Individual Assessment Frequently Asked Questions

Interview Method FAQ’s

What does the interview process entail?
The interview is an opportunity to engage in an in-depth discussion with the student and develop a good understanding of the learning being evaluated. The interview process is designed to provide in-depth detail and explanations about the student’s learning description.  The learning description is an overview of the learning, while the interview provides further details and explanation as well as more insight into the student's depth and breadth of knowledge. Direct interaction between the student and the faculty evaluator is necessary in order to verify the learning and reach an accurate conclusion.

How will the interview take place?
Every student will be interviewed in real time (e.g., in person or Web-based software), as facial expressions, voice tonality, and/or body language all help in understanding how and what the student knows. Email may be used for preliminary communication or for follow-up to the interview, but is not appropriate for the substantive interview.

Why do I need to be interviewed?
Although the Credit for Prior Learning application includes a learning description, supporting materials as well as identifies a student’s degree program, typically alone this does not provide sufficient information to determine the student’s college-level learning.

What types of questions can I expect in the interview?
Typical questions might include:

  • How was the learning acquired?
  • In what ways has the learning been used?
    • solving problems
    • developing new methods of applying the learning
    • teaching the learning to others

Some evaluators provide students with questions in advance to think about before the interview. However, often knowledge gained through experience doesn't fit a pre-defined sets of questions, so in addition to the questions you receive in advance, prepare, the evaluator may want to use probing questions during the interview in response to something that the student has shared.

Portfolio FAQ’s

What Credit Can I Earn For A Portfolio?

  • Earn credit for a specific course taught at South Central College.
  • Discuss how to apply the credit to your degree plan with your Academic Advisor.

When Should I Consider The Portfolio Method?

  • Early in your educational planning to prevent taking classes on material you already know
  • When you know the material taught in a specific course that fits into your degree plan
  • When the training you completed does not have credit available from a credit review
  • When you don't hold a professional credential that verifies you learned the material
  • When you can't take an exam to earn the credit

How Long Does It Take?

  • Plan on 2-4 months for portfolio assessment - The length of time can vary, depending on:
    • Faculty availability
    • Whether more information is requested
  • Faculty assessors typically provide a response within 30 days of receiving your complete portfolio
  • The credit is typically posted to your record within 10-15 days of finalized results

How Do I Know If The Portfolio Method Is Right For Me?

  • Have you completed a college-level English composition course?
  • Was your learning experience long enough and deep enough to provide opportunity to learn the material?
  • Does your learning contain a mix of theory and practical application?
  • Can you effectively explain both what you did and why it should (or should not) be done that way?
  • Does your learning apply to multiple contexts?
  • Can you describe and document your learning and show how it relates to the course learning outcomes?
  • Have you successfully completed Composition?
  • Are you comfortable writing research papers?
  • Do you have the time to devote to a writing intensive project?

If you answered "yes" to the above questions, consider the Portfolio method of CPL.

Skills Demonstration FAQ’s

Why should I consider the Skills Demonstration method?  

  • Reduce or eliminate the need for hands-on training in skills and knowledge you already have
  • Save time by not needing to complete unnecessary training
  • Complete a course in less time
  • Possibly advance to a higher level course in a shorter time if desired

What is competency?
Competence is the demonstration of skills and knowledge that you have gained through life and work experiences as well as any training that you have successfully completed and that can be matched against course outcomes. These standards are called units of competency.

What is the assessor looking for in the evidence?
The assessor is looking for evidence that is authentic, genuine, and current, and that matches the requirements of course competency. Essential skills and knowledge must be mapped to the course outcomes

Does everyone pass their Skills Demonstration?
Some students can provide sufficient evidence. Others may need to provide different forms of evidence or undergo additional training to cover any gaps.

How long will the assessment process take?
Your Skills Demonstration assessor should try to complete the process as quickly as possible. However, how quickly they can make a decision on your application also depends on how well you have prepared any documentary evidence and how well all of your evidence meets the requirements of course competencies.

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