Plar Policy
United States of America

Another Time, Another Place. Proceedings of the Symposium on Credit for Prior and Experiential Learning. San Francisco, California, November 5, 1976. Sacramento: California State Postsecondary Education Commission.

74 pages. Document Type: conference proceedings. This publication is a compilation of the presentations given at a symposium held to explore where California is in respect to credit for prior and experiential learning, and whether the State should be moving toward a more comprehensive mechanism for assessing, awarding, and recording such credit. The keynote address provides an overview focusing on learning, services and educational program sources for adults, and standardization versus flexibility in programs. The next address considers some major problems in granting credit for prior learning encountered at Empire State College. Several presentations then follow on the state of the art in credit for experiential/prior learning at the University of California, California State University and Colleges (CSUC), CSUC Consortium, CSUC Consortium Liberal Arts Program, California Community Colleges, private sector, and private institutions. Two talks pertaining to the need for a validating institution and the needs of the training community are followed by the remarks of a reaction panel. Additional presentations discuss alternatives in developing a validating institution and cover the further expansion of CSUC Consortium, the creation of a new independent institution, and the use of the public/private sector through a voucher system. The presentations conclude with two addresses on problems in developing a validating institution, focusing on attitudinal problems and accreditation concerns. Descriptors: Academic Standards; Adult Education; Colleges; Community Colleges; Conference Reports; Conferences; Credits; Educational Change; Educational Development; Educational Experience; Educational Innovation; Educational Needs; Educational Problems; Experiential Learning; Nontraditional Education; Postsecondary Education; Regional Planning; Speeches; State of the Art Reviews; State Programs; Statewide Planning; Two Year Colleges; Universities. Identifiers: California.

Boyd, D.J., and J. Jackson. (October 1991) Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting -- Association for Continuing Higher Education. Renaissance of the Individual: The Older Learner in the Next Century, Seattle, WA.

Published by ACHE. Includes: "Assessment Of Prior Learning: The Good And The Bad News", pp. 85-86.

Department of Labor. Employment and Training Administration. Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. (1982) National Apprenticeship and Training Standards for Drafters. Revised. Washington, DC: Employment and Training Administration, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. 

27 pages. Document Type: classroom material; legal material. The revised standards were developed and recommended by the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, AFL-CIO, in cooperation with the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, U.S. Department of Labor. These revised national standards are designed to assist local unions in establishing local apprenticeship and training programs for drafters. Covered in the individual sections are the following topics: provisions of the apprenticeship standards for drafters (definitions, qualifications for application, the selection of applicants, credit for previous experience and education, the terms of apprenticeship, apprenticeship agreements, supervision, probationary periods, hours of work, salaries, examinations, related instruction, ratios of apprentices to journeymen, work experience, management and labor relations, and equal opportunity); supervision of the program (local joint apprenticeship and training committees, responsibilities of apprentices, committee consultants, recognition of completion of apprenticeship, filing with registration agencies, safety and health, and modification of standards); and federal laws and regulations affecting the employment of apprentices. The appendixes contain schedules of recommended work processes and related technical instruction for manufacturing, marine, and architectural drafters. Descriptors: Apprenticeships; Architectural Drafting; Credits; Definitions; Drafting; Employment Practices; Engineering Drawing; Federal Legislation; Federal Regulation; Guidelines; Job Training; Labor Legislation; Labor Standards; Manufacturing Industry; Marine Technicians; Postsecondary Education; Prior Learning; Program Content; Program Development; Program Implementation; Safety; Standards; Work Experience Identifiers: National Standards.

Ferguson, Richard L. (1978) "Assessing Learning for Credit and Credentials." In Credentializing Educational Accomplishment: Report and Recommendations of the Task Force on Educational Credit and Credentials. Eds. Terry W. Mills and Olive Mills. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.

Gorringe, Richard. (1989) "Accreditation of Prior Learning Achievements: Developments in Britain and Lessons from the USA." Coombe Lodge Report 21(5).

See abstract under 1.) PLAR Policy; B.) Europe; 1.) United Kingdom.

Green, Kathleen. (Summer 1996) "Nontraditional Education: Alternative Ways to Earn Your Credentials." Occupational Outlook Quarterly 40(2), 22-35. 

Document Type: position paper; journal article. Looks at how one can gain credentials and education credits in a variety of ways, such as passing standardized exams, demonstrating knowledge gained through experience, completing campus-based course work, and taking courses off campus. Includes a list of contacts and print resources. Descriptors: Adult Education; Distance Education; Experiential Learning; Higher Education; High School Equivalency Programs; Nontraditional Education; Prior Learning.

