The Learning Title

Empire State College, unlike many institutions, does not require course equivalents to automatically allow or exclude consideration of a request for prior learning credit. In addition to assessing learning from traditional academic fields, Empire State College recognizes emergent knowledge areas and perspectives, as well as experience-based learning that may not be represented in the standard college curriculum.

Descriptive Approach

Prior learning assessment practices at Empire State College are generally viewed as descriptive (not prescriptive) approaches to evaluation of a student’s learning.

If during the process of evaluation you conclude that the student’s original title does not reflect the description of knowledge, consider changing the title, so that it clearly represents (or describes) the learning that the student demonstrated during the evaluation process.


A student with experience in running a child care center may have developed learning in supervision, among other areas. However, it may be that the student's learning is more specific to the context of child care and does not include some of the learning that would be expected from a typical college course on supervision.

In this case, Supervision in Child Care Settings may be a better descriptive title.

Contextualizing the knowledge in the title is better practice than using traditional titles that may not capture the actual learning acquired.