Implementation of PLAR in Formal Education
Post-Secondary Education: Community Colleges

Algonquin College. (June 1993) Pilot Project on PLA: Establishment of PLA at Algonquin College. Final Report. Ottawa: Algonquin College. [33 pages plus appendices]

Algonquin College. (1993) Prior Learning Assessment: A Program for College-Wide Implementation. Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines. Ottawa: Algonquin College.

Aarts, S. (1994) Prior Learning Assessment Implementation: Standards, Policies, Practices. London: Fanshawe College. 

7 pages. Outlines basic assumptions required for the establishment of a prior learning assessment program and the development of standards, policies and practices, with references to the program at Fanshawe College. Lists academic policies recommended for assessing prior learning and administrative support. Describes practices recommended for successful programs. Descriptors: Adults; Colleges of applied arts and technology; Educational experience; Access to education; Evaluation. S. Aarts is PLA Facilitator at Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Baker, Maureen Kennedy. (1991) Assessment of Prior Learning. North York, Ont.: Seneca College, Centre for Educational Effectiveness. 

29 pages. In response to the publication of Vision 2000, Seneca College made assessment of experiential learning a priority during its first year of operation. This handbook describes an assessment process developed to recognize prior learning and provide the best possible education plan and route to graduation for students who have already achieved many of their program's learning objectives. It details a proposed model, benefits, standards, policies and procedures for APEL, assessment of prior experiential learning. Descriptors: Colleges of applied arts and technology; Educational experience; Access to education; Adult students. Includes bibliographical references.

Blinkhorn, Kenneth W. (1999). Prior Learning Assessment: An Investigation of Nonsponsored Learning for College Credits. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, Canada

Since 1993, Ontario Community Colleges have systematically incorporated a framework for recognizing non-traditional learning through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). PLA allows students to obtain credits towards their formal education for non-sponsored learning, that is material they have learned through non-traditional settings such as work experience or at home. Within the PLA framework, Community Colleges have implemented the portfolio development process as a way to assess prior learning through organizing and presenting their non-sponsored learning in a document which can satisfy the requirements of a college course. This exploratory case study examines how learners make meaning of their prior learning. The portfolio development process is used as a point of focus because it best represents the transition from non-sponsored learning to the institution's interpretation of experiential learning. For this study, I chose a setting which supported PLA, particularly the portfolio process. Data from interviews, a sample of portfolios and classroom observations were initially analyzed according to five conceptual interpretations: (a) perception of learning; (b) learning style; (c) metacognitive abilities; (d) cognitive development; and (e) learner's needs. An emergent design allowed for other interpretations to be explored as the study progressed. A purposeful sample consisted of four adult learners who were taking a community college portfolio development course. I also interviewed two adult learners who had taken the portfolio development course and had successfully challenged a number of college credits. Since not all mature students take the portfolio development course or challenge college courses through the portfolio development course I interviewed three students who were eligible for the PLA process but did not take this option. The findings from this study showed that all of the students made meaning from their prior learning and applied it to their college studies. Since PLA is no longer founded to the same extent as it was in the past, advocates of PLA at community colleges will need to address the benefits of the portfolio development. This could include both the acquisition of credits and personal development.

Blower, Deborah. (1997) "A Lasting Commitment to Prior Learning Assessment." College Canada -- Association of Canadian Community Colleges, 2, 4, 12, 18.

This article provides an overview of PLA practice at Red River College. Historically, RRC was one of the first colleges in Canada to implement PLAR processes -- in 1980. The article describes the beginning of PLAR at RRC and provides an overview of current practice and developments at the college as well as the partnerships with business, industry, and other organizations to further the implementation of PLAR.

Centennial College. (January 1995) Prior Learning Assessment. Scarborough: Centennial College. 

