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The University of Maine at Augusta recognizes that some students have previously acquired information and skills which may be equivalent to college-level courses.  Portfolio Assessment is a standardized process through which students can demonstrate knowledge and experience in a particular field in order to gain credit for specific UMA courses.  Portfolio Assessment involves compiling pertinent information into a portfolio and submitting it for faculty review.  This process, including portfolio preparation and faculty review, usually requires several months.

Policies & Procedures:

  1. Students must be matriculated into an Associate or Bachelor degree program to be eligible for Portfolio Assessment.  Students in certificate programs of 30 credits or more are also eligible.  Non-degree students and students enrolled in certificate programs less than 30 credits must receive permission from the appropriate College Dean in order to be eligible for Portfolio Assessment.
  2. Typically, students who have acquired a minimum of two years of work experience may submit a portfolio provided that their knowledge and skills are deemed equivalent to the content of certain UMA courses.
  3. Students in Associate degree programs and 30 credit certificate programs may earn a maximum of 15 credits via Portfolio Assessment. Students in Bachelor degree programs may earn a maximum of 30 credits via Portfolio Assessment.
  4. Students may not submit a portfolio for courses for which testing options already exist (CLEP, DANTES, Challenge Exam).  Contact the Academic and Career Advising Center for information regarding these tests (Room 225 Student Center, Augusta, 621-3149), or visit UMA's website at:
  5. In order to be considered for Portfolio Assessment, your learning should possess the following characteristics:
    1. It must be measurable.  This includes learning that has resulted in licenses or certificates for non-credit training programs, and training or experiences leading to demonstrable skills, such as CEU's.
    2. It must be both theoretical and practical. Learning which can be described as leading to both understanding and demonstrable skill is more likely to be deemed worthy of college credit.
    3. It must be generalized.  Learning which lends itself to a broad variety of applications is typically viewed as more creditable than that which relates to a single setting.  For example, a caseworker for the Department of Health & Human Services has a broader range of knowledge and skills than a person who operates his/her own childcare center for 4 or 5 children.
  6. The fee for Portfolio Assessment is $35 per credit hour (i.e. a 3-credit course costs $105).  No refunds will be given for credits not awarded.

Outline of Portfolio Assessment Process:


Contact a staff member in the Academic and Career Advising Center for guidance and an initial discussion about your prior learning and experience.  The Advising Center staff will:

  1. Verify that your prior learning is directly related to a UMA course.
  2. Identify a faculty member who teaches the course, and is willing to review your portfolio.  The Advising Center staff can give you the faculty member's contact information.


Contact the faculty member for an informal conversation about your knowledge and experience.  The faculty member will determine if the scope of your knowledge and experience is equivalent to what they teach in their course, and sufficient to be considered for college credit.  If he/she agrees that you should move forward, continue the portfolio process.  The faculty member may be willing to work with you in compiling your portfolio. 


Begin to put together your portfolio, and be sure to include the minimum contents listed in this packet.  Faculty members may request additional items as they deem necessary, or an interview if they would like to learn more about your competencies.

Compile your portfolio in a three-ring binder with dividers and tabs. If you are requesting credits for more than one course, it is recommended that you either submit separate portfolios, or one portfolio which clearly indicates which materials apply to which course. Your portfolio should be thorough, and presented in a neat and professional manner.


Submit your completed portfolio, a Student Request for Portfolio Assessment form, and a check payable to UMA to:

University of Maine at Augusta
Academic and Career Advising Center
Room 225, Student Center
46 University Dr.
Augusta, ME  04330

Advising Center staff will line up the faculty reviewer(s) and submit the portfolio to them.  After careful review, the faculty reviewer(s) will make one of the following decisions:

  1. Assign partial or full credit for the course(s) you requested.
  2. Require additional study/work by the student before awarding credit.
  3. Deem the portfolio unsuitable for college credit.


When the portfolio review has been completed, you will be notified by mail of the outcome. All awarded credits will be reflected on your academic transcript, which can be viewed in MaineStreet. Completed portfolios will be held in the Academic and Career Advising office for 2 years. After 2 years, you will be able to pick up your portfolio. If you do not pick up your portfolio, and cannot be reached by Advising staff members, your portfolio will be purged.

Minimum Portfolio Contents:

  1. Completed Student Request for Portfolio Assessment form.
  2. Detailed resume.
  3. Syllabus (syllabi) from course(s) which the portfolio will supplant. Syllabi can be received from the faculty member who teaches the course, or the appropriate College Office.
  4. Personal narrative of your experiences, emphasizing work history and interests regarding work in the chosen field, i.e., explain what factors led to your interest in the field and how these factors influenced your choice of career.
  5. Detailed list of your relevant work and volunteer experiences.
  6. Detailed statements of your knowledge and competencies acquired through on-the-job experience.  This section should include summaries of your work related to specific course goals and objectives.
  7. Supporting documentation: performance evaluations and job descriptions from past and/or present employers and/or field placement supervisors.
  8. Three letters of recommendation from work supervisors detailing your work duties and skills.  These letters should be on official stationery from a supervisor delineating skills and competencies.  The letters should contain the following information:
    1. The length of time worked
    2. Particular duties performed (include job description)
    3. The learning involved in performing these tasks
    4. Level of performance
    5. Typical requirements of the work experience
  9. Verification of relevant trainings or workshop attendance.
  10. Awards, Honors and other Recognition
    1. Professional licenses or certificates
    2. Membership and activity in professional organizations or in labor relations
    3. Awards, citations or other examples of achievement recognized by others
    4. Books, papers or manuals written, edited or significant contributions made
    5. Experiences as a lecturer, panelist, instructor, etc.
  11. Bibliography of readings relevant to your professional field.