Hall, James W., and Richard F. Bonnabeau. (Summer 1993) New Directions for Higher Education 82, 55-66.

Document Type: project description; position paper; journal article. Theme issue topic: "Important Lessons from Innovative Colleges and Universities," Empire State College. Through a combination of prior coursework, contract learning, credit for experience, standardized tests, and other methods of evaluating prior learning, the Empire State College (New York) allows adults to complete undergraduate degree requirements. The nonresidential institution serves students throughout the state, with faculty in over 40 regional learning locations. Descriptors: Administrative Organization; Adult Students; Case Studies; Change Strategies; College Curriculum; College Faculty; Degree Requirements; Distance Education; Educational Change; Educational Innovation; Experiential Learning; External Degree Programs; Financial Support; Higher Education; Nontraditional Students; Prior Learning; Program Descriptions; Student Centered Curriculum; Teacher Role; Undergraduate Study. Identifiers: State University of New York Empire State College. ISSN: 0271-0560.

Hexter, Holly, and Charles J. Anderson. (December 1986) "Admission and Credit Policies for Adult Learners." Higher Education Panel Report, No. 72. Washington: American Council on Education, Higher Education Panel.

35 pages. Document Type: research report; test, questionnaire. The status of colleges' credit-granting practices for nontraditional learning (attained outside legally authorized and accredited postsecondary institutions) was studied in 1986, along with credit-granting procedures for military learning experiences, business/industry training, credit by examination, and credit obtained through other assessment methods. National estimates of policies and actual use of nontraditional learning for academic credit were made, based on survey responses from of a nationally representative sample of 487 colleges. While 92% of all colleges were willing to admit students on the basis of credentials other than a traditional high school diploma, 80% of these institutions require some other form of academic certification. Examination results were the most accepted measure for granting academic credit for nontraditional learning. Learning acquired in the armed services and in business/industry training programs was accepted by three-quarters and two-fifths of colleges, respectively. Detailed statistical tables and the survey questionnaire are provided. Descriptors: Admission Criteria; Adult Students; College Admission; College Credits; Corporate Education; Credentials; Equivalency Tests; Experiential Learning; Higher Education; Industrial Training; Military Training; Nonschool Educational Programs; Prior Learning; Questionnaires; School Surveys; Student Certification.

Institute for Behavioral Research in Creativity. (October 1991) Proficiency-Based Credit Assessment: A National and Statewide Survey of Use. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Office of Education.

50 pages. Document Type: research report; test, questionnaire. In recent years a movement has developed at the high school level to address issues of cost and educational improvement through Proficiency-Based Credit Assessment (PBCA). With PBCA, students can receive credit by demonstrating their proficiency without actually taking a course. A national mail survey conducted by the Utah State Office of Education to determine the current scope and use of PBCA in secondary school education found that 16 states (40% of the 40 respondents) had a policy that provided direction for use of PBCA for high school credit, but only five states had specified tests or evaluation procedures. In general, the responsibility for determining how credit could be earned was left to the districts. A survey of the 40 Utah school districts (80% response rate) determined that seven districts were currently using PBCA, and three had developed assessment instruments independently of state resources. Recommendations include: (1) centralized PBCA assessment procedures; (2) a system development committee; (3) use of end-of-course tests and item pools to create assessments; (4) emphasis on subject methodology over subject-matter content; (5) a needs assessment/marketing component; (6) making PBCA attractive to district educators; (7) making PBCA attractive to students; and (8) recognizing and promoting external resources in developing programs. Ten references are listed, and three appendices provide the surveys used in the study. Descriptors: Competency Based Education; Educational Assessment; Educational Improvement; Equivalency Tests; Experiential Learning; High School Equivalency Programs; High Schools; Mail Surveys; National Surveys; Prior Learning; School Districts; State Surveys; Student Evaluation; Student Placement; Testing Problems; Test Use; Use Studies. Identifiers: Proficiency Based Credit Assessment; United States; Utah.

Lamdin, Lois (March 1983) "CLEO: A Regional Consortial Assessment Model." New Directions for Experiential Learning (Cost-Effective Assessment of Prior Learning) 19, 45-58. 

