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City Vision can provide Prior Learning Assessment Evaluation of up to 30 credits for past ministry training or experience through a portfolio course. Interested ministry should complete the form above to be considered for an articulation agreement. Students develop a portfolio where they must show that they have achieved learning outcomes comparable to courses subjects offered by a regionally accredited schools. Some past course topics we have evaluated have included: Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Acts, Romans, Church History, Teaching Methodology, Child Evangelism, Evangelism, Introduction to Missions, Hermeneutics, Psalms, Pastoral Ministry and Theology Survey.
City Vision follows the prior learning assessment standards of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).Some key aspects of these standards are that credit is granted for demonstrating learning, not just having experience. Credit can be granted both for experience and for training in unaccredited programs. Credit is not guaranteed as student must demonstrate competency according to our assessment process based on CAEL standards.
Option 1: Prior Learning Assessment for Existing Ministry Training
Option 2: Provide Your Training Courses through City Vision for Credit
This is for ministries that have existing training programs that are as rigorous as college courses, but are not accredited. These ministries can partner with City Vision where we can work with your ministry to submit your courses to our accreditors for review so your training becomes a City Vision course and is accredited. Many partners will continue to conduct their non-credit live training as they have in the past, but training participants may choose to get credit for the training through the online course. The way this works is as follows:
Many sites prefer to do deliver their training live to students and offer that as an alternative to students rather than viewing the online lectures. In most cases this can be accommodated, but we require that partners also have a separate version of the training recorded online. This allows us to both meet accreditation requirements and benefits the ministry in being able to provide a resource to students that want to rewatch, share trainings or watch a training that was missed. In some cases, there may be state regulations that do not allow City Vision to have live training for accredited courses in some states.We will work with you to ensure that your training meets accreditation requirements. Typically the key aspects of that are to:
Adjunct Partnership for Existing Ministry Training Example: City Vision has partnered with a ministry that places over 10,000 high school students in one-week short-term missions trips each year. We worked with them to convert their existing training into a syllabus and an online course in Introduction to Missions that is being reviewed by our accreditor. They anticipate that about 500 students will want to participate in the program to get college credit. These students will start an 8 week online course several weeks before their mission trip, then have one week of intensive training and serving on their trip, and then complete several more weeks of their online course after their trip.
Bible Schools. City Vision has partnered with Wheeler Mission Biblical Counseling program, and The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI). These programs provide 10+ intensive Bible and ministry courses. Their students can take a Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio course through City Vision, where they develop portfolios for up to 10 courses. They are then able to complete their Bachelor’s degree in City Vision starting with an average of 30 credits from prior learning and 3 credits from the portfolio course. Their students also get a $1,500/year scholarship making tuition only $4,500/year.
Missions Programs. City Vision has partnered with Mission Year to provide up to 12 college credits to Mission Year graduates through prior learning portfolios. We are exploring offering their training directly as four 3 credit City Vision courses.
Free Online Courses. City Vision has partnered with Saylor Academy, which offers many free college-quality online courses. Their students can take a Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio course through City Vision, where they develop portfolios for up to 10 courses. Similar to the example above, after completing the portfolio course, their student can have up to 33 credits and have a $1,500 scholarship.
Options for Granting Credit
To Apply, Organizations Must:
How It Works
How are you able to do this without violating accreditation standards?
City Vision’s President, Andrew Sears, completed his doctoral dissertation on Disruptive Innovation in Christian Higher Education where he gained expertise on the latest innovations in higher education like prior learning assessment. City Vision has gone through extensive effort to ensure high quality standards and following the standards of CAEL and our accreditor DEAC. The key factor is that we effectively assess and document the learning.
Can students get credit only for experience?
No. Credit is granted by demonstrating learning. This distinction is critical in following the CAEL standards. In many cases, people may have had an experience, but not have gained the learning necessary comparable to an accredited course.
Once one student is granted credit for our non-accredited training, does that mean all future students would be granted credit?
No. Only an accrediting body can do that and neither CAEL or City Vision is an accrediting body. City Vision does not evaluate institutions, degree program, or courses for credit. City Vision evaluates the learning of each individual student through a portfolio process. In developing the documentation portion of their portfolio, students that come from the same institution may have a simplified process because parts of the documentation needed may be streamlined such as syllabi, certificates of completion, etc. Each student from an institution must demonstrate on their own that they gained the learning outcomes needed. Two students may both receive passing scores in an unaccredited course, and one may receive credit through prior learning assessment and another may not depending on their ability to demonstrate learning.
Does offering prior learning assessment “dumb down” the requirements for a degree?
No. City Vision goes through great effort to follow CAEL’s standards that ensure that students learning from experience or other training is comparable to the learning in accredited regional courses. In the the field of ministry, it is very common for those with the greatest learning and expertise to not be the same as those with the most academic learning. The CAEL standards provide a methodology for how to document and assess learning in a rigorous way that can withstand the scrutiny of outside experts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Steps to Partner
Four Partnership Options for Organizations