Assessment of Prior Learning & Experience

Assessment of Prior Learning and Experience

The AFN program has a policy on the assessment of prior learning/experience for credit, as follows:

The Applied Food and Nutrition program has created this policy to define the process for awarding program credit, hours of experiential learning, and achievement of required competencies for prior learning and/or experience of admitted students.

Logo for the GVSU Applied Food & Nutrition program
What is Prior Learning/Experience Credit?

You have the opportunity to obtain credit for your previous work, training, and life experiences. The AFN program’s policies and procedures for awarding Prior-Learning credit have been influenced by the standards for assessing learning published by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and the American Council on Education (ACE), and are in accordance with GVSU’s policy on prior learning credit for undergraduate students.

  1. Credit is awarded only for learning and not simply for doing. You will not receive credit for having had the experience; you must be able to explain what you learned from the experience and how you have applied that learning. Explanation and reflection on your learning are showcased through the creation of a portfolio, which is assessed by the AFN program director according to a rubric.
  2. Credit is awarded only for college-level learning, which is based upon the premise that college learning provides a balance between theory and practical application. Many worthwhile experiences may take place in employment, training, and other life settings, but they may not provide the blend of theoretical and practical knowledge that college credit requires. Experiences that qualify for college- level credit are those that provide the learner with the general principles and concepts of a field, which in turn enable the learner to apply that learning to other settings. Time-wise, you may apply for prior learning credit for learning that occurred from the date of graduation from high school to the present time.

Work experiences are the most commonly awarded type of prior learning/experience. Documented training experiences (ex: workshops and seminar-type training experiences) require 60 in-class clock hours to generate 1 credit, assuming that the self-assessment reflects college-level learning. Life experiences are the least likely to result in prior learning credit awards.

The three practicum courses in the AFN program (AFN 417 Foodservice Practicum – 2 credits, AFN 418 Community Nutrition Practicum-3 credits, and AFN 419 Clinical Nutrition Practicum-3 credits) and the knowledge requirements assessed in those courses are eligible for being covered by prior learning and experience, as documented in a student portfolio and approved  by the AFN program director. If not all requirements in a practicum course are met by prior experience, the student will need to enroll in 1 or more credits of the practicum course to complete those competencies/hours.

Once admitted to the AFN program, students are encouraged to begin the process for being awarded credit of prior learning.  The first of the eligible courses (AFN 417) falls in the second semester of the secondary-admit program. For a student to be awarded prior learning credit for this course, the student should have submitted a portfolio for review by the AFN program director by October of the Fall semester the student enters the AFN program (students should allow for at least 30 days for processing and assessment of the portfolio). Once the AFN program director has evaluated a student portfolio, they will issue a letter to the student detailing the exact number of credits awarded in specific practicum courses, corresponding hours of experiential learning that can be logged for those credits, and  the knowledge requirements fulfilled by the prior learning/experience. Generally, for each one credit of practicum course earned in prior learning and assessed through the portfolio, 50 corresponding hours of experiential learning for that course will be logged for the student, along with the specific competencies demonstrated by the prior learning/experience.

Students can learn about the specific portfolio requirements and process for submission from the AFN program online portfolio module in Blackboard, which they will have access to once admitted to the AFN program.

Once determination of prior learning credit awarded is made and communicated to the student via a letter, the AFN program director will communicate with the Registrar’s office regarding the number of credits of prior learning that the student may enroll in and purchase. Additionally, the AFN program director will record the knowledge requirements fulfilled and hours of experiential learning fulfilled by prior learning/experience in the master tracking document for the student on Typhon (or other tracking system utilized by the program at the time).

Students will enroll for and pay the prior learning credit fees established by the University for undergraduate prior learning credit (upper-division) for as many credits as they are awarded by the AFN program director.

Page last modified October 21, 2022