School of Continuing and Professional Studies > Academics > Office of Prior Learning Assessment > Policies

Policies

The list of Office of Prior Learning Assessment's policies provide clarity about regulations and procedures regarding aspects of PLA. If you have general questions about a PLA policy, please contact OPLA@depaul.edu. If you have a specific question about how a PLA policy imp​acts your degree progress, please contact SCPSPLA@depaul.edu.

Credit limits for PLA is governed by DePaul University’s Undergraduate Transfer Policy. This policy states:

“A maximum of 132 transfer hours (quarter hours) will be applicable to any undergraduate degree at DePaul. This includes transfer courses at both community colleges and other four-year institutions and credit by examination, credit for prior learning, and ACE military credit. Of the 132 quarter hours, a maximum of 99 quarter hours earned at a community college, through credit by examination, as ACE military credit, or as credit based on prior learning assessment, may be applied to a DePaul University degree.”

Students who successfully complete RPL 101 will receive a fee waiver for one PLA submission, which expires one quarter after the conclusion of the student’s RPL 101 course (e.g. If a student completes RPL 101 in Fall Quarter, their fee waiver will expire at the end of Winter Quarter.)

RPL 101 is graded on a Pass/Fail scale.

Students receive one of three decisions regarding their PLA submissions (Accepted, Revise & Resubmit, Not Accepted.)  Students who receive a Revise & Resubmit decision are permitted to resubmit a revised version of their original submission within a specified timeframe (i.e. 2 weeks after decision notification.)  Not Accepted decisions stand, as is, but this decision only applies to the original submission. Students who receive a Not Accepted decision are permitted to submit an unlimited number of new submissions of the revised PLA project, each incurring the administrative PLA fee. 

Students who meet the following criteria may appeal their results:

1) They have received a Not Accepted decision and are not planning to revise and resubmit as a new submission.

2) They believe academic judgement was unfair (e.g. the assessor demonstrated bias or prejudice) or assessment policies were  violated (e.g. the assessment rubric was not used).

3) Request for PLA appeals is within 4 weeks of assessment decision (i.e. date on notification email or date of assessment publication on D2L, etc.)

Reasons for Appeals

Because students are not prevented from re-working PLA Projects and making new submissions, there is a narrow range of acceptable reasons to submit an appeal. 

Examples of Unacceptable Appeal Reasons

A student has submitted three PLA Projects that have been accepted for college credit. Their fourth project is not accepted.

A student submits a PLA Project that receives full points for the Experience criterion. However, they receive no points for the Knowledge and Connection criteria because they have only used newspaper articles for research.

A student does not receive credit for their PLA project. They feel like appealing would be easier than using the assessor’s feedback to continue developing their work and making a new submission.

Process

For a PLA Appeal to be considered, directions must be followed precisely.

Students begin the process by completing the PLA appeals form and compiling all relevant appeals materials (see below.) Students then submit all materials to OPLA (OPLA@depaul.edu.) The subject line must contain the following: OPLA Appeals Request: [Student Name, Student Number].

The Assistant Director of OPLA will review a student’s appeals materials to make sure they are complete. The Assistant Director will make this determination within 2 weeks of the submission of appeals materials. If the appeals materials do not warrant further adjudication or if they are incomplete, the original assessment decision will stand. This determination is final.

If the appeals materials are complete, the materials will be sent to the PLA Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee will make their determination within 4 weeks of the Assistant Director forwarding them the appeals materials. This determination reached by the committee is final.

PLA Appeals Committee

The PLA Appeals Committee consists of the Director or Assistant Director of OPLA; SCPS Associate Dean or designee; and a representative from the student’s home college.

Appeals Materials

Student must submit 1) a completed PLA Appeals form; 2) a formal letter to the PLA Appeals Committee explaining and documenting how the original PLA assessor’s academic judgement was unfair (e.g. the assessor demonstrated bias or prejudice) or assessment policies were  violated (e.g. the assessment rubric was not fairly applied); and 3) all of the materials from their original, unedited submission.

The Formal Letter

The formal letter must be persuasive document in which all claims are substantiated with concrete and specific evidence from the assessor’s comments, rubric criteria, and submitted PLA project. It is best to think of this letter as a persuasive essay meant to convince the appeals committee of the validity of the student’s claim of unfairness or policy violation.

The letter must:

1) Be between 2 – 4 pages (500 -1000 words) long

2) Address the appeals committee using appropriate professional language and tone

3) Be divided into clear paragraphs and have a logical structure (introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion)

4) Address factual evidence and refrain from emotional appeals

5) Only use evidence from the assessor’s comments, PLA rubric, and submitted PLA project          

*Reference specific comments and sections of the PLA project to provide evidence for their appeal

6) Include counterargument that accurately represents and shows understanding of the original assessment

7) Be written in an accordance with academic or professional conventions

 

Letters that do not conform to these requirements may result in the appeal request not being considered.

Appeals Decisions

The PLA Appeals committee may only determine if the student’s appeal is accepted or rejected. The decision will be made by a simple majority of the committee. This determination is final.

If an appeal is rejected, the original Not Accepted assessment of the PLA project stands. The student retains the right to submit a revision of this project as a New Submission, incurring the PLA assessment fee.

If an appeal is accepted, the original, unedited PLA project will be assigned to a new content expert for review. The second assessor will review the project as a new submission, but the student will not incur an assessment fee.