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Credit for Experiential Learning Policy

LMC Revised Date

Office of Origin: Academic Services 
Date Adopted: 03-25-14 
Date Reviewed: 11-08-16 
Last Date Modified & Approved: 03-28-17 

Background 
Recognizing that many opportunities exist for learning outside of a classroom, Lake Michigan College (LMC) seeks to provide a variety of evidence-based means by which students may obtain academic credit for experiential learning. 

Policy Statement 
Lake Michigan College may provide any of the pathways to granting credit for experiential learning described in the following section. Regardless of the pathway option, credit awards must be based on appropriate documentation and/or demonstration of skills. Faculty recommend credit awards to the appropriate Academic Dean, who must approve all credit for experiential learning requests. Recommendations for academic credit must clearly align with LMC’s curriculum and must be based on what the student has learned, rather than what the student has experienced. 

Upon approval by the Academic Dean, credit for experiential learning is transcripted as “CEL” credit and may be used to satisfy LMC graduation requirements. Students must be informed that CEL credits may not transfer to other institutions, as it is the receiving institution that determines what credit will be accepted upon transfer. 

While there is no maximum number of allowable CEL credits, a minimum number of credits must be earned at LMC as follows: 

  • For baccalaureate degrees, a minimum of 30 credits must be earned at LMC. 
  • For associate’s degrees, a minimum of 20 credits must be earned at LMC. 
  • For certificate programs requiring 30 or more credits, a minimum of 15 credits must be earned at LMC. 

Credit for experiential learning is available for LMC certificate programs with fewer than 30 total credits only when students are seeking a higher level credential within the same program area or discipline. Students should work closely with an advisor to assure that alternative credit requests do not exceed the above specified credit hour limits. Any exception to these standards must have the written approval of the Vice President of Academic Services.

Credit for Experiential Learning Pathways 

The following options are approved pathways for CEL credit. 

1) Portfolio course – Students may enroll in a credit for experiential learning portfolio course in which the student produces a portfolio of evidence documenting the rationale for their request, as well as evidence of experiential learning. The portfolio course is designed to guide students in analyzing and documenting acquired knowledge that demonstrates college-level learning. The portfolio is evaluated by a faculty member in the discipline for which the credit is being requested. Portfolio course tuition and fees apply. 

2) Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)/Learning Counts – Students may submit transcripts from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) for evaluation by the Registrar’s Office. Credit awarded through the evaluation of CAEL transcripts is treated as transfer credit. There is no charge by the College for this evaluation service. 

3) Military training evaluation – Current and former military service members may submit a military transcript for evaluation by the Registrar’s Office. Transcript evaluation is based on recommendations by the American Council on Education (ACE). Credit awarded through the evaluation of military transcripts is treated as transfer credit. There is no charge by the College for this evaluation service. 

4) Nationally standardized assessments – The College may award credit for certain nationally standardized tests, such as CLEP and DSST. A list of acceptable standardized assessments, required scores, and testing fees is available in the Testing Center.

5) Industry-recognized licensing or certification credential – Industry-recognized credentials are evaluated by a faculty member in the discipline for which the credit is being requested with recommendations to the appropriate Academic Dean for credit equivalencies. A list of common industry-recognized credentials that align with College courses is available in the Advising Office. Fees may apply. 

6) LMC Challenge Exams – LMC departments may offer departmental challenge exams for some courses. A list of available challenge exams, required scores, and fees (if applicable) is available in the Advising Office and the Testing Center. Fees may apply. 

Responsibility: Vice President of Academic Services 

References: Credit for Experiential Learning Fees 

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