You must first contact the Office of Academic Support and Prior Learning Assessment, and your academic advisor. Together, you will clarify your (major/minor) requirements and identify courses from Chatham University's catalogue that are viable alternatives for your portfolio. Students applying for portfolio assessment are guided through each and every step of the portfolio development process.

How will I be billed for my portfolio credits?

Upon submitting your portfolio for review, billing to your student account will be initiated at the rate of $83 per credit assessed ($249 per 3-credit course). Students are billed at the time credit is assessed.

Fees for credits earned through PLA are charged at a significantly reduced rate relative to program tuition rate. Based on the number of credits that you attempt, your savings could be in excess of $10,000 for a 30-credit portfolio.

PLEASE NOTE: Once undergraduate students have been accepted into an Integrated Degree Program (IDP), several factors will determine the timing of their change in status from undergraduates to graduates. A shift in status from undergraduate to graduate student may impact a student's eligibility for financial aid. Students should carefully review IDP policies and consult with a financial aid counselor prior to entering the IDP in order to determine the impact that a change in status will have on one's financial aid.

Please contact your admissions representative with any questions or to explore your eligibility for portfolio development as a means of earning credit.