Transfer Credit

Experiential Learning (Portfolio) Credit

Experiential Learning Credit is a means of achieving credit through occupational experience determined by the college to be equivalent to the course(s) to be exempted. Students may obtain credit for experiential learning through work, volunteer activities, and participation in civic assignments; travel; independent study; and similar life experiences that are demonstrated through the submission of a portfolio that documents course relevancy. Except under exceptional and approved circumstances, portfolio-based credit for prior experiential learning may be awarded for no more than 25 percent of the credit hours applied toward a degree/certificate.
A student seeking Experiential Learning Credit must do so through portfolio development and submission and should perform the following steps.

  1. Complete Module 1 of the LearningCounts Self-paced course to learn more about Prior Learning (Portfolio) Assessment and to determine if this is an appropriate option for you. (The first module is available to review at no cost.) Students should have some experience with online learning. Students are advised to complete or have college-level English credit prior to pursuing portfolio credit as an option.
  2. Seek advisement from a Tidewater counselor or academic advisor to ensure that the course(s) for which you wish to obtain college credit are required in your curriculum and can be applied to meet curriculum requirements. If so, you will be referred to an appropriate academic dean/director who must approve your participation in the portfolio development/submission process given its appropriateness given your curriculum and academic and professional goals. Approval must be sought by the student and approved by the academic dean/director, via completion of an Application for Credit by Local Examination or Experiential Learing (Portfolio) Credit form, and forwarded to the College Registrar’s Office.
  3. If approval to proceed is granted to by the academic dean/director, you will need to obtain the official course outline for the course that you are seeking academic credit through portfolio development/submission. Course outlines are on the TCC website at The learning outcomes for the course, as noted on the official course outline, are required for submission with your portfolio.
  4. Create a free account to register for the course here: Register and pay for Developing Your Portfolio for College Credit course, a self paced non-credit course offered by LearningCounts. Https:// Students will also need to purchase each portfolio assessment. The portfolio must be submitted within six months from the date that you enroll in the portfolio development course. Please e-mail LearningCounts through their website if you have questions about this process.
  5. Once the portfolio is submitted to LearningCounts, it will be evaluated by a trained faculty assessor who will also give you feedback regarding your proposal. Portfolios with a “C” or higher are considered passing for transfer credit purposes.
  6. Order and pay for an official transcript to be sent from LearningCounts to:
    Office the College Registrar
    Tidewater Community College
    P.O. Box 9000
    Norfolk, VA 23509-9000

  7. If prior approval to obtain credit through this means was granted by an academic dean/director, credit is applicable to your curriculum, and you earned a 70 or higher on the portfolio, transfer credit will be awarded for the applicable course.

Students interested in receiving credit for Studio Arts should contact the Director of the Visual Arts Center to receive portfolio instructions.

Requests by students for the evaluation of the portfolio transcript can be made through submission of an Application for Credit by Local Exam or Experiential Learning (Portfolio) Credit form and official transcripts mailed directly from the agency to:

Office of the College Registrar
Tidewater Community College
P.O. Box 9000
Norfolk, VA 23509-9000