Transfer and Experiential Learning Credit for Professional Studies Students

Transfer and Experiential Learning Credit for Professional Studies Students

In addition to traditional collegiate credit, St. Joseph's University, New York recognizes that adult learners, because of their extensive and varied experiential learning, have knowledge and skills that they have attained through their professional training and experience that can translate into collegiate credit.

Transfer Credit and Prior Learning Assessment Policies

Adult learners applying to a major within Professional Studies will be considered for:

  • a maximum of 90 credits from a regionally accredited four-year institution
  • a maximum of 82 credits from a regionally accredited two-year institution
  • a maximum of 27 credits through Prior Experiential Learning Assessment (PELA). Through PELA, eligible students can register for an experiential portfolio seminar and work with the Prior Learning Assessment coordinator to document and thoroughly assess prior learning experiences.
  • a maximum of 82 prior learning credits from the following educational experiences: approved training programs, certificates, certifications and credit by examination. Credits from educational institutions that are not regionally accredited but are approved New York State collegiate programs may be accepted

Please note: The total number of prior learning credits from any or all of the prior learning sources listed above cannot exceed 82 credits. The total number of credits from all sources combined—including prior learning and traditional transfer credit—cannot exceed 90 credits. We will accept comparable courses in which a grade of C- or higher was earned. A grade of D will be considered only if that course was completed as part of an AA or AS degree that was conferred. Grades indicating "Pass" (P) will also be considered for courses completed during the Spring or Summer of 2020. However, some courses may require a higher grade in order to satisfy certain major requirements. All students must complete a minimum of 30 credits* at St. Joseph's University to satisfy the University’s residency requirement. To earn a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph's University, students must complete a minimum of 30 credits* in residence.
*Certain majors may require a minimum of 32 credits be completed at St. Joseph's University.

Prior Experiential Learning Assessment (P.E.L.A.) Program

St. Joseph's University recognizes that adult learners, through their professional training and experience, attain knowledge and skills that can translate into collegiate credit. Professional Studies students, except for nursing majors, with extensive and varied experiential learning, may participate in the Prior Experiential Learning Assessment (P.E.L.A.) Program, where they enroll in GS-111L Experiential Portfolio Workshop, a non-credit mentored workshop designed to facilitate the assessment of prior experiential learning for the purpose of developing an experiential learning portfolio. Validated learning, not the experience alone, is the basis for awarding credit. Credit is not awarded for “having lived,” but rather for having mastered-through professional, creative, volunteer, or other experience-knowledge and skills that are deemed to be at the college level and are applicable in the context of the student’s degree program.

Eligibility to participate in the P.E.L.A. Program requires the following:

  • Full matriculation prior to pursuit of P.E.L.A.
  • A minimum grade of C for ENG-103 Writing for Effective Communication
  • Completion of 36 credits (may include transfer credits) toward a degree program at St. Joseph's University
  • A cumulative index of 2.7 in coursework completed at St. Joseph's University
  • Enrollment and completion of the P.E.L.A. program prior to the last semester of a degree program

To register for GS-111L, an appointment must be made with a P.E.L.A. coordinator to evaluate student eligibility and learning experiences. P.E.L.A. coordinators reserve the right to limit the number of courses a student takes for the term(s) during which P.E.L.A. credit is pursued.

Credit earned through the P.E.L.A. Program is applicable to the major (as explained below), liberal arts, and elective portion of the curriculum. With regard to the B.S. in Human Services and B.S. in Health Administration, P.E.L.A. credit can be used to satisfy the “6 or 9 additional credits” section of Major Electives. In certain circumstances, P.E.L.A. may also satisfy a Major Elective. For the B.S. in Organizational Management, P.E.L.A. credit can be applied to the “Elective Business Courses” section. Credits awarded through the P.E.L.A. Program are not applicable to the prescribed minimum of 21 credits of coursework toward the major that must be taken at St. Joseph's University, nor are they applicable to the 30 credit residency requirement. The maximum P.E.L.A. credit award is 27 credit hours.

GS-111L Experiential Portfolio Workshop Experience and Credit Award Process:

An integral part of the GS-111L Workshop is the validation process, which consists of assembling relevant documents that demonstrate knowledge and skills into a prior experiential learning portfolio under the supervision of a qualified mentor. Portfolios are evaluated by qualified faculty members, and a credit award is made after taking into consideration content, competence level, college-credit appropriateness, and applicability to the student’s degree program. Notification of the credit award is sent to the student prior to the conclusion of the next regular semester. At the time credit awards are made, students’ records will be updated to reflect the addition of credits.

Since students applying for P.E.L.A. credit work closely under the tutelage of a mentor well-versed in prior experiential learning assessment, the likelihood of an appeal for reconsideration of the credit award is greatly reduced. In the event, however, that such a request is made, the P.E.L.A. coordinator will review the portfolio in consultation with the appropriate department representative.

Students seeking P.E.L.A. credit are required to take the Experiential Portfolio Workshop at the prevailing undergraduate per credit charge. In addition, students are required to cover the cost associated with the evaluation of their portfolios; students will be billed the P.E.L.A. evaluation fee at the time of registration for GS-111L. Since the P.E.L.A. Program is distinct from the Proficiency Examination option of Prior Learning Assessment, students are obligated to pay all expenses related to proficiency examinations, independent of the P.E.L.A. evaluation fee.

For more information about Prior Learning credits and Credit for Experiental Learning please contact [email protected].