School of Business & Economics

Prior Learning Information
Earning Credit for Life and Work Experience

Students who feel they have learned the content of an Indiana University East course outside the classroom may apply for prior learning credit. The School of Business and Economics Course Coordinators for the different disciplines set the standards for what may constitute acceptable prior learning.  These may include achievement of applicable certifications, individualized portfolio-based assessments, and standardized exams, such as College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (AP) Examination Program. Due to the time intensive nature of this process, prior learning credits may not be used as part of the last 30 hours of credit.

Students interested in submitting a request for PLA should proceed with the following steps:

  1. Students must contact their advisor to initiate this process. The advisor will direct the student to the appropriate Course Coordinator for further information.
  2. It is the responsibility of the student to request information regarding eligible courses, course syllabus, and artifacts needed to support evidence of course outcome mastery. Students may submit a request for PLA no more than two times for a given course.
  3. Complete the Registration Form indicating the course to be petitioned for PLA credit.
  4. The Course Coordinator from the appropriate discipline will provide requirements for the PLA, guidance, rubrics, and evaluation of student qualifications.
  5. Students will meet with the Course Coordinator, as needed, to receive input on progress towards earning PLA credit.
  6. The assigned Course Coordinator will evaluate the evidence provided to determine if it meets the learning outcomes of the course within 30 days of submission.
  7. The Course Coordinator will complete a Prior Learning Evaluation Form and assign a status (Approved for Credit, Credit Pending Approval, or Credit Denied). A copy of this form will be returned to the student, advisor, and dean of the School of Business and Economics.
  8. If the Course Coordinator approves the course for credit, the Dean of the School of Business and Economics will contact the Student Records Office to complete the special credit form.

Prior Learning in Marketing (BUS-M) Classes at IU East

Meeting Students’ Needs

In marketing, we utilize the prior learning policy to meet the needs of the following students:

  • A student with significant prior work experience, lifelong learning, or other instruction in marketing yet no recorded college credit in introductory marketing;
  • A student who has three credits in a 300-level marketing class at a non-AACSB school and wishes to demonstrate equivalent prior learning to receive college credit for BUS-M 300;
  • A student who has earned credit in BUS-M 300, yet needs college credit in M 301 and wishes to demonstrate equivalent learning in BUS-M 301 to meet the BSBA degree requirement; and
  • A BSBA student possessing a generally recognized marketing certificate or credential with CEUs may be eligible for portfolio assessment for advanced marketing classes.

Students may establish prior learning through examination or portfolio assessment, as outlined below.

Prior Learning through Examination 

Prior learning by examination is available to any IU East student for BUS-M 300, regardless of major.

BUS-M 300 – Evidence of equivalent prior learning is established with the CLEP “Principles of Marketing” exam (or an approved equivalent) with a score consistent with a letter grade of “C” (currently, a “50” on CLEP).

Prior Learning through Portfolio Assessment

Prior learning by portfolio assessment is available to students in a degree program for which a BUS-M course is required (e.g., BUS-M 301 for BSBA majors). Prior learning by portfolio assessment also is available to any BSBA major.

For marketing, prior learning is assessed with an electronic portfolio consisting of four parts:

Completion of course prerequisites.
  • All BUS-M courses – Course prerequisites appearing on the IU transcript as “T” or “C” or better; or, scores consistent with a letter grade of “C” or better on approved exams (e.g., CLEP, DSST) for course prerequisites.
Demonstrated content mastery.
  • BUS-M 301 – Three credits in BUS-M 300 appearing on the IU transcript as “T” or “C” or better; or, a score equivalent to a letter grade of “C” using an approved prior learning exam (e.g., CLEP “Principles of Marketing”) for BUS-M 300.
  • Other BUS-M courses – The marketing faculty will review bona fide certificates/credentials with CEUs that have been earned in the past 7 years on a case-by-case basis. Example: A Certificate in Marketing Research from the University of Georgia is 20 CEUs, or two college credits, and demonstrates content mastery for BUS-M 303 Marketing Research. If it is determined there is a BUS-M course equivalent at IU East, students may be eligible to demonstrate prior learning through portfolio assessment.
Demonstrated competency in applying course content.
  • BUS-M 301 – We utilize a simulation as a mechanism to assess each students’ ability to apply marketing across a broad range of activities. Our simulation covers a breadth of topic areas, such as ethics, research, B2B, segmentation, pricing, and services. An average score of 80% or better sufficiently demonstrates competence in applying marketing content.
  • Other BUS-M courses– For students with bona fide certificates/credentials which demonstrate content mastery (See 2), the application requirement will be explicated on an as-needed basis and documented for subsequent use.
Documented prior learning in a work setting, in lifelong learning, or via other instruction.
  • All BUS-M courses – Documented evidence that explicates the type and nature of prior learning in marketing is a necessary component of the portfolio. Examples may include a syllabus, a supervisor’s letter, a self-reflective essay, a transcripted course with a passing score or grade (e.g., from IU or from another institution), or other similar, verifiable forms of evidence.

General Requirements

An internship (BUS-M 480) or directed study (BUS-M 490) is a collegiate experience, and prior learning credit is not available.

Students are expected to meet the requirements in a timely manner, respond fully and completely to inquiries, and provide sufficient and full documentation in order to meet the expectations of the faculty and the requirements of accreditation bodies.

A student is responsible for all fees, which could include a simulation fee, exam fee (or CLEP equivalent), transcript fees, portfolio assessment fees, recording fees, and the like.

Policies of BUSE and of IU East are in force and supersede any statement in this document.

Marketing Prepared & Reviewed by Susan Brudvig, Diane Kenny, Carla Messer, Cal Simpson, Sanga Song, and Susan Mote. Assented October 24, 2018.

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