Portfolio Development and Assessment

Earn Credit for What You Know by Creating a Portfolio

The SAIL (Synthesis, Application, and Integration of Learning) program is part of the Prior Learning Assessment offerings at MSPS. SAIL features a flexible independent study course process that enables students to earn college credit for creating a portfolio demonstrating college-level learning. This learning may be acquired from professional, volunteer, continuing education, military, and other training experiences.

The SAIL process begins with the identification of an MSPS course or courses for which the student believes he or she can has equivalent learning from life or work experience. The student then works within the context of the portfolio course (MID50/350 Synthesis, Application, and Integration of Learning) to document this evidence through autobiographical and academic essays. The student will also provide supplementary documents (e.g., résumé, work products, verification letters, etc.).

In order to provide MID50/350 students with a rich, meaningful, and carefully crafted experience, MSPS faculty mentors work with students and the MID50/350 instructor to provide portfolio guidance, particularly in the realm of connecting experiential learning to academic scholarship. The faculty mentors also serve as the evaluators who assess the portfolio for the awarding of college credit. Each portfolio is worth 3 credits; no partial credit is awarded. However, students may submit more than one portfolio pending the approval of the PLA Coordinator.


  • Who is eligible for the SAIL Program?

    In order to enroll for the MID50/350 SAIL course and embark on the portfolio development process, MSPS students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

    1. Students must be enrolled at least one (1) full term in MSPS (carrying a minimum of six (6) credits) as degree-seeking undergraduates before applying to participate in the SAIL program.

    2. Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.75/4.0.

    3. Students must have successfully completed MHU151 Rhetoric and Composition and MHU152 Composition and Research with a grade of "C" or better (or transfer in the equivalencies). Strong writing and research skills are essential for success in MID50/350.

    Once students determine that they have met the preliminary requirements above, they should meet with their academic advisors to discuss the role of SAIL in meeting degree objectives. Students are encouraged to complete the SAIL Self-Assessment in preparation for this meeting. If the student and the academic advisor conclude that SAIL is helpful to the overall degree-completion strategy, the student must complete the SAIL Application and schedule an appointment with the PLA Coordinator. Prior to embarking on the PLA journey, students should also familiarize themselves with SAIL program policies and guidelines.

  • What kind of learning is eligible for credit through the SAIL Program?

    The SAIL program does not assess prior experiences; rather it assesses the learning obtained from those life experiences that is supported by a scholarly/theory-rich academic base and not duplicative of credit already earned. MSPS's SAIL program is guided by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning's (CAEL) Ten Standards for Assessment.

  • What are the timelines associated with the SAIL Program?

    Students who enroll in the MID50/350 SAIL course are expected to produce a well-organized, superbly written portfolio by the end of the course. Once the portfolio is submitted to the course instructor, it will be forwarded to faculty mentors for evaluation of credit earned. The PLA Coordinator will work with students, the instructor, and the faculty mentor to ensure that portfolios are submitted and evaluated in a timely fashion. Portfolio evaluation may take up to 6 weeks.

  • How do I know if the SAIL Program is right for me?

    Academic advisors at MSPS play a significant role in helping students determine if portfolio development through the SAIL program is right for them. Additionally, students can determine whether or not SAIL is a viable option by doing the following:

    - Reviewing the course descriptions available in the MSPS course catalog in order to identify courses that might align themselves with prior college-level learning obtained from work, volunteer experiences, military, or other training.
    - Reviewing your degree planning form to determine how credits earned through SAIL might "fit" with the rest of your degree program requirements.

  • What is the cost for the SAIL Program?

    Students wishing to enroll in the MID50 SAIL course for 0 credits will be charged tuition at the standard rate for a non-credit course (please click here for the current academic year tuition and fees). Students wishing to enroll in MID350 SAIL course for 3 credits will be charged tuition at the standard rate for credit-bearing courses. Students enrolled in either MID50 or MID350 will also be assessed a $250 evaluation fee per portfolio submitted for assessment.

  • What is the difference between MID50 and MID350?

    It is the same exact course. For students who have no room in their degree plan to fit a 3-credit elective course, MID50 is the best option because it is a 0-credit course charged at the non-credit tuition rate. While no credit is awarded for the course, award of portfolio credits is possible pending faculty review of the submitted portfolio(s).

    For students wishing to receive 3-elective credits after successful completion of the course, MID350 is the best option. These elective credits are gained independently from the potential portfolio credits. Award of portfolio credits is possible pending faculty review of the submitted portfolio(s). Additionally, since MID350 is a credit-bearing course, it meets financial aid eligibility requirements.

    Both MID50 and MID350 require the successful development of at least one portfolio as the outcome.