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Adult & Continuing Education

Experiential Learning Assessment for Adults at Pace University

What is ELA Credit?

  • Experiential Learning Credit is credit awarded for college-level learning that has been attained outside of a credit-bearing institution; learning which will then be backed up by documentation.

Who is eligible for ELA?

  • Adult students (age 24+) who have been in the workplace for a period of time (3-5 years) and have, for example, “been responsible for training programs or written company manuals..” ; done volunteer work; been active in political campaigns or even performed in public.
  • Adult students who have also been accepted in a degree program at Pace University. The Adult Degrees allow up to 36 credits assessed through the portfolio, while the traditional degrees may allow up to 15 credits.

What is the first step?

  • The student will meet with an advisor in the Adult and Continuing Education Office of Adult Academic Programs and Services to determine eligibility for ELA.
  • The candidate is referred to the ELA instructor for a preliminary interview.
  • In some cases, the student is referred for Portfolio Assessment by the Department Chair.

How is the Portfolio prepared?

  • Once the student is matriculated into a degree program and appears to fit the experiential qualifications, they are encouraged to register for the “Prior Learning Assessment” class (INT 196B) which is offered each semester on one of the Pace campuses. This is a two credit course which will guide the student through the process of writing a portfolio to submit to the appropriate academic department. The student may choose to opt out of this course and prepare the portfolio on their own; however payment for the evaluation will still be required. Cost will be equivalent to 1 credit for up to 5yrs of knowledge, or 2 credits for additional areas of knowledge.

What are the contents of the Portfolio?

  • The Portfolio consists of a resume, an autobiography and narratives which prove certain learning as it applies to specific Pace coursework.
  • Certain licenses, certifications, training and corporate development, or military records may be applicable toward ELA. Please bring such materials to your ELA Coordinator.
  • Typically, the Portfolio must be submitted before the completion of 96 credits toward a degree. This is a safeguard against the duplication of any credits.
  • It is recommended that the student submit his/her portfolio two full semesters before graduation.

How is credit awarded?

  • The Portfolio is submitted to departmental faculty evaluators who award credit based upon demonstrated college-level learning in the specific area of coursework.
  • Portfolio credits are awarded as transfer credits.
  • There is no guarantee of earning portfolio credits. The number of portfolio credits earned epends on the individual student’s experience and the extent to which that experience is deemed to be equivalent to comparable learning achieved in Pace University coursework.

What is the Cost?

  • Payment for the course (INT 196B) covers the full cost for submission and assessment of the Portfolio. If a student chooses not to enroll in this course, he/she will still be responsible for the cost of the evaluation, which will be equivalent to the cost of 1 or 2 credits, relative to the number of areas of knowledge being evaluated.
  • The student earns two Free Elective credits on a Pass/Fail basis.

Are There Any Other Options?

  • Eligible students, who are interested in Experiential Learning Assessment credit or ELA at Pace University, also have the option of developing a portfolio independently of the course.
  • The student would meet with the ELA instructor to receive advisement regarding the process.
  • Before the portfolio is submitted for evaluation, the student is required to pay the fee associated with the portfolio assessment.
  • One to five areas (areas such as Computer Science, English, and Art etc.) of assessment will cost one full credit of tuition and six or more areas will be charged two full credits of tuition.

What are the Benefits of Experiential Learning Assessment?
Benefits to the student:

  • provides an opportunity to acquire college credits based on learning from work/life experience
  • reduces the amount of time required to earn a degree
  • reduces the overall cost of education

What are the Benefits of the Portfolio Development Course – INT 196B?
Benefits of guided portfolio development:

  • provides assistance with navigating the assessment process for adult/returning students
  • provides an opportunity to explore work/life experiences and accomplishments in depth
  • promotes development of academic skills, self-confidence and enhances motivation to work toward career goals
  • provides the opportunity to be mentored and evaluated by Pace University faculty
  • provides the ability to understand the learning outcomes and to evaluate Pace University course offerings in preparation for creating a portfolio
  • provides a flexible and interactive environment to explore personal and experiential learning as a part of a cohort group
  • promotes critical and analytical thinking
  • promotes the ability to conduct effective research and provide accurate documentation
  • promotes the ability to write with clarity and purpose
  • promotes the ability to achieve a broader understanding of personal definition of learning

Who can I contact with questions?

Nickie Foster