A-050 Credit for Prior Learning

Code: A-050
Date: April 2013
Approved: Ronald A. Wood
Updated: January 2019
Approved: Connie J. Gores

Southwest Minnesota State University


Credit For Prior Learning

Section 1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide all students at Southwest Minnesota State University opportunities to demonstrate university-level learning gained in non-credit or experiential settings according to procedures and practices established for evaluating and granting undergraduate credit for such learning.

Southwest Minnesota State University encourages a variety of learning strategies based on the principle that the university “recognizes a student’s educational progress toward a degree in terms of competence achieved.” Prior learning assessment is one of many learning strategies for competence-based, student-directed learning and evaluation at the university, including student-designed independent study, theory seminars, internships, and related methods or strategies.

Section 2. Implementation of this Policy through Procedure and Practice

Any procedure or practice developed pursuant to this policy shall:

  1. Support the awarding of prior learning credits, inclusive throughout the university.
  2. Provide for ease of understanding and implementation by students and faculty.
  3. Ensure that prior learning credits satisfy university requirements.
  4. Provide departments the autonomy to decide whether or not to accept prior learning credits toward their majors and minors.
  5. Enable departments to evaluate prior learning in their disciplines on a service basis, whether or not that learning is accepted toward majors and minors in their department.
  6. Be designed to be accessible and described clearly, simply, consistently, and in a timely manner in all university electronic and paper publications for all prospective and admitted students.

Section 3. Authority

This policy is issued pursuant to the Minnesota State College and University System Policy 3.35 (Credit for Prior Learning Policy) and Procedure 3.35.1 (Credit for Prior Learning Procedure)

Section 4. Procedures and Practices

Procedures and practices developed pursuant to this Policy shall be developed, maintained and publicized and be consistent with this policy and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Policy 3.35 (Credit for Prior Learning Policy) and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Procedure 3.35.1 (Credit for Prior Learning Procedure), and the IFO/Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Master Agreement.

Section 5. Compliance with Legislation

The university shall grant credit for prior learning for a veteran’s military training or service in compliance with Subd.2 of Minnesota Statute 197.775 Higher Education Fairness.

Section 6. Exceptions

Any exception to this policy requires approval from the Dean of the College in which the prior learning credit is recorded.

12/17/2012: Portions of this policy are used with permission from Metropolitan State University, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

2/28/2013: Completed Academic Affairs Committee Review

Note: While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, SMSU reserves the right to correct any clerical errors herein. Also, you can submit feedback.