Environmental Scan of Prior Learning Assessment Policies and Practices
Prior Learning Assessment is an underutilized strategy for accelerating college completion and the attainment of industry-recognized credentials and shorter term degrees by low-income adults deemed low-skilled by academic assessments. A Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) study of 48 postsecondary institutions, Fueling the Race to Postsecondary Success, found that 56% of the students who earned some credit through prior learning completed a degree within seven years, compared to only 21% of students who received no credit for prior learning. Latino students are 7 ½ times more likely to persist if they receive some credit via PLA.
Reinvigorating PLA is emerging as a priority across the US, as well as in the Massachusetts landscape. The National College Transition Network (NCTN) at World Education, Inc., partnered with the Council for Adult Experiential Learning (CAEL) and the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE) with funding from SkillWorks to produce the report, Environmental Scan of Prior Learning Assessment Policies and Practices. The report provides recommendations on how PLA policies and practices might be strengthened, expanded, and promoted as an effective acceleration strategy in creating bridges to college completion and job attainment for low-skilled adults in the Metro Boston area. You can read the report and recommendations here.