Portfolio Assessment

Andrews University recognizes that college-level learning can occur outside of the classroom. When advanced standing, credit-by-exam, and performance or credential validation are not appropriate, prior learning credit may be possible through portfolio assessment. Use the resources on this page to prepare.

  1. Download the syllabus (from the course schedule).  Review each outcome. If  you're confident that you've learned 70% or more of these college level outcomes in settings other than what is reflected in transferred credits, make a list of evidence you might collect to demonstrate this college-level prior learning.
  2. Discuss your prior learning aligned to specific class outcomes with your academic advisor or the Prior Learning Director.  Get their approval to complete a portfolio after your first semester of Andrews University classes.
  3. Use the learning narrative checklist (below) to prepare the portfolio, describing learning aligned to each outcome.
  4. Save the syllabus, artifacts, your resume and learning narrative into a folder in your secure Andrews google drive. 
  5. As soon as you have a complete draft, share the folder with the Prior Learning Director.
  6. Make an appointment to review the portfolio draft with the Prior Learning Director, if you have not taken the prior learning theory and practice class.
  7. Make improvements based on the feedback from the portfolio review appointment.
  8. Notify the Prior Learning Director when the portfolio is ready for assesment.
  9. The Prior Learning Director arranges for review by a faculty evaluator within the discipline of the portfolio.
  10. Evaluation and grade recording is usually complete within 30 days of submission of the completed portfolio. Your account is billed the portfolio assessment fee (which includes the evaluation and recording fees) once the grade is recorded.
  1. Did the introduction present the course and key learnings you will be addressing in one to three paragraphs?  
  2. Is appropriate depth and breadth of integration of key concepts evident in well-formed paragraphs in the narrative body?
  3. Did the conclusion summarize the significance of learning aligned to each course outcome, already described in the body?
  4. Is the essay clearly organized, addressing each learning outcome in the order presented in the latest syllabus? 
  5. Is the narrative typed on 5-10 double-spaced pages, with page numbers, in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font?
  6. Did each paragraph have a topic sentence followed by sentences that support LEARNING through experiences on that topic?
  7. Did you reflect on HOW you know you learned something? on how you USED this learning? and the most valuable INSIGHTS gained from this learning?
  8. Did you describe HOW, WHERE, WHAT and WHY you learned the course outcomes?
  9. Did you use key words, concepts, or vocabulary appropriate to this course? 
  10. Did you apply principles, theories, guidelines, or concepts that you learned from your experience, relevant to the course outcomes?
  11. Did you describe how this learning has been applied to work, family, volunteer and other areas of your life?
  12. Did you cite learning from books or additional reading that may be relevant? Reviewing a copy of the current textbook may be helpful?
  13. Did you cite and explain how your selection of supporting artifacts provide evidence for achieving the learning outcomes?
  14. Did you use APA style for in-text citations and a reference list? (Recommend Tool: Owl Purdue APA Guide)
  15. Is your final edited version free of punctuation, spelling, capitalization errors?  Did you use spell check? Did a trusted friend provide feedback?
  16. Are all artifacts saved in a google folder on your Andrews account, along with the learning narrative? 
  1. Faculty who teach the class for which credit is requested evaluate your portfolio using a portfolio assessment rubric.
  2. A pass/fail grade is assigned by a faculty evaluator for the class for which credit is requested.
  3. A pass is given for work demonstrating learning of outcomes at a C level or higher. 
  4. Portfolios with passing grades are reviewed and approved by the College or School Dean.
  5. If failed, the evaluator may provide feedback with the option to resubmit. A failing grade is not recorded.
  6. A passing grade will be a part of your permanent transcript with a code denoting credit through assessment.

The Andrews University Prior Learning Director, Dr Glynis Bradfield, coordinates portfolio approval, development, and assessment for students in any program, on-campus or online.  Students are welcome to make appointments for coaching through the portfolio preparation process where prior learning is aligned with one class listed in the current Andrews University bulletin.

Students with prior learning aligned to more than one Andrews University or other university's classes are advised to take the 3-credit portfolio preparation course, GNST 295 Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice. Course completion includes the option to submit two course-specific portfolios for evaluation by a qualified faculty evaluator.

Where prior learning is in disciplines not available at Andrews University, portfolio evaluation is recommended through the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). Passing grades on CAEL transcripts which will be articulated into your Andrews University record as transfer credit.  Such credits are often used to fill electives, but may apply to Andrews Core and major requirements .