These days, there are even more options when it comes to furthering your education. Do you attend a community college, a university or do you complete an online virtual college course? What method of furthering your education will be most suited for you? I created this blog as I worked with my daughter to find the best way for her to obtain the degree that she wanted. We searched, interviewed and dug into all of the different methods of further education and have included it right here for you. Hopefully, the days and weeks that we spent researching will help you as much as it helped my daughter.
When adults go back to college after several years in the workplace, they carry with them valuable information learned on the job. This hands-on training can actually substitute for college credit via a process that many adult learning programs offer, called prior learning assessment.
Most adult education programs have a process for assessing prior learning that includes faculty evaluation of a portfolio prepared by the student. According to the Council on Adult Experiential Learning (CAEL), more than 66 percent of institutions have some form of portfolio evaluation that results in additional college credit for on-the-job learning.
How Portfolios Can Help Older Adults Earn Degrees
The opportunity to get college credit for work or life learning can help more nontraditional students get their degrees. Students who submit portfolios of prior learning are two-and-a-half times more likely to graduate with a degree, plus they are able to finish their degrees more quickly.
Types of Students Who Benefit From Prior Learning Assessment
Most of the students who get prior learning credit have been out of school for several years and are considered "nontraditional" students. When they return to school -- which they often do in order to get a degree that will help them advance in their current companies -- they have workplace education that can be evaluated for how it compares to college classwork.
In most cases, the students must be able to prove that they engaged in learning, not just in getting work experience, while in the workplace. Examples include taking seminars, training or being self-taught in some types of computer software, leadership training or project management.
How to Create a Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio
Your college or university will have guidelines in place for creating and submitting portfolios of learning. If you're evaluating institutions based on their policies, look for the following:
Talk to an advisor at the colleges you are considering for your continuing adult education. They should be able to give you an estimate or range of the number of credits you may be able to receive via prior learning assessment, and help you map out a plan for finishing your degree.Share