Portfolio Review

A Portfolio Review may be a good option for students who have first considered other prior learning options.

A prior learning portfolio is an extensive written presentation of evidence of knowledge assembled by the student. Portfolios are reviewed by a faculty member under the direction of the Office of Academic Affairs. The award of prior learning portfolio credit is dependent on relevancy to courses in the student’s CMCC program; including general education, major and elective courses.

The portfolio includes several major sections including:

  • Resume
  • Narrative summary of relevant work and learning experiences
  • Demonstrated skills and training in specialized areas
  • Applied knowledge and competencies in a specific course for which CMCC credit is available

Each component in a portfolio plays a role in demonstrating proficiency of learning objectives in a course. Students submit a separate portfolio for each course for which they seek to earn credit. Certain components of an original portfolio may be used in multiple submissions.

While no two prior learning candidates are exactly alike, those who succeed usually have the following elements in common:

  • A realistic view of their knowledge
  • Challenge of a course that is appropriate to their knowledge and skills
  • Seek assistance from the Department Chair and the Central Maine Community College Writing Center (available through the Learning Commons)
  • Careful attention to instructions and submission of a well-organized portfolio paying attention to details

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for prior learning by Portfolio Review, a student must:

  • Be matriculated into a degree program at CMCC
  • Show proof of college-level writing by credit or assessment


Each portfolio will be unique, reflecting the competencies, knowledge, and experience particular to each applicant. If written, the portfolio will be double-spaced, typed and presented in a professional manner. Portfolio(s) should be submitted electronically, in PDF format, to the associate dean of academic affairs by the application deadlines mentioned below.

The portfolio will consist of the following:

  • Scanned completed Application for Prior Learning Credit form indicating fee is paid
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Resume
  • A brief autobiography that discusses the student’s career and educational history, and any other experiences that will be the basis for her/his request for credit, and the student’s academic/career goals
  • The student’s most recent CMCC transcript
  • For each course for which credit is requested:
    • Current official CMCC course syllabus
    • A narrative which analyzes and articulates what was learned, how it was learned, how the knowledge has been used, and specifically, how this knowledge relates to learning objectives listed in the course syllabus
    • Appropriate documentation (certificates, work samples, job descriptions, letters, awards, licenses, or any other documents appropriate to the targeted course)


  • Set up a meeting with the associate dean of academic affairs to determine if her/his knowledge and experience seems appropriate for consideration in putting together a prior learning portfolio for review, and to obtain the syllabus for the targeted course.
  • The student has three ways to produce a portfolio – written, structured interview, and video submission. Portfolio is submitted to the associate dean of academic affairs.
  • Deadlines for portfolio submission:
    • October 1 – portfolios submitted by this deadline will be reviewed before the start of the spring semester.
    • March 1 – portfolios submitted by this deadline will be reviewed before the start of the fall semester.
  • An Application for Prior Learning Credit should accompany the portfolio submitted to the associate dean of academic affairs. The non-refundable $100 review fee (paid at the Business Office) is needed for each course for which the student is seeking credit.
  • Once submitted to the associate dean of academic affairs, the portfolio and materials are forwarded to the appropriate faculty evaluator within the department in which the course is taught.
  • Evaluation is completed and credit awarded/denied within 30 days. The portfolio will be reviewed carefully and the faculty evaluator will determine if:
    • Credit is awarded. If credit for portfolio is awarded, the student is notified of the decision by associate dean of academic affairs and course equivalency credit is applied to the student’s transcript by the Office of the Registrar.
    • More documentation is needed for evaluation. If more documentation is needed, the student is notified via email by the by associate dean of academic affairs. Upon receipt of necessary additional documentation, credit is granted or denied, and the student is notified of the decision. If additional documentation is not received within 30 days, credit is denied.
    • Credit is denied. If credit for portfolio is denied, the student is notified of the decision and reason(s) for denial. Appeals may be addressed to the associate dean of academic affairs. One revision is allowed within 30 days of denial. If the revision is denied, the student did not sufficiently describe/demonstrate/gather evidence for a majority of the course learning outcomes and no further appeal or revision is allowed.


  • Applicants may submit a portfolio for review after they have met the eligibility requirements above.
  • CMCC may award credit through the portfolio review process for a regularly established course in the student’s degree program when the student demonstrates that learning gained through work and/or other experience is equivalent to the learning objectives outlined in the current official CMCC syllabus for that course.
  • The student who wishes an assessment of prior learning for credit through portfolio review will prepare a well- documented portfolio, detailing learning objectives for which they are requesting credit through work and/or life experience.
  • The College will assess a non-refundable review fee of $125 for each specific catalog course of prior learning credit through portfolio review. Payment to the Business Office is required at the submission of the portfolio. Payment of the fee does not guarantee that credit will be awarded.
  • The department chair and/or faculty member in the appropriate discipline will evaluate the portfolio and make the initial decision about awarding the requested course credit.
  • Grades will not be assigned for credit awarded through portfolio review. A portfolio is reviewed on a  pass/fail basis.
  • Credit awarded through portfolio review
    • does not meet requirements for residency credit.
    • will not satisfy credit load requirements for veteran benefits funding or other similar third party financial assistance programs.
    • will not be awarded for courses that are prerequisites of courses already completed.
    • may not transfer to another institution. Students are encouraged to review the transfer policy with the specific college or university to which they are interested in transferring.
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