Credit for Prior Learning Implementation

In Progress
Start Term
Spring 2023
End Term
Summer 2024
Project Leads
Director of Credit for Prior Learning
Core Team

Dean of Extended Learning, Director of Credit for Prior Learning, Credit for Prior Learning Workgroup

Ad Hoc team

Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, Deans, Faculty, Registrar, Student Affairs, Workforce Development

Pillars of Success
Student Success
Equity and Inclusion
Strategic Plans
Annual Work Plan
Equity 2030
SEM Plan
Project Purpose

Credit for prior learning (CPL) is credit awarded for validated college-level skills and knowledge gained outside of a college classroom (American Community College Association, 2017). For the past two decades, nationally higher education institutions (and systems) have been implementing CPL practices to help students, especially working adults, to complete their degrees or reskill for personal and professional development. This project seeks to adopt these best practices at M State.


1. Assemble a CPL workgroup to review, make recommendations and help educate the M State community on the following:

  • M State’s CPL policy and procedure (after reviewing national, state and local policies and procedures)
  • Fees
  • Aligning CPL with academic curriculum
  • Training faculty, student affairs staff and students
  • Leveraging community partnerships


2. Develop CPL tools and resources for implementation.

  • Create a CPL SharePoint portal for faculty
  • Review and make recommendations to update the CPL application, forms, portfolio process and evaluation rubric
  • Develop process flows for students, faculty and advisors 
  • Review academic programs for CPL curriculum alignment
    • Challenge exams
    • Standardized exams
    • Industry-based credentials
    • Portfolio course development
    • Workplace training and development
    • Military training and education
    • Workforce development and non-credit
  • Establish crosswalks for programs identified via the review of academic programs (e.g. Course Eligibility Template)


3. Create CPL awareness campaigns and present to students, staff and faculty.

  • Student and student affairs information session topics:   
    • CPL and curricula connections
    • Portfolio development
    • MyCPL and CPL processes
  • Targeted faculty information sessions topics:
    • Assessment of prior learning
    • Workplace experiential learning
    • Military training
    • Certifications and licenses
    • Local articulations and MOU’s
    • Other possible experiential learning partnerships
Project Scope
In Scope

CPL awareness and application.

Out of Scope

Faculty contract.

Effectiveness Measures
Project Goals
  • Develop a better understanding of CPL and prior learning assessment (PLA) by introducing CPL aspects and making connections to non-collegiate educational experiences to degree pathways to show why it is key to the success of adult learners and the institution.
  • Facilitate the evaluation of past learning and work experiences against established academic standards to grant academic credit for those experiences.
  • Develop solid processes and policies that are consistent, fair and transparent for awarding credit.
  • Help students reflect on, identify and recognize past learning experiences that may be appropriate for submission for assessment.
Key Performance Indicators/Metrics
  • Number of session held
  • Number of participants
  • Survey data from students and faculty
  • Number of CPL inquiries and applications
  • Number of crosswalks developed
  • Number of credits for prior learning awarded
  • Approval of policy and procedure revisions
Metric Review Schedule
  • Monthly
Reporting of Results
  • Email and/or spreadsheet updates to Dean of Extended Learning and Provost/Vice President of Academics

Faculty knowledge and commitment, curricular alignment.

Financial Impact
  • Possible increased program enrollment
  • Possible increase in tuition revenue
  • Risk of initial decrease in tuition based on current student enrollment credit awards
  • Possible accelerated graduation rates having some negative impact on enrollment
  • Budget impacts from stipends