Earn Credit Through Portfolio Development

SMCC students can develop a portfolio to be evaluated for knowledge they’ve gained from work and other experiences. This opportunity is available to degree-seeking students who have been accepted into a degree program and have college-level writing skills. A department chair will review your portfolio to determine whether you have college-level knowledge of a subject in the courses you are seeking credit for.

Credit Through Portfolio Self-Assessment

Complete this self-assessment to determine if creating a portfolio for prior learning is right for you:

1. Identify Areas of College-Level Knowledge & Skills

  • List part- or full-time positions you have held.
  • List volunteer work you have done.
  • List hobbies or skills you possess.
  • List trainings you have completed.
  • List conferences you have attended.
  • List certifications you hold.
  • List groups or organizations you belong to.

2. Write Down Subject Areas That Match Your Prior Learning Experiences

For example, if you have served as the treasurer for your club or organization, you may have college-level learning in accounting, finance or business-related courses. Using the SMCC Course Catalog you can search for course descriptions that match your learning experiences. Course syllabi list the specific learning outcomes in which you must demonstrate competence. Download the current SMCC Course Catalog.

3. Ask yourself:

  • Is my experience equivalent to a college-level course?
    We ask that you provide documentation that shows you have a full understanding of the course for which you are requesting credit. Your prior learning must match up exactly to the knowledge gained by taking the class. You may request a copy of the course syllabus to make this determination.
  • Do I have the time to compile a thorough portfolio?
    You will likely have a full binder for each class in which you are seeking credit. Although it will include certifications, samples of work, resume highlights and other verifiable documents that prove your expertise, the bulk of the work will be in writing statements on how you have met the objectives of the course. The entire process can take as long as 30-40 hours.
  • Will the credits I am seeking be used only towards my SMCC degree?
    Portfolio credits you receive from SMCC will not likely be taken as transfer credits if you move on to another college or university. Not all colleges honor prior or lifelong learning credits. Your next college may require you to make up these credits with other classes. Also make sure that the course(s) you have selected for PLA will apply toward your SMCC degree before you begin the portfolio process. Portfolio credits also transfer within the Maine Community College System.

If you answered YES to all of the above questions, you are likely a good candidate for the Portfolio Development process! Contact us to further explore this opportunity.