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Assessment of Prior Learning

Assessment of Prior Learning

The Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) process at Goddard allows adult undergraduate students to receive credit advancement at Goddard for intentional college-equivalent learning gained in non-college settings prior to their enrollment at Goddard and after completion of high school. The process begins after enrollment and in consultation with the student’s advisor, program director, and the Assessment of Prior Learning coordinator. Because this is a time-consuming and challenging process, students are strongly encouraged to begin the APL process no earlier than their second semester in their program.

Students may be awarded up to 45 APL credits through the Assessment of Prior Learning process. 

To see if APL is right for you, download and answer a few questions from this document: 10 questions: Does APL make sense for you?

Required Meetings and Workshops

All students interested in pursuing APL credit must:

  • read the Assessment of Prior Learning guide
  • discuss the possibility of credit with their advisor
  • attend the APL information session at their residency
  • meet individually with the APL coordinator before attending the APL Petition Workshop.

All students who are undertaking the Assessment of Prior Learning process must:

  • attend the APL Petition Workshop at their residency
  • complete the APL Petition Group Study as part of the semester study plan.
Phase 1: The Assessment of Prior Learning Petition

The Assessment of Prior Learning petition is the student’s proposal for the APL credit they wish to receive through the process. The petition organizes the student’s prior learning into units, and then describes the learning goals of each unit, how those goals were achieved, how this learning will be documented for the APL portfolio, and how much credit will be received for it. A residency workshop followed by a six-week group study with the Assessment of Prior Learning coordinator guides students through the petition process. Successful participation in the group study is part of the student's 15-credit semester and is incorporated into the student’s semester study plan.

Phase 2: The Assessment of Prior Learning Portfolio

Students complete the Assessment of Prior Learning portfolio in addition to their semester coursework. Once the APL petition has been accepted, the student produces a portfolio of materials documenting the learning experiences. A well-prepared petition describes the contents of the portfolio in detail, so students will already have their portfolio planned. A committee of Goddard faculty members reviews the APL portfolios and determines how much Assessment of Prior Learning credit to award. 

For more information about the APL process, contact Sb Sowbel via email at  or call 802-322-1684; 1-800-468-4888, extension 215.

Fees for Assessment of Prior Learning Participation

Contact the Student Accounts Office for current fees at 802-322-1627 or

More questions?

Review our Frequently Asked Questions document.