Understanding Credit for Prior Learning: Credit Where Credit is Due

Kent Seaver
From: Nov 18, 2022 - To: Dec 31, 2022
Recorded Webinar


Academic and business professionals from advising, testing, and career/student services will be able to experience how Prior Learning and mentoring work together to build a cohesive and successful collegiate experience for the first-generation student. By examining empirical examples at the two- and four-year level, the audience will understand how this combination is fostered in a computerized educational setting. The program will focus on Prior Learning exams: it’s successes, how it electronically engages first generation students, as well as how it saves time and money. In addition, its link to mentoring on campus will be analyzed: the academic and social need, as well as how to establish success metrics. At the University of Texas at Dallas Jindal School of Management, early and continued mentoring on campus, with meaningful interaction and measurable metrics, allows for a better understanding of the higher education landscape, and can allow a continual chain of energetic first generation to educate incoming students about Prior Learning and how it can aid in continued student success.

The emerging scholarship regarding CPL and Mentoring can be found in the published works of Stephanie Barton, Diana Conrad and others. Mentoring and Prior Learning have enjoyed a successful partnership in higher education, and will continue to do some with sound application and dedicated partners, such as academic advising and admissions., Student Affairs is at the center of student success, and creating successful practices that can be replicated is what my presentation is all about. My school, along with the University of Arizona, Athbasca University in Canada, and others, have successfully taken theory and transformed it into sound, student success-oriented practice. This is what Inclusion and Innovation is all about: using existing methods in a new and unique manner to create opportunities not normally considered.

Mentoring has been successful at the educational and corporate levels, but the relationship between Prior Learning and meaningful mentoring is a new phenomenon. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this partnership was even more important because we were forced to meet and work using various technological means: Skype, Zooms, MS Teams, etc. The Mentoring/PLA partnership did not suffer during COVID: in fact, it was enhanced. The overarching learning outcome of this presentation will be “Building effective relationships that emphasize business

The impact Prior Learning has had on students in the college area is in four areas: Saving time, saving money, moving ahead, and graduating on time. Admissions professionals, academic advisors, testing professionals, career services, as well as Registrar’s and Vice Presidents of Student Services can all benefit from learning the ins and outs of Prior Learning Assessments. Depending on colleges’ CLL policies, a satisfactory score on certain exams can earn students up to 14 credits. The amount of personal success a student feels when they set foot on your campus with 14 credit hours already earned is immeasurable. CPL also allow 

students, such as Veterans who have skills prior to college, as well as Spanish speakers who have no need for a foreign language class, to place into the right classes so they can avoid repeating material and move into more advanced classes sooner. And this is directly linked to the data that shows CPL students graduate on time.

Access to education is the most important aspect of any educational institution’s mission. If this access is denied, or unnecessarily hindered, it can have serious unintended consequences for not only students, but also the institution as a whole. Having a clear and concise understanding of Prior Learning Assessments, as well as a plan in place to reward students who possess those skills and credits, is one sure way to foster not only student success, but overall success for the school, and the community.

Areas Covered:-

Attendees will be able to examine the importance of how Prior Learning is defined and utilized at college campuses in the U.S. Specific questions or pieces of information that will be answered and disseminated are:

  • What Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is and how it works
  • Explore the ways CPL benefits students, in p[articular those of first-generation background
  • What role your campus can play in recruiting students with CPL scores, and aptitude
  • What are some Best Practices for creating PLA policies on a college campus (including mentoring)

Why Should You Attend?

Academic professionals from advising, testing, and career/student services have for many years known about how Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) works together with students to build a cohesive and successful collegiate experience for students. What can be examined further are the ways first generation students, students of color, military veterans and other student cohorts all benefit from these unique assessments. By examining empirical examples at the two- and four-year level, the audience will understand how not only students benefit from Prior Learning, but also how your institution can benefit from the practice as well. The program will emphasize the CPL programs: the successes, how it electronically engages first generation students, as well as how it saves time and money.

College success is about access to resources: the discourse, the atmosphere, and the ability to matriculate in a climate ripe with paths for success. Prior Learning allows access to college because of the ability to gain credit for life experiences that translate into college credit. The different student cohorts that can benefit make this practice one that begs further examination, and the benefits that await the college are worth a further examination of this old, but not quite always understood, concept.

In today's world of decreased funding, lower retention and graduation rates, and increased scrutiny from a government perspective, it is time we in higher education use all of the tools in our arsenal to create strong student success and allow them to achieve the dream of a college education. Prior Learning is such a tool.

The focus on the “why” of what we as academic institutions do should be at the center of actions and policies. Understanding the “why” allows for strong, specific formulas in terms of academic success. The “why” allows us to understand the issue, the need for change, and the reason for implementation.

Who Will Benefit?

  • Directors of Advising and Testing
  • Registrar’s, Admissions Officers
  • First-Year Experience Coordinators
  • Credit by Exam policy coordinators

Training Options

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