36 pages. This is the first edition of an information publication distributed to faculty and staff of Centennial College to answer basic questions about the prior learning assessment (PLA) process. It describes a history of PLA and outlines a model and time line for program implementation at Centennial. Included are sample forms for application and assessment, as well as self-paced guides for students. Descriptors: Colleges of applied arts and technology; Educational experience; Access to education; Adult students. 

Christensen, Frank A. (June 1975) Final Report to the Cooperative for the Assessment of Experiential Learning. Palantine, IL: William Rainey Harper College.

61 pages. Sponsoring Agency: Cooperative Assessment of Experiential Learning Project, Princeton, N.J. Document Type: project description. This report presents guidelines developed by a task force at William Rainey Harper College (Illinois) for translating experiential learning into academic credit. Introductory sections describe the institutional commitment to granting credit for non-traditional learning experiences, a new related Associate in Liberal Studies degree, the current national interest in the open college concept, and the makeup and methodology of the task force. The body of the report, presented as an Appendix, contains the documents generated by the study, including: (1) a statement of philosophy and rationale; (2) separate sets of instructions to faculty and students describing their respective roles in the crediting process; (3) delineation of the stepwise procedures to be followed by students seeking credit for experiential learning; (4) suggested format for the student-generated portfolios; and (5) guidelines for the documenting of such learning experiences as military service, licensing, hobbies, employment, etc. Descriptors: College Credits; Evaluation Methods; Experiential Learning; Learning Experience; Special Degree Programs; Student Evaluation; Student Experience; Two Year Colleges; Work Experience. Identifiers: William Rainey Harper College IL.

Christensen, Frank A. (September 1975) Guidelines and Procedures for the Assessment of Experiential Learning and the Selection and Training of Field Experts. CAEL Institutional Report No. 5. Cooperative Assessment of Experiential Learning Project, Princeton, N.J.

67 pages. Sponsoring Agency: Carnegie Corp. of New York, N.Y. Document Type: research report. The Associate Degree in Liberal Studies program (ALS) at William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, Illinois, offers students the opportunity to design their own curriculum, awards college credits for experiential learning, and provides a structure for independent study. This report briefly discusses the selection and training of evaluation personnel, and outlines the procedures used in the assessment of experiential learning. A student guide to portfolio development, with suggestions for resume writing, is appended. Descriptors: College Credits; College Faculty; College Programs; College Students; Competency Based Education; Credentials; Evaluation Methods; Evaluators; Experiential Learning; Guidelines; Informal Assessment; Job Training; Knowledge Level; Learning Experience; Liberal Arts; Nontraditional Education; Portfolios (Background Materials); Program Development; Special Degree Programs; Student Evaluation; Student Records; Two Year Colleges; Work Experience. Identifiers: William Rainey Harper College IL.

Collège Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology and Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology. (February 1992) Prior Learning Assessment Pilot Project Fund. South Porcupine, Ont.: Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology; Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology.

87 pages. Collège Northern College and Confederation College propose a specific Prior Learning Assessment Pilot Project Fund in order to implement the assessment of prior learning at the two colleges in competency-based programs already established. The fund should also support the development of bilingual assessment tools, both theoretical and experiential, for a variety of circumstances and programs. Tools and implementation strategies would be shared with other colleges and enhance the ability to transfer credits among other colleges throughout the province. Descriptors: Colleges of applied arts and technology; Educational experience; Access to education; Adult students. 

Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology. (1995) Prior Learning Assessment Handbook 1995/96. Thunder Bay: Confederation College.

Confederation College. (1993) Student Handbook for GS 242: Portfolio Development for College Credit for Prior Learning. Thunder Bay, Ont.: Confederation College.

82 pages. On cover: Appendix I. Appendix J, PLA Challenge Exam and Exemption Criteria: Perinatal Nursing Certificate Program, and Appendix K, PLA Clinical Skills Inventory Checklist: WR170 Introductory Perinatal Nursing, Clinical I issued separately. Descriptors: Colleges of applied arts and technology; Educational experience; Access to education; Adult students; Student evaluation; College d'arts appliques et de technologie; Experience educative; Acces a l'education; Etudiant adulte; Evaluation de l'etudiant.

