Back to Top

What is credit by portfolio assessment?

A portfolio is a device in which you collect artifacts and provide documentation demonstrating that you have acquired college-level learning for an identified AACC course. You reflect and write about past experiences and how you met the learning outcomes for the course(s) through study, work and other life experiences which have occurred outside the classroom.  A subject matter expert will determine if you have demonstrated that you have the college-level learning equivalent to the course through an examination of the material in your portfolio.

How do you qualify?

In order to be eligible for the portfolio assessment of prior learning program, you must be enrolled in credit classes at AACC and meet these criteria:

  • Have at least five years of prior learning experience beyond high school in your applicable field of study.
  • Have taken or meet the eligibility requirements for ENG-101.
  • Be able to align your experience with an eligible course.

For which courses can you receive credit from portfolio assessment?


  • ACH-111 Architectural Design 1.
  • ACH-121 Architectural Materials and Methods 1.
  • ACH-122 Architectural Materials and Methods 2.
  • ACH-245 Computer Applications for Design.


All BPA prefixed courses in the college catalog are eligible for credit by portfolio assessment of prior learning, EXCEPT the following with reason(s) given:

  • BPA-111 Business & Its Environment – required cornerstone course in business area; all business majors should experience this course.
  • BPA-125 Marketing Principles, BPA-142 Principles of Management, BPA-201 Financial Accounting, BPA-253 Business Law I – CLEP exam are available for these courses.
  • BPA-129 Travel Studies.
  • BPA-275 and BPA-276 Practicum in Business courses require supervised experience for students.
  • BPA courses in the area of real estate, approved by the Maryland Real Estate Commission.

The following BPA courses are eligible, unless the student is in the Certificate in Financial Accounting program where the Maryland Board of Accountancy will not accept the credits if earned by portfolio assessment of prior learning: BPA-216, BPA-217, BPA-241, BPA-242, BPA-245, BPA-261, BPA-262, BPA-263 and BPA-264.

Engineering Technologies

  • ENT-111 Drafting and CAD Fundamentals.
  • ENT-241 Computer-Aided Drafting.
  • EET-118 Electronic Hardware and Assembly Techniques.
  • EET-140 Introduction to Telecommunications.
  • EET-160 Theory and Troubleshooting Microcomputers 1.
  • EET-240 Fiber Optic Communications.

Human Services

  • HUS-210 Fieldwork: Crisis Intervention and Counseling.
  • HUS-217 Fieldwork: Theories of Counseling.
  • HUS-275 Human Services Practicum 1.

How do you prepare a portfolio?

The portfolio assessment advisor will guide you through the process, but allow plenty of time to write and compile the following:

  • A petition for credit for learning that has occurred outside a formal classroom setting.
  • A statement of educational, personal and career goals.
  • An outline of the most significant events in a student’s life as they relate to the stated goals.
  • A chronological record of college-level learning experiences since graduating from high school.
  • An explanation of your knowledge in specific fields and the connection between that knowledge and stated learning outcomes for specific courses offered at AACC.
  • Documentation including the materials relating to the learning claimed. In some cases, a demonstration of skills, a writing exercise, using a computer application, or an oral presentation etc., can serve as documentation.  This requirement can be flexible depending on the subject area and learning outcomes.
  • Other supporting materials such as reference letters, transcripts, recognitions and certificates.

How much does it cost?

  • An assessment fee of $150 per portfolio evaluation is charged. You submit one portfolio for each course that you are requesting credit. 
  • There is no textbook however, a book is available should you need additional support.

How is credit for portfolio of prior learning documented?

Credit for portfolio is not considered resident credit so it will be recorded on your AACC transcript as “Prior Learning Assessment" credit. You can earn up to 15 credits toward an associate degree through portfolio assessment per the state of Maryland guidelines. Keep in mind the transferability of credits for portfolio assessment to other colleges is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Before beginning a portfolio, check with the institution to which you want to transfer if they will accept portfolio assessment credits.


We can help!

Please contact the appropriate department for more information:

Send Email

Send Email

Engineering Technologies
Send Email

Human Services
Send Email