Portfolio Assessment



Workplace Credentials

When students submit the appropriate credential(s), UMM awards credit based on the recommendations in the American Council on Education’s National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training.


Portfolio Assessment:

What is Portfolio Assessment?

Students interested in earning credit for college-level learning gained outside the classroom are invited to submit a portfolio to document the learning. A separate and unique application must be prepared for each course for which Portfolio Assessment credit is sought.

Students should first visit with an instructor who normally teaches the course(s) for which he/she hopes to earn credit to find out the specific learning objectives of the course.  Students should obtain a detailed course syllabus and include as part of their portfolio.  Students may find in reviewing the course learning objectives that they would benefit greatly from taking the course in question.

If, upon examination of the course syllabus, a student believes that he/she can demonstrate that he/she has met at least 70% or more of the course’s learning outcomes, he/she may decide to submit a Portfolio.  If a CLEP exam is available in that subject, he/she may decide, alternatively, to attempt to earn credit through the CLEP examination process.

College credit is not awarded simply for experience or time spent on some task.  Credit will only be awarded if the student can demonstrate in writing that he/she has mastered at least 70% of the desired learning outcomes of the course in question.  In addition, the student must demonstrate that the learning which took place has applications outside the situation in which it originally occurred.  For this reason,  the narrative piece of the student’s Portfolio is particularly important.  Failure to write a thorough and comprehensive narrative paper and/or submit appropriate professional portfolio in the fine arts, may result in denial of the requested credit.  The narrative should also satisfy the rigorous standards of any college term paper, and may be rejected for reasons of form as well as content.

Demonstrating that 70% of the learning outcomes have been met does not GUARANTEE that credit for prior learning will be awarded.  Students who do not think they will be able to meet even this minimum standard should consider alternate ways to satisfy the requirement(s) in question.

What Should my portfolio include?

All portfolios must be submitted using UMM’s ePortfolio template and include the following elements:

  • Letter of Intent
  • Resume
  • Course Syllabus (for the course for which the student is seeking credit)
  • Outcome/Objective Mapping (optional)
  • Outcomes Narrative
  • Supporting Documentation
Additional information can be found in the section ~ Frequently Asked Questions ~.


ePortfolio Template:

Template for Online Portfolio Submissions        Beginning July 1, 2016, students must use the online portfolio template.

Instructions for using the UMM Portfolio Assessment Template to create a Portfolio


Portfolio Evaluation Process:

Your Portfolio must be submitted using the ePortfolio template described above.  The Registrar will review the application for completeness and for compliance with the guidelines outlined below, then make the portfolio available to a committee of at least three faculty who teach in the relevant subject area. The faculty committee will review the portfolio and meet to discuss its merits. Faculty may also choose to arrange an interview with the applicant to discuss the details of the portfolio.

Each portfolio will be judged on the following four elements:

  • Discipline or Content Knowledge.  Students relate and analyze their professional knowledge and/or core competencies to the discipline of the portfolio in a logical and connective way. Students provide specific details as to how theoretical concepts from the discipline relate to and provide insight into their professional experiences.
  • Appropriate Documentation.  Students provide a personal narrative that offers an in-depth explanation of life and work experiences as they relate to the academic discipline. All documentation, narrative and supplemental, is coherent and logical, demonstrating significant learning in the discipline representing at least 70% content knowledge in the course(s).
  • Critical Reflection.  Students provide a synthesized account of the impact of their previous learning experiences and articulate discipline-specific theoretical concepts as appropriate. Students note personal strengths and weaknesses revealed by the learning experiences, as well as the ways in which learning changed behavior. College-level learning is evident. Students offer ways in which present/past experiences have assisted in the development of future learning goals.
  • Writing Competencies.  Students address the topic of the portfolio course(s) and all required content (from template) fully, directly, explicitly, and logically. References to theoretical concepts are properly cited. All learning outcomes/competencies should be clearly addressed. The language of the document is targeted to the portfolio reviewer and represents appropriate grammar, sentence structure, syntax, and style generally accepted at the college level.

Once the committee has reviewed the portfolio, they will forward their decision to the Division Chair, who will return the evaluation to the Registrar. The committee can decide to accept the portfolio as is, make suggestions for improving the portfolio or vote to deny the awarding of credit. If the portfolio is accepted, the Registrar will post any approved credit to the student’s transcript. If the portfolio is rejected or suggestions are made for improvement, the Registrar will notify the student, and forward a copy of the faculty committee’s evaluation sheet, including their suggestions for improvement or reasons for the rejection of the portfolio.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who may apply for credit through the Portfolio Assessment process?

Only students who are matriculated in UMM degree programs may apply for credit through the Portfolio Assessment process.

For what courses may a student submit a Portfolio?

Students may use the Portfolio Assessment process for all established UMM courses listed in the current UMM catalog with the exception of EDU 490 Student Teaching.* Students may not use the Portfolio Assessment process to apply for credit which is not defined by UMM course objectives.

Students may not submit a Portfolio for any course for which they have previously been graded at a regionally accredited institution. Learning experiences and/or documentation based on experiences gained in other college courses for which credit has already been received may not be used to support a Portfolio.

What kind of experiences will be considered for credit? What kinds will not?

Students may submit a Portfolio for any post-secondary experiences outside the military** from which they derived significant learning experiences which are comparable in quality to the expected learning outcomes of the UMM courses in question.

Credit will not be awarded for experiences which are part of any elementary or high school curriculum or extra-curricular activity. Students who participate in plays sponsored by UMM theatre faculty, but who do not register for THE 116 Play Production, may not apply using the Portfolio Assessment process. In order to receive credit for their experience, they must register retroactively for the course in question, pay for all tuition credit and be graded by the instructor of record.

Is there a maximum number of credits which may be earned through the Portfolio Assessment process?

There is no limit to the number of credits which may be earned through the Portfolio Assessment process.

Will credit earned through the Portfolio Assessment process count toward the UMM residency requirement?

Credit earned through the Portfolio Assessment process is posted as transfer credit on the UMM transcript and will NOT count toward the UMM residency requirement.

What is the cost of the Portfolio Assessment process?

Successful portfolios will be assessed a $50 per credit hour fee, which is the standard fee for successful portfolios in the University of Maine System.

This fee will be assessed once the Portfolio Assessment credit has been posted to the student’s transcript.

Will Portfolio Assessment credit transfer to other colleges?

Portfolio requirements are structured and evaluated differently at all schools. It will NOT automatically transfer to other schools and colleges. Students should review the Portfolio Assessment policies at the schools in question. If the school awards credit for student portfolios, it is likely that a new portfolio will need to be submitted and evaluated according to that school’s established procedures.

Are there other ways to earn credit or meet degree requirements besides the Portfolio Assessment process?

Students may earn credit for selected courses through the College Board’s CLEP examination program.         Students must earn specific minimum scores in order to be eligible for the credit indicated (see                      attached schedule).

Challenge exams are available for some courses (i.e. ACC 201, ENG 101, SES 102, SES 103). Students who successfully complete a Challenge exam will not earn credit for the course in question, but an appropriate transcript note will be made, noting that the student has successfully met degree requirements in that area.

*   This exclusion is related to the Maine State Teacher Certification requirements.
** Veterans of military service should refer to the section on Credit for Military Training & Experience under Veterans Services.