Earn College Credit for Your Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Welcome to LearningCounts Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio

The Portfolio is a rigorous form of assessment which allows students to demonstrate mastery of learning outcomes associated with a college course based on learning gained from multiple venues, including:

  • Work experience
  • Training programs
  • In-Service courses
  • Volunteer service
  • Non-credit courses
  • Study Abroad
  • Military training 
  • Community activities
  • Organizational memberships
  • Self-directed focused learning

A prior learning portfolio describes and documents relevant knowledge gained from experiential learning and equates that knowledge to academic courses. The portfolio consists of a learning narrative and supporting documentation of verified learning. Portfolios are assessed by qualified faculty to determine mastery of the equivalent college course.

Eligibility criteria

  • Be admitted to MDC as a degree- or certificate-seeking student
  • Maintain a minimum 2.00 term GPA and 2.00 cumulative GPA as noted on the academic transcript
  • Have completed or been placed in ENC1101
  • Have your My Academic Plan (MAP) completed

The 25% residency requirement of the College cannot be satisfied through portfolio.

Get Started

You must contact the Office of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) to get started and obtain approval for the MDC courses you would like to submit through the portfolio. No language courses, capstones, internships, practicums, field work, applied courses, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), courses with labs, or lab courses are permitted.

If your courses are authorized, the PLA Coordinator will enroll you in the LearningCounts.org portfolio development course, Developing Your Portfolio for College Credit. This noncredit, self-paced course will guide you through creating a portfolio of your professional knowledge and skills that you will submit for evaluation for college credit.

Once you are enrolled in the course, you will receive two emails from LearningCounts. One email will contain your LearningCounts Portal username and temporary password, and the other will provide you the login link

You must change your Portal password, complete your profile and update your contact information before accessing the course materials and the portfolio tool. As soon as you log in, you will be prompted to update your profile and change your password on the Portal Dashboard. After you complete this, you can click ACCESS COURSE MATERIALS to view the course.

Completing the Portfolio Development Course

Developing Your Portfolio for College Credit is a non‐credit course consisting of five modules. You may complete the course at your own pace, but you must complete all five modules of the course before you can submit your portfolio. The course modules are listed below.

  • Module 1: Overview of PLA and Portfolio Assessment
  • Module 2: Finding Your Portfolio Course
  • Module 3: Writing the Portfolio Paper
  • Module 4: Collecting Supporting Documents
  • Module 5: Submitting Your Portfolio

You can return to review the course for up to six months after the date of enrollment in the course, and you have six months from the enrollment date to submit your first portfolio. Students may only work on two portfolios at a time. Once you have submitted two portfolios for assessment, you can contact the Office of Prior Learning Assessment for approval to develop additional portfolios, which will then be made available to you in the LearningCounts Portal.

Any student requiring assistance with the course should contact studenthelp@learningcounts.org

Submitting Your Portfolio

The following links provide specific instructions and screenshots for creating and submitting your portfolio. As a reminder, you must complete the portfolio development course, Developing Your Portfolio for College Credit, prior to creating and submitting your portfolio.

You will also receive detailed instructions from LearningCounts for uploading portfolio documents into the portfolio tool, including the Learning Narrative and Supporting Documents. Students are instructed to upload the Learning Narrative document and then upload as many Supporting Documents as are necessary based on the course for which the student is requesting credit.

You should upload the Learning Narrative and each Supporting Document separately, and verify that each link you have included in the portfolio works prior to submitting the portfolio for assessment. Once a portfolio has been submitted for assessment, you may not make any changes to the portfolio.

Please note that it is required for you to include the MDC course competencies/syllabus for each course for which you are requesting credit by uploading the syllabus as a Supporting Document in the portfolio tool. Students may not make edits to the course competencies/syllabus. If a student has modified the course competencies/syllabus, the portfolio will not receive a credit recommendation.

If you have a question about your portfolio, email studenthelp@learningcounts.org before submitting your portfolio for assessment.

Portfolio Evaluation Results

Not all portfolios will receive a credit recommendation. If the assessor finds that the student’s work is not college credit worthy, the student will not receive a credit recommendation for the portfolio.

You will be notified via email within two weeks of submission when your portfolio assessment is complete. You will need to login to the Portal to view the assessment results. MDC will also be notified of the results.

Technical Support

If you have technical questions about accessing the course or submitting your portfolio, contact the LearningCounts Help Desk

For more information please contact

Office of Prior Learning Assessment

305-237-3039 or PLA@mdc.edu