Evidence of Prior Learning

Competency Review for Select Courses

Many teachers enter the UWSSLEC program with prior coursework and experiences covered by the program competencies.  To acknowledge this prior knowledge and skills, students may submit a competency review demonstrating how prior coursework and/or experiences meet the competencies of courses in the program.  As of September 1, 2015,  this can be done for three of the courses:

  • Children’s Literature:  This course covers traditional children’s literature to the present for Pre-K to grades 8.  Topics include criticism, evaluation, contemporary trends and issues, appropriate technologies and techniques of reading guidance in school or public library in relationship to developmental interests, needs and skills of children.
  • Young Adult Literature: This course incorporates extensive reading of YA literature and covers criteria for evaluation and aids for selection of materials for young adults aged thirteen to eighteen. Reading, listening and viewing guidance techniques appropriate for the classroom, school and public library are detailed.
  • Digital Tools: This course is an introduction to technologies for the library media center and the classroom.  Basic skills are developed in the operation of equipment and software, independently solving technology problems learning new technologies, production of print, graphic, and interactive digital media, and the creation of learning environments that take full advantage of the new technologies for critical thinking and problem solving; analysis, organization and management of information; collaboration; and communication.

Why do a competency review?

If the competency review demonstrates all the course competencies have been met, you will not be required to take the course for licensure through UWSSLEC, saving both time and money.  This does not give you course credit toward a master’s degree.  If a course was taken at the graduate level, the student’s home campus has the right to accept it toward a degree.  If an equivalent course was taken at the undergraduate or graduate level within the last five years,  you should contact the home campus advisor to determine if it needs to undergo a portfolio review.   Contact your home campus advisor to see if this is a good option for you.


Registration Form

For more information

Any questions about whether it is appropriate for you to do a competency review for a particular course should be directed to your home campus advisor.

Any questions about the format for the portfolio can be directed to Sarah Beth Nelson, the UWSSLEC coordinator (nelsons@uww.edu).

Any questions on the registration form itself should be directed to cesevents@uww.edu (262-472-3165).

Submission Process

  1. Review the requirements for the portfolio:
  • Evidence must be presented for each competency, describing how the evidence meets the competency and ties to the school library field.  This can include projects from coursework and/or examples from current practice, and it should reflect current knowledge and skills in the school library field.
  • Evidence must be directed toward the school library world. Further, it must show how the person has kept current on knowledge and how it applies to school libraries.
  • Evidence must include actual products, not just number of years in a position.
  • Some pieces of evidence may be used to demonstrate more than one competency but must be described under each and clearly support the specific competency.
  • Evidence will be examined for both quality and match to the competency.
  1. Download the scoring guide for the appropriate course to use as a framework for the review.  Examples of possible evidence are included but are not exhaustive.   Also download the procedures linked below for more details on completing the portfolio.
  2. Complete a digital competency portfolio organized by competencies with
    • Artifacts tied to each competency, and
    • An explanation of how the artifact explicitly demonstrates the competency and ties to school libraries.
    • For more detail on how these competencies are related to school libraries, see:
    • These are areas to specifically attend to when developing your portfolio as they have been problematic in the past:
      • The reflection must explicitly describe how the artifact demonstrates mastery of the competency.
      • If using a lesson as an artifact, make sure you include a thorough description of the lesson, including learning goals and assessment strategies and tools. 
      • If a print, digital or video artifact is required, don’t link to 7 random ones you’ve made over the past few years. Find an example that best represents your work related to the competency. If you have to use 2 examples, use the reflection to clearly point out which aspects of each that you would like considered.
      • Collaborating means identifying a need and working together to meet the need. Just being on a committee doesn't count, but a description of work done by the committee might.
      • Make sure to proofread your portfolio before submitting it.
  3. Develop the competency portfolio as a website (e.g., Google Site , Weebly, Wix, WordPress, LibGuide) with artifacts as links to documents or as files attached.  Save any Word documents as either PDF files or Google Docs.  Have someone else check your links before submitting to make sure everything is publicly accessible. Check Google permissions. Open an incognito window and click into all of the linked materials. If using a district resource that doesn't allow permission changes, ask the district if you can make a PDF copy that will be used only for this assessment.  
  4. Submit a link to the digital competency review portfolio through the online submission process with the fee.  
    • Spring review:  portfolio due by January 15
    • Fall review:  portfolio due by August 15
  5. A separate competency review portfolio must be submitted for each course.  A Reviewer will be assigned to examine the competency review portfolio.   Reviewers will be experienced librarians with expertise in the area of the course.  The Reviewer will provide an assessment of each competency with feedback within one month (Feb. 15 for spring reviews and September 15 for fall reviews).  Reviews will only be done twice a year.  All competencies must be met to pass the review.
  6. A portfolio deemed inadequate may be resubmitted one time within one month for a second review of new artifacts and reflections.    (March 15 or Oct. 15)  The revision should have an updated reflection indicating changes.  To be reconsidered, the original portfolio must pass over half of the competencies the first time. 
  7. A second review, if necessary, will be completed by April 15 for spring reviews or November 15 for fall reviews.  
  8. If the portfolio is accepted for the course, this final review form will be submitted to the student’s advisor at the home campus for inclusion in the plan of study.  This portfolio and its review form should be put into your 1902 portfolio.


Each course competency review will cost you $250 to cover the cost of the Reviewer and administration of the process, substantially less than paying for a graduate course. 

The application and fee are submitted through the online application process.

Scoring Guides

These scoring guides have been revised to reflect the new DPI 1902 Guidelines.


The competency reviews will be conducted twice a year, in late January and in September.  

Each competency in the course will be rated as satisfied or not. 

You will be notified within one month of the review date on the status of their request for credit for prior learning.  You will have up to one month to address any competencies not satisfied and resubmit the portfolio.  Only portfolios with over half of the competencies met in the original submission can be resubmitted.  


Portfolio samples will be posted here as soon as available.

Video Explanation of Portfolios

With the new DPI competencies for the 1902 license, the portfolio requirements have changed slightly, and the procedures have been revised to make them easier to understand.  We offered a WebEx webinar with guidance on creating a successful portfolio on Monday, June 18, 2018 from 6:30-7:30 pm. 


Presentation recording  (password: uwsslec)