Davis, Val, et al. (1995) "Assessment Issues in Further Education." Coombe Lodge Report 24(10).

This report looks at assessment in further education and why it has become more important recently. Chapters cover initial assessment, assessing core skills with regard to NTETs, enhancing the role of APL, college (internal) assessment systems. The assessment of MCI portfolios, and cultural and linguistic factors in assessment. Each chapter is by a practitioner with experience of tackling these issues. ISSN: 0305 8441.

Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology. (1994) Trades to Technology: Transition from Skilled Trades to Engineering Technology: Orientation, Application and Assessment Handbook. Oshawa: Durham College.

19 pages. The General Motors/Durham Trades to Technology program and its implementation involves 2 types of prior learning assessment (PLA): the non-college program assessment, and PLA for the student participant. The entry level for the program is a completed, relevant apprenticeship; however, additional PLA credits claims will be granted on the basis of a portfolio. This handbook provides an orientation to students interested in the development of a Trades to Technology program at Durham College, and outlines for faculty the application and assessment process for such a program at Durham. Descriptors: Colleges of applied arts and technology; Educational experience; Access to education; Adult students; Vocational education; Student evaluation.

Ecclestone, Kathryn. (August 1992) Understanding Accreditation: Ways of Recognising Achievement. London, Eng.: Further Education Unit, Unit for the Development of Adult Continuing Education. 

79 pages. Document Type: general report. Target Audience: Practitioners. This paper is designed to help education and training providers in the United Kingdom understand what accreditation options are available and choose solutions that match their particular needs. It aims to help them appreciate the importance of accreditation to adult learners, understand some terminology, know what choices there are in offering accreditation, understand the ways different accreditation systems work, and use the support and experience of the awarding bodies to enhance opportunities for adult learners. Section 1 explains the reasons for providing accreditation and assessment that support and enhance learning, access, and progression. Section 2 describes the principles and processes of accreditation and clarifies some terminology used in accreditation and the differences between the various bodies that use the terms. Section 3 explains how some of the more widely used accreditation systems work and the ways in which they apply the terminology to their own procedures. Section 4 summarizes the main characteristics of each accreditation system. Section 5 provides a checklist for managers and practitioners of factors to consider when choosing accreditation or reviewing existing arrangements. Section 6 identifies issues that specifically affect adult learners and areas where further clarification and development work is needed. Section 6 also provides a subject index and a list of the full names and addresses of the awarding bodies involved in the systems described in section 3. Descriptors: Academic Achievement; Academic Standards; Accrediting Agencies; Adult Education; Adult Learning; Adult Students; Competency Based Education; Educational Certificates; Educational Quality; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Prior Learning; State Standards; Student Certification; Student Evaluation; Vocabulary. Identifiers: Great Britain. ISBN: 1-85338-292-2.

Evans, Sandra L. (1995) A Study of the Knowledge, Perceptions and Benefits of Prior Learning Assessment for Awarding College Credit at Cabot College of Applied Arts, Technology and Continuing Education. M.Ed. thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Follen, Shirley. (1995) Final report: Prior Learning Assessment Three-phased Pilot Project: Needs Assessment; Participatory Evaluation and Research; Evaluator Training. North Bay, Ont.: Canadore College. 

Further Education Development Agency. (1995) Managing Assessment. London: Further Education Development Agency.

