Prior Learning Assessment
Video DescriptionDr. Enid Larsen on the Prior Learning Assessment Program—learn how students can gain college credit for their work & life learning.
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- Prior Learning Assessment is a process
by which students petitioned for college credit,
for knowledge that they have gained in the workplace
or insignificant learning experiences.
It's a process by which the college
through our own accreditation process
values the learning that adult learners
bring to the workplace and to the college experience
and therefore have the opportunity to demonstrate
that learning so that they don't have to engage
in redundant experiences in college
so that they can have efficient time-saving
At Endicott College, a student may petition
for a maximum of 30 credits,
and that is actually equal
to one year's worth of academic study.
On the associate level,
a student may petition for 15 credits,
however, they can work towards a full 30 credits,
but we bank, shall we say we bank,
we save 15 of those credits towards the bachelor degree.
If a student comes in with a large history, a big history,
they can petition for a very large number of credits,
or they may only want to petition for six or 12.
It really is variable, it depends on the student.
When students want to participate
in Prior Learning Assessment,
they actually register for a three credit class, PLA 100
and that class is the whole process of creating a portfolio
and there are requirements in the class
to do the different elements of the portfolio
and upon successful completion of that class,
they receive three credits
added on to the however many credits
that they are petitioning for.
The petitioning process is a separate evaluation process.
So ostensibly students may gain 33 credits
in this whole process.
But again, this is variable.
It depends on each student's individual profile
as to how many credits they're going to petition for.
Oftentimes when we advise students,
they don't really realize what funds of knowledge
that they're bringing to their academic plan
into their hopes and dreams for the future.
The beauty of prior assessment at Endicott College
is that it is embedded in the academic plan
within the academic plan of the student
and within the discipline
that they are interested in completing.
So therefore, the prior learning assessment course
is a highly academic course because number one,
it fits into their academic plan,
two, it is a writing process.
And three, it is a critical thinking process
and all of these things combined in the reflective process
of going over their work history
and bringing up vignettes to demonstrate
what they have done experientially
and how they have acquired that knowledge
results in a robust academic paper,
which they never realized that they could write
or that they could actually do.
Prior Learning Assessment is available to students
who have the knowledge from work
and life experiences
and who want to complete their degree in this manner.
It's not a requirement, it's an opportunity.
And we screen very carefully so that students
have an option to say yes or no to the experience.
And when they find out where is available
and it matches their writing skills,
it matches their learning experience
and their knowledge, and it matches their academic plan
then it can be a very wonderful fit.
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