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While courses provide students with a familiar learning environment, Metropolitan State also encourages students to seek a variety of creative learning strategies. To explore these unique ways of gaining college credit, the College of Individualized Studies offers working labs for prior learning assessment and student-directed learning. Creative learning strategies include prior learning evaluation, theory seminars, independent studies, online learning and internships.

Types of Learning Strategies

Experiential and Student Directed Learning

Builds upon a student's prior knowledge, or provides a way to incorporate experiential learning into future goals.

Getting Credit for What You Know is a one-credit course that introduces students to the different forms of experiential and student directed learning.

Alternative Learning

Provides alternative learning environments such as a variety of web-based courses and faculty or student directed courses.

For information and support:

  • Register for the one-credit course METR 100, Getting Credit for What You Know, which is offered each semester. See Class Schedule.
  • Contact the College of Individualized Studies.
  • Attend a Working Lab on prior learning assessment (PLA) and student-directed learning (SDL), offered for College of Individualized Studies students regularly during the academic year. The lab is a place to get help to: identify a proposed PLA/SDL subject area and develop a competence description or statement; identify a prospective evaluator; and develop a Registration Proposal Form for a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) or Student-Designed Independent Study (SDIS).

    Students should be planning to complete an individualized degree, and know how the learning will be used in their degree plan.  Preferably, students should have completed or be in Perspectives or Metro 100 before attending the lab. 
  • Registration deadline for PLA and SDIS for Spring Semester is Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 to meet Financial Aid deadlines, or March 1 otherwise.  Spring preparation labs are an excellent time to plan Summer Semester 2014 Registration for PLA or SDIS, also.
  • Labs during Summer Semster 2014 will be held:

             Tuesday, July 8, 4:30 - 5:30 pm, Minneapolis Campus,

                  Managment Education Center, Room. M2400

              Thursday, July 24, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 pm, St. John's Hall 
                  Room 250

    Please e-mail your RSVP to
    Marcia Anderson, SDL Coordinator in the College of Individualized Studies, at marcia.anderson@metrostate.edu.  Please send your draft competence description(s) or proposal(s) in advance, if ready. 

    For more information, see email above, or call 651-793-1772 0r 1782.
    To request accommodations for a disability: Call 651-793-1549 or 651-772-7687 (TTY)

    To Identify PLA/SDL Faculty Evaluators:
  • Students may ask faculty to serve as consultants in developing proposals for prior learning assessment (PLA) or student-directed learning (SDL).
  • Assessment and evaluation of PLA and SDL must be done by approved university faculty evaluators, and student must be registered.
  • Updated evaluators coming soon.

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