81 pages. Document Type: research report. Target Audience: Practitioners. This document, which is intended for curriculum managers at British further education colleges, presents guidelines for developing and implementing a college assessment policy based on the principle that the objectives of all assessment procedures and policies are as follows: enhance the assessment provision within colleges; ensure that assessment is consistent and fair to all students; allow colleges to monitor their assessment provision; and provide clear evidence for external bodies. Discussed in part 1 are the following aspects of developing a college assessment policy: principles and assessment entitlements in operation within a college; the assessment stages for students from entry to exit; the assessment processes used within colleges; and quality assurance and control procedures for monitoring assessment practice. Part 2 contains codes of practice defining cross-college provision for the following: initial assessment; accreditation of prior learning; core skills assessment; recording of achievement; and access to fair assessment. Examined in part 3, which focuses on implementing policy and codes of practice at the program level, are the following: assessment entitlements and regulations; assessment planning; and assessment design and grading criteria. Appended are the following: national body requirements; sources of information about assessments and audits; and sample auditing questions. Descriptors: Accountability; Basic Skills; Educational Assessment; Educational Planning; Educational Policy; Educational Quality; Evaluation Criteria; Evaluation Methods; Foreign Countries; National Programs; Policy Formation; Prior Learning; Program Evaluation; Quality Control; Student Certification; Student Evaluation; Technical Institutes; Vocational Education. Identifiers: Great Britain. ISBN: 1-85338-410-01.

Further Education Unit. (1993) Flexible Colleges: Access to Learning and Qualifications in Further Education. London: Further Education Unit.

Government of Ontario. Ministry of Colleges and Universities, Loyalist College of Applied Arts and Technology, General Arts and Science, and Prison for Women. (1993) Prior Learning Assessment Three-phased Pilot Project, Final Report: Needs Assessment, Participatory Evaluation and Research Evaluator Training. Toronto, Belleville, and Kingston, Ont.: Loyalist College; Ministry of Colleges and Universities; Prison for Women.

77 pages. Reports on a project which was a continuum of the Portfolio Development Course offered to staff of the Prison for Women after the announcement of the Prison's closing. The course was offered by Loyalist College. The project was designed to: determine the interest of Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) staff in prior learning assessment (PLA) and potential enrollment in future portfolio development courses; evaluate the Portfolio Development Course and the educational approach to PLA used by the General Arts Program, Loyalist College; examine and evaluate the portfolio assessment process employed by the General Arts and Science faculty. The project provided an opportunity to assess a process which combines a "whole-person" growth approach with academic accreditation. Includes an individual report and summary of results of each phase of the project: needs assessment, participatory evaluation ("whole person" approach) and evaluator training. Presents conclusions related to each phase, and lists project spinoffs and outcomes for the future. 

Hill, Diane. (March 1995) Aboriginal Access to Post-Secondary Education: Prior Learning Assessment and its Use Within Aboriginal Programs of Learning. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ont., and Belleville, Ont.: First Nations Technical Institute and Loyalist College.

120 pages. Nine years of experience in the design and development of an adult learning model which utilizes the concept of portfolio-assisted PLA are encapsulated and described. We address our experience in adjusting the PLA process and materials to include aboriginal culture and traditions, and it is in this context that we explain in detail the development of our PLA process to date. This booklet contains a description of our experiences with aboriginal learners, and a statement of principles and proven practices necessary for the successful design, development, and delivery of an educational and training program which respects the unique needs of aboriginal learners. Additionally, we provide an analysis of specific ways that colleges and their community-based aboriginal partners can increase supports and decrease the barriers for more satisfying results with adult aboriginal learners. Our intent is to positively address the issue of increasing and expanding aboriginal learner access to post-secondary education in Ontario. We provide useful insights and concrete examples of how PLA can be used and modified for broader application by other colleges and institutional partnerships. The necessary competencies required to implement an aboriginal learning model are also included.

Isabelle, Robert, and Francine Landry. (1989) "Prior Learning Assessment in Quebec Colleges." In The Barriers Project: A Project of Confederation College; Supported by Industry Canada, Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology. Thunder Bay, Ont.: Confederation College, 16-18.