Document Type: journal article; project description. The consortial approach to assessment of prior learning can reduce costs and increase the availability of service. CLEO (Compact for Lifelong Educational Opportunities), a consortium of 38 colleges and universities in the Delaware Valley region, is described. Descriptors: Adult Students; Consortia; Cost Effectiveness; Evaluation Methods; Experiential Learning; Futures (of Society); Higher Education; Models; Prior Learning; Program Descriptions; Regional Programs. Identifiers: Compact for Lifelong Educational Opportunities.

Lewis, Linda H., and Carol J. Williams. (Summer 1994) "Experiential Learning: Past and Present." New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 62, 5-16.

Document Type: position paper; journal article. Current applications of experiential learning in higher education include field-based experiences, credit for prior learning, and classroom-based programs. In the workplace, action learning, future search, and outdoor education are among the forms of experiential learning being used. Descriptors (major): Adult Education; Corporate Education; Experiential Learning; Higher Education; Learning Theories; Prior Learning.

Litterst, Judith K. (April 1990) "Communication Competency Assessment of Non-Traditional Students." ACA Bulletin 72: 60-67.

Special Issue: Assessment. Document Type: journal article; position paper; non-classroom material. Encourages development of a communication assessment program designed primarily for a nontraditional, older and more diverse student population. Concludes that the prior learning assessment philosophy is a sophisticated and suitable methodology for assessing communication competency. Descriptors: College Outcomes Assessment; Communication Skills; Higher Education; Nontraditional Students; Prior Learning; Program Design; Speech Communication; Student Development. Identifiers: Communication Competencies. ISSN: 0360-0939.

Mann, Carolyn M. (1998). Learning Assessment: U.S. Experience Facilitating Lifelong Learning. [Online]. Available: [January 30, 1999]. 

Traditional lock-step education and training excludes many learners from the lifelong learning continuum, particularly those who are older or who come from disadvantaged groups, and at the same time further entrenches a costly and time consuming method for upgrading skills and qualifications within a workforce. By way of contrast, prior learning assessment is an effective tool for ensuring that duplication in training and education is absent or at least minimized. It is also an excellent resource for adult learners to assess their learning needs, review their commitment to upgrading, and clearly identify the resources that will be required. In addition, faculty who become involved in prior learning assessment activities are strongly challenged to review their methods and approaches to education. This paper argues that of the three main techniques for prior learning assessment, portfolio development and review is the most appropriate. For APEC member economies, with their ever growing needs for an up-to-date and highly skilled human resource base, the advantages of effective and wide spread prior learning assessment programs are substantial.

Martorana, S.V., and Eileen Kuhns. (1979) "The Politics of Control of Credit for Experiential Learning." New Directions for Experiential Learning 4, 1-14.

The award and transfer of credit for experiential learning moving forward through either the collegial cooperative model or the political adversarial model is discussed. It is suggested that if institutions fail to solve these problems collegially, they may find policy decisions beyond their control. Descriptors (major): Achievement Rating; College Credits; Educational Policy; Experiential Learning; Nontraditional Education; Political Influences; (minor): Academic Achievement; Educational Change; Educational Innovation; Higher Education; Intervention; Prior Learning; Student Evaluation.

Moon, Rexford G., and Gene R. Hawes, eds. (1980) New Directions for Experiential Learning (Developing New Adult Clienteles by Recognizing Prior Learning) 7. [88 pages]

Pies, Timothy. (1996) "Faculty Ownership of a Prior Learning Program." Adult Learning, 7(6), 13-14. 

Pies, Associate Professor of Lifelong Learning and Director of Assessment at Concodia College in Ann Arbor, MI, offers a series of suggestions for successful implementation of a prior learning assessment program through faculty "buy-in". Among the elements recommended for encouraging faculty ownership of prior learning programs are the establishment of a faculty committee, active solicitation of ideas and staging workshops.

Porter, Dennis. (August 1990) EduCard. Adult Education Access Card. Policy Option Paper on Strategic Recommendation 4. First Edition. Sacramento, CA.: California Community Colleges, Sacramento. Office of the Chancellor.; California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento. Youth, Adult and Alternative Educational Services Division. 

