CAS 100 - Berks


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, video, and other supporting evidence, a student's mastery of knowledge that parallels the course goals, learning objectives, and requirements of a particular Penn State undergraduate course. In this case, that course would be CAS 100: Effective Speech.

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 and learning outcomes is evident.  While this is indeed an opportunity for some students, it is also a significant responsibility; the onus of proof is squarely on the students’ shoulders. Therefore, students wishing to earn credit by portfolio assessment must be prepared to describe, reflect, and synthesize their learning experiences carefully. 

Frequent and substantive speeches given as an executive in a public service organization or as part of the duties of an elected official might 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 Dawn Pfeifer Reitz, CAS100 Coordinator, to review the process, to clarify objectives, requirements, and expectations. Contact Ms. Pfeifer Reitz via to start the process.

After the initial contact, students will receive the CAS 100 Course Goals and Learning Objectives, and if they wish to proceed with the process Ms. Pfeifer Reitz will schedule a meeting to discuss the next steps. Portfolios are due by the end of the eighth week of the semester.

Ms. Pfeifer Reitz will review the portfolio materials and inform a student of the decision by the end of finals week of the same semester. If the student’s portfolio adequately demonstrates college-level learning, and meeting of the learning outcomes for a CAS100 course, a student will be instructed to complete the application paperwork and pay the required fee ($390).   Find the application forms here:

A completed portfolio  must  include:

  • contact details (full name, email address)
  • a c.v. or resume
  • educational goals statement (The goals statement is generally 300–400 words in length.)
  • at least one video example of a presentation
  • if a student does not have examples, they can create one in a One-Button studio in the Media Commons
  • a detailed description of experiences and learning, public speaking training and the descriptions of a few representative speaking occasions in which a student has participated which addresses the learning outcomes of the CAS100 Course (1-2 pages in length)
  • at least one letter from someone, such as a colleague or supervisor, who has observed the student speaking and can attest to their abilities.
  • any additional items that promote the case


It is not the experience itself that justifies credit but rather the learning that occurs from the experience. How learning is documented and proven is the crux of portfolio assessment.  

Within eight weeks of submitting a portfolio, Ms. Pfeifer Reitz will respond with one of the following decisions:

  1. Approved 
  2. Additional information or revisions needed 
  3. Denied

If the submitted portfolio demonstrates the learning and meeting of the learning objectives achieved through prior study and practice in public speaking, then the student 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. Additional Information can be found here: