Wilkes University

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is defined as knowledge and skills acquired and developed outside the traditional collegiate setting by means of experiences including, but not limited to, study abroad programs, internships, undergraduate research, service learning, scholarly and creative activities for which the student has not received academic credit, as well as professional work experiences and professional development self-study programs.

A maximum of 12 credits may be granted for demonstrated and documented college-level learning acquired and developed experientially, not for the experiences themselves. Credit will be awarded for existing courses in the, General Education, Major, and Elective (including "general electives") components of the Wilkes curriculum and only on the basis of critical evaluation by appropriate faculty of the demonstrated learning presented in the petition and upon approval of the appropriate dean.

As soon after admission to the University as is practical, students who wish to petition for experiential learning credit must notify the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator, the appropriate academic advisor, and the dean of the college and chair of the department or division in which the course is delivered for which credit is to be requested. Notification must be presented to all aforementioned parties in writing. Experiential Learning "Intent to Petition" forms are available on line and in the Office of Prior Learning Assessment; a copy of the completed form must be filed with the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator, the student’s academic advisor, and with the dean of the college and the chair of the department or division in which the course is delivered for which credit is to be requested.

Specific guidelines and procedures for the petitioning and awarding of experiential learning credits are listed below. The Academic Standards Committee of the Faculty maintains the guidelines and procedures of the Policy on Experiential Learning, and makes the final decision on the awarding of credit.

Guidelines

The student must be admitted to Wilkes University and enrolled in a degree program of the University.

All other means of securing credit for demonstrated competencies must have been exhausted before applying for experiential learning credit. The student must have applied for academic credit and demonstrated competence by such means as

  1. departmental challenge exams;
  2. CLEP subject area (not general) exams;
  3. Credit for military experience;
  4. RN validation of prior learning; and
  5. Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

Experiential learning credit will not be awarded for

  1. courses taken or credit awarded at another institution and accepted for transfer to Wilkes;
  2. courses taken at another institution but not accepted for transfer to Wilkes; and
  3. credit for life experience awarded by another college or university.

Academic policies pertaining to residency requirements, transfer, and level of course work are maintained for all students. Students who are awarded experiential learning credit must still

  1. complete 60 credits at a baccalaureate degree-granting institution (including experiential learning credits awarded by Wilkes);
  2. complete a minimum of 30 credits at Wilkes;
  3. complete at least one-half of the major field credits at Wilkes; and
  4. meet all graduation requirements approved by the Faculty of the University.

Credits awarded for experiential learning may not exceed 12 credit hours.

Students should expect a time frame of one semester from the time the petition is received by the appropriate dean until a final decision is rendered by the Academic Standards Committee.

Procedure

Students who wish to petition for experiential learning credit must

meet with their assigned academic advisor and an advisor in the Office of Prior Learning Assessment (in University College) to discuss their intent to petition for experiential learning credit;

complete the "Experiential Learning Intent to Petition" form and submit one copy to each of the following:

  1. the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator;
  2. the academic advisor;
  3. the dean of the college in which the course is delivered for which credit is requested; and
  4. the chair of the department or division in which the course is delivered for which credit is requested

obtain from the appropriate department or division chair a copy of the syllabus of the course for which credit is requested;

The "Petition for Experiential Learning Credit" (hereinafter referred to as the "Petition") must be completed within one calendar year from the date of filing the "Intent to Petition" form. Students who do not complete the "Petition" within the stated time period may reapply by submitting another "Intent to Petition" form.

A separate "Petition" must be submitted for each course for which credit is requested.

prepare, in consultation with the academic advisor, the "Petition," which includes the following:

  1. General Information (Cover Page)
    • Name and date of birth
    • Wilkes Identification Number
    • Course for which credit is requested (including Course Number and Course Title)
    • Number of credits sought
    • High school and year of graduation
    • Degree sought at Wilkes and major area of study
    • A copy of the student’s Wilkes University transcript, along with copies of transcripts from any other external institutions attended, showing degrees awarded (if any)
    • Relevant formal training courses attended which were conducted by business, industry or military organizations (include dates, titles and topics)
    • Occupational experience (include name of organization, dates of employment, duties and responsibilities)
  2. Evaluation and Signature Page
  3. Specific Requests and Justification (Narrative)
    • A coherent and comprehensive narrative of not more than five typewritten pages forms the basis for the request and must include a detailed and substantive discussion of the experiences to be considered and the specific learning acquired and developed by means of these experiences. The student must demonstrate that the knowledge, skills, and values acquired experientially addresses the student learning outcomes of the course for which credit is sought;
    • documentation of learning acquired and developed experientially must accompany the narrative (examples may include letters or performance reports from supervisors, copies of papers written, reviews of scholarly work, performances, or artistic exhibitions, programs, samples of work, and the like);

NOTE: At the discretion of the appropriate college dean and department or division chair, students petitioning for experiential learning credit may be required to provide additional information, attend an interview, and give a demonstration of knowledge or skills associated with the specific course for which credit is requested.

Students must submit the "Petition" to the Registrar not later than the first week of the fall or spring semester. The Registrar will acknowledge receipt of the "Petition" and forward the completed "Petition" to the dean of the college in which the course is delivered for which credit is being requested.

The college dean, in consultation with the appropriate department or division chair, will evaluate the "Petition" for merit. The unit dean will complete the applicable section of the Evaluation and Signature Page and forward, with recommendation, to the Academic Standards Committee for consideration and final approval.

The Academic Standards Committee may accept, modify, or reject the evaluation and recommendations of the dean. The chairperson of the Academic Standards Committee will complete the Evaluation and Signature Page, which shall constitute written notification of the Committee’s decision. The "Petition," including the written notification of the Committee’s decision, will be returned to the unit dean, who will present the decision to the student. The "Petition" will be kept on file in the Office of the Dean for a period of seven years.

The chairperson of the Academic Standards Committee will forward a signed photocopy of the Evaluation and Signature Page to the University Registrar for posting of credit, if awarded.


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