CAS 100

CAS100 Credit by Portfolio Guidelines

Penn State awards academic credit for the demonstration of prior college-level learning (not experience alone). In a CAS100 Portfolio assessment, a student can document acquired college-level learning attained from non-college education outside the traditional classroom. More information is available from the Office of Undergraduate Education – Prior Learning Assessment page:

A successful portfolio would reflect, through documents and other supporting evidence, that the knowledge the student has mastered learned material that parallels the objectives and requirements of a particular Penn State undergraduate course. Typically, a CAS100 portfolio would document non-traditional instruction or successful participation in civic life and public engagement to the degree that significant learning of the principles of public speaking is evident. The College of Liberal Arts provides further guidance on the expectations and process for credit-by-portfolio: Credit by Portfolio

Frequent and substantive speeches given as an executive in a public service organization or as part of the duties of an elected official would, however, reflect a student’s grasp of CAS100 objectives and requirements due to the unique obligations of speaking to the citizenry. The following do not reflect the breadth of public speaking expertise expected in a portfolio: work presentations given to clients, an extensive record of reports given in or out of the classroom, teaching experience, Model UN participation, debate experience, or a series of wedding, funeral, or award ceremony speeches.

Before completing the portfolio and before continuing with application procedures, students must discuss a CAS100 portfolio proposal with Dr. David Dzikowski, CAS100A Supervisor, to review the process, to clarify objectives, requirements, and expectations, and, if desired, to view sample portfolios. Email him at to arrange a meeting or phone call.

In preparation for that meeting, students should consult the Penn State Faculty Senate policies for Credit by Portfolio at:

After your discussion with Dr. Dzikowski, but before submitting a Portfolio, complete the application paperwork and pay the required fee. A copy of the receipt for this, along with the completed application, should accompany the portfolio when it’s submitted. All materials should be submitted to the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences, Attention: Dr. David Dzikowski, The Pennsylvania State University, 234 Sparks Building, University Park, PA 16802. You can find the application forms here:

Portfolio must include

  • contact details (full name, email address);
  • a c.v. or resumé;
  • an example of a presentation you’ve given, such as a video or audio recording;
  • if you have no such examples, you can create one in a One-Button studio in the Media Commons of the Pattee Library;
  • a 1-2 page statement of your public speaking training and the descriptions of a few representative speaking occasions in which you’ve participated;
  • at least one letter from someone, such as a colleague or supervisor, who has observed your speaking and can attest to your abilities;
  • any additional items that promote your case;
  • lastly, though it should be placed first, a Table of Contents itemizing the portfolio’s features should be included.

If your portfolio passably demonstrates the learning you have achieved through prior study and practice in public speaking, then you will receive 3.0 transfer credits, but not a grade. Those credits will be marked as CAS100 credits, thus satisfying the Gen Ed speaking requirement. The Supervisor will make a decision within 2 weeks of receiving your complete portfolio. If you’d like to collect your portfolio, you may do so; otherwise, it will remain in our offices as an example for others.