In 1987, the Barriers Project was initiated by Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology to engage 31 selected community colleges in Canada in an organized self-appraisal of institutional barriers to the enrollment of part-time credit students. From the outset, colleges were encouraged to limit their investigation to barriers over which the college had control. By the end of the first six months, it was clear that all of the colleges, regardless of size, location, and mandate, shared common concerns about improving conditions for part-time learners. The most commonly identified issues included the following: (1) the need for colleges to explore alternative times and locations for the delivery of programs; (2) the need to market part-time opportunities within the community; (3) the need to provide part-time students with the same services (e.g., counseling, bookstore, cafeteria, and property maintenance) as full-time students; and (4) the need to develop systems for the assessment of prior learning by offering challenge tests, making credits from other post-secondary institutions transferable, and giving credit for experience. Among the specific barriers to enrollment identified by the colleges, 36% were categorized as operational. Barriers included limited course selections, scheduling problems, unavailability of support services, lack of information and communication, poor marketing and advertising, and inadequate counseling, orientation, and remedial services. Another 15.6% of the barriers related to institutional policy, 11% to attitudes, 9.46% to social conditions, and 7.42% to student finances. The project report includes brief descriptions of the methods and findings of the self-assessments of the 31 colleges. Descriptors: Access to Education; Community Colleges; Enrollment Influences; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Part Time Students; Self Evaluation (Groups); Student College Relationship; Student Recruitment; Two Year Colleges; Two Year College Students. Identifiers: Canada.

Kray, Eugene J. (1974) The Structure and Financing of a Program to Assess Experiential Learning. Ed.D. practicum, Nova University.

65 pages. In its efforts to develop an external degree program designed primarily for full-time working adults, Delaware County Community College conducted a study to determine methods of developing policies, regulations, and procedures to assess experiential learning, and to find out what office of the College should administer this program and how it should be financed. 150 questionnaires were distributed to institutional representatives of the Cooperative Assessment of Experiential Learning (CAEL), Princeton, N.J., asking for information on structure, current practices, and finance. It was concluded that the practice of awarding experiential learning credit is most often housed in the office of the Dean of Instruction with the faculty making most of the evaluating decisions based on documentation, interviews, letters of testimony, job descriptions, and examinations. The criteria against which to measure a person's experiential learning were competencies, courses, and general background of individuals in a wide range of curricula. The maximum credits that could be awarded showed no specific pattern and ranged from three to no limit. Most institutions received neither state nor local funds for this process and 46 percent charged no fees to students. Of those institutions charging fees, most felt that they were equitable. Descriptors: College Credits; Educational Finance; External Degree Programs; Program Administration; Two-Year Colleges. Activity Units; Adult Education; Higher Education; Learning Experience; Performance Contracts; Program Costs; Student Experience; Work Experience.

Mann, Edward C. (Winter 1983) "Validating Experiential Competencies in Technical Education." Journal of Studies in Technical Careers 5(1), 71-78.

Document Type: journal article; evaluative report. This article examines approaches which are used to validate experiential competencies in technical education. The two most common approaches to credentialization are discussed. The importance of non-academic experiences in credentialing is examined, and several assessment models are described. Descriptors: Credentials; Models; Prior Learning; Professional Development; Teacher Evaluation; Technical Education; Work Experience.

McDonald, Rod, and others. (1995) New Perspectives on Assessment. Studies on Technical and Vocational Education 4. Paris, France: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

48 pages. Document Type: general report. This book is the fourth in a series aiming to promote international exchange of ideas, experiences, and studies relating to technical and vocational education. The introduction reviews traditional practices in assessment and chapter 2 highlights the connections between assessment and learning, emphasizing that assessment is the most significant prompt for learning. Chapter 3 addresses the need to focus on competence, and describes a competency-based framework of assessment that assumes educational standards can be set, most students can achieve them, different performances can reflect the same standards, and assessors can judge these performances. The chapter suggests use of such a model affects the approach to both training and assessment that is currently being implemented in vocational education in many countries. Chapter 4 highlights recognition of prior learning, recommending that vocational education providers should take account of prior learning because it is sound educational practice; students may be able to progress more quickly, and they are not forced to "learn" things they already know. Chapter 5 considers the use many countries make of external assessment systems for their technical and vocational courses. Chapters 2-5 each contain an annotated list of further readings. Descriptors: Competency Based Education; Credits; Evaluation Methods; Foreign Countries; Models; National Programs; Prior Learning; Program Development; Program Evaluation; Program Implementation; Secondary Education; Standards; Student Evaluation; Technical Education; Vocational Education. Product of UNEVOC, the International Project on Technical and Vocational Education.

Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology. (1994) Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology College Trades Preparation Program. Prepared by Contract Training Services Division; submitted to OTAB Apprenticeship Branch. Hamilton: Contract Training Services Division. 

5, [1] pages. Outlines a proposed comprehensive College Trades Preparation Program for individuals wishing to enter the trade and technology occupational areas. The program is designed specifically to address the needs of equity groups who have not traditionally made use of or had access to apprenticeship training and employment opportunities. The 5-phase program begins with a prior learning assessment and proceeds through a portfolio development process to pre-apprenticeship trade-specific training and work experience placement of 2 weeks. Report provides an overview of the current established practices of student data collection in the Ontario community college system and recommends that a central repository be established to collect data on students participating in PLA activity. A critical path for prospective PLA candidates, known as "Pathways", provides a framework for those implementing the process initially and/or a reference point for other colleges actively involved in PLA. A proposed information systems architecture, known as the Prior Learning Assessment Information Systems (PLAIS), is included and may be utilized in the development of a PLA prototype tracking system. Descriptors: Adults; Colleges of applied arts and technology; Educational experience; Access to education; Apprenticeships.

Ontario Council of Regents for Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology. Prior Learning Assessment Advisory Committee. (1992) Prior Learning Assessment: Enhancing the Access of Adult Learners to Ontario's Colleges: Final Report to the Minister of Colleges and Universities from the Ontario Council of Regents' Prior Learning Assessment Advisory Committee. Toronto: Council of Regents. 

75 pages. This report outlines an implementation strategy for prior learning assessment (PLA) in the initial phase, namely for the first 3 years beginning January 1993, and that it builds on the discussions and arguments put forward in an earlier discussion paper. Explains that PLA is based on the premise that many adults acquire skills and knowledge through work experience, community activities, volunteer work, and non-college and independent study. A PLA system evaluates this learning and relates it to courses and programs at formal educational institutions. Using PLA, adult candidates who can demonstrate or document that they have achieved the objectives of a given course, may be given formal college credit. Covers PLA methods, academic policy issues, organizational structure, and financial considerations. Appendices list PLA advisory committee members, PLA pilot projects and consultations, acronyms, and a summary of recommendations. Descriptors: Adults; Colleges of applied arts and technology; Educational experience; Access to education. French version: Reconnaissance des acquis... 

Prior Learning Assessment [videorecording]. (1994) Dir. Michael Ellis. TVOntario. VHS. 15 min. 

Examines the use of prior learning assessment in Brock's Bachelor of Education in Adult Education degree program. 

Pursaill, John, and Mary Potter. (1994) Flexible Access to Vocational Qualifications. Second Edition. Revised and Updated. Leicester, Eng.: National Inst. of Adult Continuing Education.

103 pages. Document Type: non-classroom material. Target Audience: Practitioners. This guide is designed to explore how British further education colleges can open up their vocational programs to the whole community and to describe the sort of strategic planning necessary to achieve flexible access. Chapter 1 discusses the content and purpose of the handbook. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the new framework for vocational qualifications in the United Kingdom, details main elements, and raises issues on access and credit accumulation. Chapter 3 illustrates flexible delivery methods and issues that arise in their use by drawing on developing practice in a range of vocational areas. In chapter 4, five college case studies show a range of strategies for planned change towards an open access and learner-centered system. Descriptors: Access to Education; Adult Education; Adult Students; College Credits; Community Colleges; Educational Certificates; Educational Innovation; Flexible Scheduling; Foreign Countries; Job Skills; Nontraditional Education; Prior Learning; Strategic Planning; Student Certification; Student Evaluation; Student Needs; Technical Institutes; Vocational Education. Identifiers: National Vocational Qualifications (England). ISBN: 1-872941-52-4.

