CAEL Standards in Action at Empire State College

Academic Standards

CAEL Standards

Empire State College’s Institutional Practices to Foster the CAEL Standards

From ESC Policies and Procedures Manual

Individual Prior Learning Assessment Policy and Procedures

Assessing Learning: Standards, Principles and Procedures, 2nd ed. Fiddler, Marienau and Whitaker (2006)

I. Credit or its equivalent should be awarded only for learning, and not for experience.

Recognizes students’ college-level learning however it is acquired.

Awards credit only for college-level learning, not for experience per se.

“Most important and most frequently violated quality assurance rule in the assessment field” (p.14).

II. Assessment should be based on standards and criteria for the level of acceptable learning that are both agreed upon and made public.

Recognizes emergent knowledge areas and perspectives, as well as experience-based learning by adults, which may not be represented in standard college curricula.

Other institutions may limit prior learning credit requests to course equivalents. Empire State College does not use course equivalents to automatically allow or exclude consideration of a request for prior learning credit.

“Each institution, program, or credentialing agency or body must agree on an answer and then support and uphold it” (p.16).

III. Assessment should be treated as an integral part of learning, not separate from it, and should be based on an understanding of learning processes.

Allows prior learning credit to apply toward any part of a student’s degree (e.g., components that are introductory or advanced level, in the liberal arts and sciences or not, in the concentration or in general learning, meet general education requirements or not).

“Assessment should be a measurement, not an audit of learning” (p.18).

IV. The determination of credit awards and competence levels must be made by appropriate subject matter and academic or credentialing experts.

Relies on the Empire State College faculty, acting through Center portfolio assessment committees, to approve the award of credit appropriate to the overall context of the student’s degree, and to determine the nature of the credit (e.g., level, liberal arts and sciences status, general education status, placement under concentration/general learning), consistent with college policies.

Both context expertise and academic/credentialing expertise should be brought to bear on decisions about credit (p.20).

V. Credit or other credentialing should be appropriate to the context in which it is awarded and accepted.

Expects prior learning recommendations to meet the college’s quality criteria, as outlined in prior learning procedures.

Several factors are part of this standard: a curriculum, personal goals, professional standards and regulations (p.20).

Administrative Standards

CAEL Standards

Empire State College’s Institutional Practices to Foster the CAEL Standards

From ESC Policies and Procedures Manual

Individual Prior Learning Assessment Policy and Procedures

Assessing Learning: Standards, Principles and Procedures, 2nd ed. Fiddler, Marienau and Whitaker

VI. If awards are for credit, transcript entries should clearly describe what learning is being recognized and should be monitored to avoid giving credit twice for the same learning.

Awards credit only once for the same learning within a student’s overall degree.

Duplication of credit should be avoided (p.21).

VII. Policies, procedures, and criteria applied to assessment, including provision for appeal, should be fully disclosed and prominently available to all parties involved in the assessment process.

Supports institutional integrity in prior learning assessment through such means as ensuring that there is no conflict of interest on the part of an evaluator who conducts a prior learning assessment and that an evaluator does not assess too much credit for one student.

Policies and practices should be publicly available to ensure equity (p.22).

VIII. Fees charged for assessment should be based on the services performed in the process and not determined by the amount of credit awarded.

Fully discloses to students the college’s policies and procedures for prior learning assessment, including associated fees

Fees should only be charged for assessment and not for credit (p.22).

IX. All personnel involved in the assessment of learning should pursue and receive adequate training and continuing professional development for the functions they perform.

Provides systematic, periodic training to prior learning evaluators as well as staff and faculty responsible for quality review. Center assessment office staff and the Office of College-wide Academic Review (OCAR) are responsible for training resources and activities, in collaboration with center faculty and academic administrators, the Mentoring Institute and/or the Office of Academic Affairs.

Relies on subject matter experts, with at least a master’s degree or the equivalent, and expertise relevant to a prior learning request, to evaluate student learning using appropriate methodologies and to make recommendations regarding college credit.

Provides for fair, consistent and timely treatment of students. Center assessment office staff, faculty, deans, and the Office of College-wide Academic Review (OCAR) are responsible for monitoring these elements of prior learning assessment.

Professional development is a reciprocal responsibility (p.23).

X. Assessment programs should be regularly monitored, reviewed, evaluated, and revised as needed to reflect changes in the needs being served, the purposes being met, and the state of the assessment arts.

Periodically evaluates available resources and the quality and effectiveness of prior learning assessment. Every three years, the Office of Academic Affairs conducts a review of policies, procedures and results related to prior learning assessment, in collaboration with the Undergraduate Studies and Policies Committee, center faculty and academic administrators, and the Office of College-wide Academic Review.

Assessment programs require periodic comprehensive review to build quality (p.24).

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