PLACE Course Information

PLACE Portfolio Development Course (SDV 298)

       SDV 298 is a one-credit course for adults who have gained college-level learning through work, volunteer activities, civic and community assignments, travel, independent study, and other experiential learning. In this course students develop a portfolio that demonstrates skills and knowledge gained through experiential learning which aligns with specific NOVA courses. Each portfolio is evaluated for credit by a NOVA faculty member who teaches the course being challenged. Students must create a portfolio for each course they wish to challenge.

7 Components of the e-Portfolio

1. Cover Letter – request to faculty evaluator to challenge a specific course

2. Chronological Record – list of main events in student’s life since high school

3. Life History Paper – reflection and evaluation of life stages

4. Goals Paper – states one, five, and 10-year personal and professional goals

5. Narrative of Competencies – explanation of learning

6. Copy of the Course Content Summary –  taken from

7. Documentation – evidence supporting learning statements  ( letters of verification, job descriptions, performance evaluations, pictures, audio/video tapes, samples of work produced, computer programs written, etc.)

PLACE Quick Facts

  • Can challenge up to 15 degree credits or 10 certificate credits for eligible NOVA programs
  • Student pays $175.00 evaluation fee for each portfolio submitted
  • SDV 298 counts toward NOVA residency requirement, portfolio credits do not
  • Heavy writing focus, recommended co-requisite / prerequisite is ENG 111
  • Successful completion of SDV 298 does not guarantee credits for portfolio challenges
  • Need to check with four-year institutions for transferability of credits earned through portfolio challenge
  • PLACE course available online through ELI.

Contact NOVA’s Credit for Prior Learning Office: / 703-425-5835


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