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1. What is a PELA portfolio?

The PELA portfolio is a written account of what you have learned and how well you have learned it. The learning outcomes of the prior learning experience must be comparable to those of a specific course in the curriculum at the College of Saint Elizabeth.

2. Is PELA an option for me?

If you have had significant experiences outside the classroom for which you have achieved learning outcomes comparable to those of a specific course at the College of Saint Elizabeth, and for which you can provide documentation, you may want to discuss your eligibility with your advisor and program director.

Typically, those eligible are graduate students and continuing studies students with significant prior work experience.

Credits earned through the portfolio process may not transfer to another college program at CSE or to another institution, subject to the review of the program or institution.

Capstones are not eligible for the PELA Portfolio process.

3. How do I identify my prior professional experiential learning experience?

Take inventory of your history, particularly as it relates to professional experience, training, and expertise to determine if you have:

One way to begin is to prepare an informal learning resume – a chronological list of your jobs and other learning experiences which may include:

You may have substantial non-job experiences from which you have acquired knowledge:

To be considered for college credit, prior learning must:

4. How many credits can I earn through the PELA?

You may earn a maximum of 12 credits as an undergraduate or continuing education student enrolled in a degree program or nine credits as a graduate student through the PELA portfolio.

5. When can I earn the prior learning portfolio credit?

Applicants may submit a portfolio for assessment after they have been accepted to CSE and are enrolled in classes. Students must be enrolled in a declared degree or licensure program at CSE.

6. What is the format for my prior learning portfolio?

The portfolio components:


Note: The student should keep a copy of the PELA Portfolio since the copy submitted is retained by the College.

7. What forms can evidence/documentation take?

Evidence or documentation verifies that you have the knowledge and skill that you identify in your narrative.

Some examples of documentation:

Weak sources of documentation, which should be avoided include:

8. What is a letter of verification?

You may need to provide letters which confirm that you have indeed done and learned what you outlined. Such letters may come from former employers, supervisors, teachers – anyone who has been in a position to know you and judge your work.

Specify what knowledge you want documented, because only documentation that verifies learning can be used to support your claims as to what you know. The letter writer should:

Submit the letter on official letterhead

A word of caution about documentation: Use only those pieces of evidence which are directly connected to your credit request. The relevance of the documentation is much more important than the quantity. Portfolios filled with bits and pieces of scrapbook-type items are not appropriate.

9. What is the process for requesting portfolio assessment?
10. How do I get started?

View the PELA Form or review the PELA Checklist of the steps required to complete a prior learning portfolio assessment followed by the application. It is necessary to follow the steps required in sequence.

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Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

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