Montana State University

Policy 2.3

2.3 Policy on Credit for Prior Experiential Learning 1

The Commission on Colleges recognizes the validity of granting credit for prior experiential learning, provided the practice is carefully monitored and documented. Credit for prior experiential learning may be offered under the conditions enumerated below. This policy is not designed to apply to such practices as CLEP, Advanced Placement, or ACE-evaluated military credit.

a. Policies and procedures for awarding experiential learning credit must be adopted, described in appropriate institutional publications, and reviewed at regular intervals.
b. Credit for prior experiential learning may be granted only at the undergraduate level.
c. Before credit for prior experiential learning becomes part of the student's permanent record, the student must complete a sufficient number of units to establish evidence of a satisfactory learning pattern.
d. Credit may be granted only upon the recommendation of teaching faculty who are appropriately qualified and who are on a regular appointment with the college on a continuing basis.
e. Credit may be granted only for documented learning which ties the prior experience to the theories and data of the relevant academic fields.
f. Credit may be granted only for documented learning which falls within the regular curricular offerings of the institution.
g. An institution that uses documentation and interviews in lieu of examinations must demonstrate in its self-study that the documentation provides the academic assurances of equivalence to credit earned by traditional means.
h. Credit for prior experiential learning may constitute no more than 25% of the credits needed for a degree or certificate.
i. No assurances are made as to the number of credit to be awarded prior to the completion of the institution's review process.
j. Credit may be granted only to enrolled students and is to be identified on the student's transcript as credit for prior experiential learning.
k. Policies and procedures must ensure that credit for prior experiential learning does not duplicate other credit awarded.
l. Adequate precautions must be provided to ensure that payment of fees does not influence the award of credit.

Adopted 1988

1Credit for courses taken from nonaccredited institutions must be addressed pursuant to Policy 2.5 - Transfer and Award of Academic Credit, Accreditation Handbook, pages 41-44.