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Building New Pathways to Degrees SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference August 11, 2010 Judy Wertheim V.P., Higher Education Services The Council for.

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Presentation on theme: "Building New Pathways to Degrees SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference August 11, 2010 Judy Wertheim V.P., Higher Education Services The Council for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building New Pathways to Degrees SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference August 11, 2010 Judy Wertheim V.P., Higher Education Services The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)

2 Adult Learning: A National Priority ▷Great and growing need for the nation’s workforce to acquire more postsecondary credentials to compete ▷Many emphasizing the importance of greater success and persistence among college enrollees: President Obama Lumina Foundation for Education Individual States 2

3 The U.S. Skills Gap ▷Report Released June, 2010 by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce: U.S. “ on a collision course with the future” By 2018, our economy will have jobs for 22 million with college degrees, but a shortage of nearly 8 million By 2018, 63 % of jobs will require postsecondary training 3

4 Even Best Performance with Traditional College-Aged Students at Each Stage of the Educational Pipeline Will Leave Gaps in More than 30 States 0300,000600,000900,0001,200,0001,500,000 Missouri Connecticut Maryland Wyoming Georgia Montana Wisconsin New Mexico Michigan Oklahoma West Virginia Alabama South Carolina Mississippi North Carolina Kentucky Arkansas Louisiana Nevada Tennessee New Jersey California 2,788 8,898 10,875 23,542 24,741 25,326 28,659 34,547 37,706 39,436 44,757 47,420 53,574 53,995 62,332 65,853 74, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,504 1,333,645 Indiana Hawaii Idaho Maine Oregon Alaska Ohio Arizona Florida Texas In order to reach international competitiveness by 2025, the U.S. and 32 states can’t close the gap with even best performance with traditional college students. They must rely on the re-entry pipeline – getting older adults back into the education system and on track to attaining college degrees. 4

5 Adult Learning in Focus Main sources will have to be tapped to rectify this shortfall: Adults (25-64) who never completed high school – 21 million Adults with high school diplomas but no college—46 million Adults with some college but no degree—32 million 5

6 Factors Affecting Adult Participation Affordability Accessibility Aspiration 6

7 PLA Can Help What Is Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)? The evaluation for college credit of the knowledge and skills one gains from life experiences (or from non-college instructional programs) including: employment travel hobbies civic activities volunteer service military service 7

8 More about PLA PLA Methods Standardized exams Advanced Placement (AP) College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Excelsior College Exams DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) Challenge exams Evaluation of non-college training (e.g. corporate or military) Individual student portfolios 8

9 PLA Addresses: Affordability Accessibility Aspiration 9

10 How Can PLA Help? CAEL Study of PLA and Student Outcomes 48-institution study of PLA and academic outcomes (funded by Lumina Foundation), released in March, ,475 total adult students in our sample (adult = age 25 or older) Increased Graduation Rates, Greater Persistence, and Shorter Time to Degree 10

11 PLA and Community Colleges ▷Spring, 2010 – a CAEL exploratory study of PLA in community colleges ▷91% of the respondents believe that their student populations have technical skills and knowledge learned on the job that could be assessed for college-level credit. 11

12 Need for More PLA ▷Other CAEL research, completed in 2006, indicated that only 66% of higher education institutions offered the portfolio method of assessing experiential learning. ▷Many institutions that do have a policy for assessing portfolios serve very few students annually. 12

13 Scaling Up the Use of PLA CAEL Virtual PLA Center Designed with a planning grant from Lumina Foundation for Education Implementation began July 1, 2010 ACE and College Board partnering on project CAEL will draw upon faculty experts nationwide for teaching portfolio development course and reviewing adult students’ portfolios 13

14 CAEL Virtual PLA Center ▷VPLA Center will use on-line platform ▷The Center will help students earn all forms of PLA credit ▷Credit recommendations from CAEL VPLA Center faculty experts will be sent on ACE transcript to colleges, as ACE already does today with military and corporate training Scaling Up the Use of PLA 14

15 Whom Will It Serve? ▷Individuals already enrolled in community colleges or four-year institutions Provide support for postsecondary institutions that have no existing PLA programs Augment existing PLA programs at some postsecondary institutions 15

16 Whom Will It Serve? ▷Unaffiliated individuals not yet in college or having started but never finished college Active duty military and veterans Document and certify skills from their military careers Workers in transition or lower- income workers Workforce Investment Boards might send workers to document skills from previous jobs and have that learning evaluated by faculty 16

17 Whom Will It Serve? ▷Employers and industry groups To pursue the further credentialing of their employees To document learning that has already been completed and identify skills gaps 17

18 Why Colleges Are Interested ▷Consistent application of PLA standards ▷Lack of a PLA program at their institution ▷Existing program cannot keep up with high volume of portfolio submissions ▷Lack of personnel to adequately staff their PLA program ▷Lack of credentialed faculty to review submitted portfolios in certain fields ▷Interest in streamlining their process through increased capacity and speed ▷Reliance on VPLA Center as an interim resource while the institution prepares to launch or expand its own PLA program on campus 18

19 Pilot Institutions ▷CAEL has requested commitment from institutions, systems, and organizations to participate in the pilot launch of VPLA Center 19

20 Criteria for Participation in the Pilot Institutions are adult-serving and adult learner-friendly and agree to: treat PLA credit recommendations as they do other transfer credit identify group of adults to participate in the VPLA Center process 20

21 Questions? Judy Wertheim V.P., Higher Education Services Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)


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