APL Policy

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

This policy sets out the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) that is recognized by
Acacia University (AU) and for which a student may apply for recognition in his/her
application for a program offered by the University at a master’s degree level.

Recognition is normally in the form of credits that are awarded against a course(s)
and means that a student is exempted from the study of that course(s).

Such an exemption is referred to as Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). APL exemptions will be awarded in recognition of a verified achievement of designated learning outcomes at a specified level.

It is the achievement of that learning, or the outcomes of it, and not just the experience of the activities alone, that will be
eligible for the exemptions based on APL policy. 

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    *A 60-credit program designed for graduate level educators who are presently teachers or administrators in a school setting
    Types of APL
    APL recognizes and encompasses prior experiential learning (APEL) and prior certificated learning (APCL) as counting towards the completion of a program of study and associated requirements for accomplishing the course(s) within the program. Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) is a formal recognition of previously attained qualifications that have direct relevance to the program being applied for. Such accreditation involves ‘credit-mapping’, that is the matching of any relevant educational qualifications against a credit-bearing course(s) within a master’s program being applied for. Such an accreditation requires the submission to AU with the certificates/transcripts and/or confirmed evidence of achievements of the learning outcomes at the master’s level. This refers to learning for which a certificate has been awarded through a recognized educational institution. Submission of materials must occur prior to entry to the program, subject to final approval for any such exemptions being given by the AU APL Committee. Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is the recognition of prior experience; that is, learning achieved outside education or training systems is assessed and, as appropriate, recognized for academic purposes. It is normally acknowledged and quantified through the submission of a portfolio that reflects the learning achievement and outcomes of the experience that has direct relevance to the program being applied for.
    There are three basic principles for what can be accredited in terms of APEL:
    This refers to learning gained through work, voluntary activities, or other life experiences. It is unlikely to be documented and would require the collection of evidence to substantiate the learning claimed; an example could be work related training experience.
    Maximum Allowed Exemption
    The maximum credit exemption that can be allowed in a master’s program cannot exceed 50 percentage of the credits required for the master’s degree program through transfer credit. The credits exemptions for experiential learning cannot exceed 25 percent of the credits for a master’s degree.
    Mix of APEL and APCL
    In certain cases, accreditation can cover both certificated learning and prior experience, subject to the normal maximum exemption limit set by AU as per provided DEAC guidelines, which can be a maximum of 75 percent exemption of credits required for a student who fulfils the maximum APEL and APCL criteria.
    APL Committee
    The APL Committee is responsible for reviewing all required documentation and ascertaining whether every document is complete, accurate, and up to date in relation to stated educational outcomes. The committee shall consist of three members: one subject area specialist, one university administrator, and one registrar. The subject specialist must have a degree that is one higher than the degree being sought. The administrator must have a doctorate degree. The degrees ust be related to the degrees being considered. After review of all documentation and discussion, the committee will convene and via consensus will grant or not grant approval.
    APL Approval
    Any student applying for exemptions of course(s) on the basis of APL policy laid herein, whether APCL, and/or APEL, must complete the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) Application located in the Appendix at the end of this document. After completing, the form will be uploaded to the AU portal for further approval.The Acacia University APL Committee will provide the final decision of accreditation. The committee will meet on demand with a seven-day advance notice. Students who wish to apply for APEL or APCL should submit the following documents:
    Implication of APL on Program Fees
    Where a student has applied for and been successful in being accredited for prior learning against the credits of a program, those APL credits will not carry a program fee cost. The student will only pay for the credits he/she actually studies in the program. However, an administration fee of $25 per application will be charged for processing APCL and APEL applications.

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