Redesign of Prior Learning Assessment in an Award-Winning Degree Completion Program
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In the 21st century economic landscape, many argue the importance of a college degree, as entry into many occupations now requires advanced credentials. Pursuing a college degree costs time and money, often presenting barriers to those pursuing the dream. Prior learning assessment (PLA) offers a solution to spend less time and money earning a college degree by documenting outside learning. PLA shortens time-to-degree, reduces tuition costs, supports student persistence, and boosts degree completion, particularly for adult learners (non- and post-traditional students) and underserved populations. The purpose of this article was to examine PLA within an award-winning degree completion program primarily serving adult learners in order to improve practice. Aligned with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning's (CAEL) standards for assessing learning, this article discusses the degree completion program, PLA course and competency portfolio, block credit competency model and block credit competency model and portfolio assessment, program administration, and implications.