56 pages. Document Type: position paper. One recommendation of the 1989 California Strategic Plan for Adult Education is the use of EduCard. EduCard, the Adult Education Access Card, is a means of giving learners access to information about educational opportunities and providing administrators with machine-readable information on learners' prior education and training. Three models are: (1) magnetic strip cards; (2) integrated circuit chips or "smart cards"; and (3) optical memory cards. An existing example, the Michigan Opportunity Card, is used by participants for skills assessment, job placement assistance, storage and retrieval of resumes, and information on training and educational services. Use of EduCard could develop into an integrated adult education data system that provides interagency information on demographics and learning outcomes and performance. Issues and recommendations regarding EduCard use are: (1) establishment of EduCard as a multiagency statewide program; (2) protection of learner privacy; (3) selection of one type of technology (integrated circuit cards are preferred for their low cost and security); (4) voluntary rather than mandatory use by participants; (5) involvement of all stakeholders in determining liability and financial policies and procedures; and (6) adoption of a uniform, comparable career assessment model for evaluating learner data in the system. Descriptors: Access to Education; Adult Education; Confidential Records; Databases; Educational Opportunities; Lifelong Learning; Management Information Systems; Prior Learning; Privacy; Statewide Planning; Student Evaluation; Student Records Identifiers: 353 Project; California; EduCard; Strategic Planning.

Primary Research Group, Inc. (1999) The Survey of Adult and Continuing Education Programs in Higher Education.  New York, NY: Primary Research Group, Inc.

The Survey of Adult and Continuing Education Programs in Higher Education offers an in-depth look at adult and continuing education at colleges and universities throughout the United States.  Based on a random phone and mail survey of 70 such programs, the report provides hard data on numerous aspects of adult and continuing education.  The data is presented for the entire sample and then broken down by type of control of the college (public/private), level of the college (two-year/four-year) and number of students enrolled in the college.  68.66% of adult and continuing education programs in higher education offer courses through distance learning, according to this study.  Other findings of the study include: (a) 38.57% of the adult and continuing education programs in the sample offer undergraduate degrees; 25.76% offer graduate degrees; 80.88% offer non-degree certificate programs; (b) 52.38% of the programs participate in educational consortia, which enable students to take courses offered by other colleges and universities under the auspices of the programs; (c) instructors Ďand tutorsí salaries account for the highest percentage of the programs' total costs; 31.27%, equipment (19.27%) and administration and oversight (17.00%) account for the second and third highest percentages, respectively; (d) a mean of 23.86 percent of adult and continuing education program revenues is derived from arrangements with industry to provide specialized worker education or training; (e) only 5.18% of the adult and continuing education courses are taught by full-time faculty members that teach primarily or exclusively in the adult and continuing education programs.  Most of these are taught by adjunct faculty members (39.73%) or by full-time faculty members that teach primarily in other divisions or programs (37.48%); (f) the programs directly employ a mean of 23.29 faculty members; (g) 83.67% of the programs use the Internet or the World Wide Web to offer courses at a distance; 60.42% use videoconferencing; 36.17% use videotapes; and (h) 50.91% of the programs grant credits for life experience or corporate training programs.  Together, the two volumes includes more than 500 tables, containing data on program revenues, student drop-out and non-payment rates, special markets in adult and continuing education, market research in adult and continuing education, program finances, staff, new technologies used in adult and continuing education, student demographics, courses offered and much more.

Shelton, Sue E., and L. Pendleton Armistend. (1989) "The Practice of Awarding Credit for Prior Learning in the Community College." Community/Junior College Quarterly of Research and Practice 13(1), 23-31.

Document Type: journal article; review literature. Traces the history of and rationale for awarding college credit for experiential learning in order to avoid duplicating educational experiences, accommodate preferred learning styles, respond to social changes, and promote lifelong learning. Reviews methods of assessing and documenting prior learning. Considers implications for practice. Descriptors: Academic Records; College Credits; Community Colleges; Experiential Learning; Nontraditional Students; Portfolios (Background Materials); Prior Learning; Student Evaluation; Student Placement; Two Year Colleges.

Spille, Henry A. (October 1988) "Model Policy on Awarding Credit for Extrainstitutional Learning." In Advancing Our National Agenda. Proceedings of the National Conference on Adult and External Degree Programs, 8th, Washington, D.C., October 12-14.

Document Type: conference proceedings. A comprehensive, interactive conference was designed to help improve the quality of external degree programs and adult education. Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment); Adult Education; Adult Students; Armed Forces; College Credits; Continuing Education; Cultural Context; Extension Education; External Degree Programs; Graduate Study; Higher Education; Independent Study; Innovation; Liberal Arts; Orientation; Prior Learning; School Holding Power Identifiers: Loyola University LA; Partnerships In Education.

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