Cheryl Blanco, Vice President, Special ProjectsSouthern Regional Education Board (SREB)email@example.com 443.501.3656 Accelerated Options: Prior Learning Assessment Legislative and Governors’ Staff Meeting October 19, 2012 ~ Atlanta, GA
Accelerated Options • Dual/concurrent enrollment • Advanced Placement & International Baccalaureate • Early College High Schools • Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) • measures what a student has learned outside the college classroom • evaluates whether that learning is college level • determines the equivalent number of college credits.
Ways to assess prior learning • Portfolio-based Assessments: also known as individualized student portfolios. • American Council on Education (ACE) Guides: published credit recommendations for formal instructional programs offered by non-collegiate agencies such as civilian employers and the military • Advanced Placement (AP) Exams: a series of tests developed by the College Board initially for AP High School courses. • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Exams: tests of college material, offered by the College Board Adapted from the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), www.cael.org.
Ways to assess prior learning • DSST Credit by Exam Program: formerly known as the DANTES Program, tests knowledge of lower-level college material. • Excelsior College Examination Program: formerly Regents College Exams or ACT/PEP Exams, offered by Excelsior College, NY • UExcel Credit by Exam Program: tests knowledge of lower-level college material; awarded Excelsior College credit can be transferred to other colleges and universities.
Ways to assess prior learning • National College Credit Recommendation Service: (formerly known as National PONSI) evaluates learning experiences for non-collegiate organizations • Evaluation of Local Training: program evaluations done by individual colleges of non-collegiate instructional program • Challenge Exams: local tests offered by a college to verify learning achievement
Statewide Policy • Should there be statewide policy in place to ensure that prior learning assessment is universally available and guide the use of prior learning assessment at the institutional level? • Should state policy ensure that credit for prior learning is transferable across public institutions? • What role should prior learning play in helping institutions achieve higher numbers of students completing degrees and certificates?
Financing prior learning assessment • Who should pay for assessing prior learning? • Should students be able to use awards from state financial aid programs to cover the cost of assessing prior learning?
Supporting postsecondary institutions • Should state funding models, especially outcomes- or performance-based models, include measures to reward institutions for using prior learning assessment to increase completion numbers and rates? • Should there be a limit on the number of credits awarded through prior learning assessment that a student can apply toward graduation requirements?
Service members • Louisiana – provides for the award of educational credits to a student enrolled in a public college or university, who is also a veteran, for courses that are part of the student’s military training or service and that meet certain academic standards. • Texas SB 1736 – establishes the College Credit for Heroes program to maximize academic and workforce education credits to veterans and military service members for military experience, education, and training obtained during military service.
Service members • Florida – The Board of Governors shall adopt regulations and the State Board of Education shall adopt rules that enable eligible members of the United State Armed Forces to earn academic college credit at public postsecondary educational institutions for college-level training and education acquired in the military.
Service members • The regulations and rules shall include procedures for credential evaluation and the award of academic college credit, including, but not limited to, equivalency and alignment of military coursework with appropriate college courses, course descriptions, type and amount of college credit that may be awarded, and transfer of credit.
Service members • Virginia - Relates to higher education, relates to course credit for military experience, requires the governing boards of each public institution of higher education to implement policies that award academic credit to students for educational experience gained from military service.
Statewide Kentucky – (HB 265) The Council on Postsecondary Education and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS): • Request for proposal for up to two four-year public postsecondary institutions to serve as the lead institution(s) • to establish a system of prior learning assessment with faculty and staff who are trained in this area and will be compensated for evaluation of prior learning.
Systemwide • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system requires all its colleges and universities to provide students with opportunities to demonstrate prior learning and earn undergraduate credit for that learning
Capacity • Tennessee - The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) Higher Education Commission is using funds from a Complete College America grant to provide PLA training on a voluntary basis to postsecondary faculty throughout the state.
Centralized • Vermont State Colleges administers PLA for its five public colleges through a centralized Office of External Programs, which oversees portfolio assessment and standardized tests and awards credits transferable to any school in the state system.
Comprehensive • Colorado (HB 12-1072) Educational Success Task Forcebill requires the Commission on Higher Education, after consulting with public postsecondary institutions, to develop criteria for awarding credit for a student's prior learning through work experience, military service, community involvement, or independent study and to define a process to assess prior learning. Beginning in 2013-14, public institutions will implement a program awarding academic credit for a student's prior learning.
Comprehensive • Oregon (HB 4059) directs the Higher Education Coordinating Commission with others to move toward goal of increasing the number of students who receive academic credit for prior learning. Language on: • increasing the number and type of academic credits accepted for prior learning • developing transparent policiesand practices in awarding academic credit for prior learning for adoption by the institutional governing boards
improving prior learning assessment practices • creating tools to develop faculty and staff knowledge and expertise in awarding academic credit for prior learning and to share exemplary policies and practices; • developing articulation agreements when patterns of academic credit for prior learning are identified for particular programs and pathways, and • developing outcome measures to track progress.
State Commitment • Should statewide policy require all public postsecondary institutions to adopt the same policies and practices to award academic credit for prior learning? • Should state funding policy recognize and support the use of prior learning assessment through funding models that reward institutions for using prior learning assessment to increase completion numbers and rates? • Should state financial aid programs allow students to use awards to cover the cost of assessing prior learning?
Quality Assurance: Process • Should policy require a rigorous process to evaluate knowledge and award college-level credit for prior learning? • Should policy require governing boards or systems to define the process for evaluating prior learning and awarding academic credit?
Quality Assurance: Criteria • Should policy include provision for training and development of faculty and advisors to conduct the prior learning evaluation? • Should policy require very specific criteria to evaluate prior learning that meets college-level standards?
Course Eligibility • Should policy address the types of courses that are eligible at all public institutions for consideration? • Should state policy direct colleges and universities to identify the number or percentage of PLA credits that a student can apply toward graduation requirements?
Transfer & Accountability • Should state policy ensure that credit for prior learning is transferable among public postsecondary institutions? • Should prior learning be held to the same accountability standards as other programs?