Red River Community College. (January 1998) Prior Learning Assessment Policies and Procedures. Winnipeg, Man.: Red River Community College.

Red River Community College. (January 1995) Prior Learning Assessment at Red River Community College: A Discussion Paper. Winnipeg, Man.: Red River Community College. [16 pages]

Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology. (May 1993) Northern College's PLA Pilot Project: Final Report. Elliot Lake, Ont: Sault College.

Shaughnessy, Diane. (Winter 1995/96) "The Hopes and Promises of Prior Learning Assessment in Ontario's Colleges." Canadian Vocational Journal 31(2), 6-9.

Descriptors: Adult learning; Community colleges; Prior learning; Apprentissage de l'adulte; College communautaire; Connaissances acquises.

Shaughnessy, Diane. (Winter 1995/96) "La Reconnaissance des acquis dans les colleges ontariens, un programme prometteur." Canadian Vocational Journal 31(2), 10-13.

Descriptors: Community colleges; Adult education; Prior learning; College communautaire; Education des adultes; Connaissances acquises.

Stevens, Mary A. (March 1977) A Strategy to Gain Faculty Acceptance of and Participation in the Granting of Credit for Prior, Non-Sponsored Learning at Black Hawk College. Ed.D. Practicum, Nova University.

101 pages. Document Type: research report. A study was conducted at Black Hawk College (Illinois) to examine the purpose and status of the award of academic credit for learning gained through life and employment experiences, by assessment means other than such national testing programs as the College Level Examination Program. Procedures and practices employed in other colleges in the assessment of prior, non-sponsored learning were reviewed as were causes of negative faculty reaction to such assessment at other institutions. Subsequently, a survey of Black Hawk College faculty was conducted to determine their knowledge of and attitudes toward such assessment and their opinions on what procedures should be part of the overall evaluation process. Survey findings revealed that the faculty were generally favourable; notably, faculty from the career area were more positive toward assessment of prior learning than were university-parallel program faculty. Those faculty supporting the use of behavioral objectives also tended to view assessment of prior learning more favourable than other faculty. Specific procedures for the assessment of prior learning were recommended, reflecting faculty attitudes and opinions. The survey instrument and a bibliography are appended. Descriptors: College Credits; College Faculty; Community Colleges; Employment Experience; Equivalency Tests; Evaluation Methods; Experiential Learning; Learning Experience; School Surveys; Student Evaluation; Student Experience; Teacher Attitudes; Two Year Colleges. Identifiers: Black Hawk College IL.

Topping, Thomas Edward. (1996) An Institutional Evaluation of Perceptions and Expectations of Prior Learning Assessment Options (Experiential Learning). Ed.D. dissertation, Columbia University Teachers College.

Tudor, Anthony. (September 1991) "The Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) in Great Britain: Some Implementation Issues in Vocational Education." Vocational Aspect of Education 43(115), 191-204.

See abstract under 1.8 (PLAR Policy/Comparative Studies).

White, Barbara. (Fall 1995) "Prior Learning Assessment: Outcomes and Characteristics." Michigan Community College Journal: Research and Practice 1(2), 51-57.

Document Type: research report; journal article. Describes the Ontario college system's Prior Learning Assessment program for adult learners, focusing on outcomes and characteristics of students completing the process at Seneca College from April 1994 to February 1995. Indicates that of 77 participants, 46 were female, the mean age was 31, and 81% passed the process successfully. Descriptors: Adult Students; Community Colleges; Foreign Countries; Outcomes of Education; Prior Learning; Student Characteristics; Student Evaluation; Success; Two Year Colleges. Identifiers: Seneca College (Ontario). ISSN: 1081-9428.

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