VC exploring initiative to offer credits for work, military experience
Victoria College Vice President of Instruction Marjorie Price-Seeger speaks on VC exploring the implementation of a prior-learning assessment initiative during the Spring 2017 Convocation on Jan. 9 at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex.

Victoria College Vice President of Instruction Marjorie Price-Seeger knows first-hand the benefits of earning college credit for prior learning.

Price-Seeger earned credits for prior learning to finish college as a veteran and working mother.

Prior learning assessments offer students college credits for work experience, military service, on-the-job training, independent study, volunteer service and training courses or certification. Victoria College is moving toward awarding college credit for prior learning in the near future.

“Right now, there are over three million adults across the country who have earned some college credit but have not finished their degrees,” Price-Seeger said. “Seventy-five percent of those people say they would be more likely to enroll in college if they could receive some credit for what they already know. We want to make this option a reality for working adults throughout our seven-county service area.”

Price-Seeger said VC employees will begin training in February and will start assessing prior training of military veterans as well as some employees from corporations in the area by this fall.

“Our goal is to make this option available to all working adults by Spring 2018,” Price-Seeger said.

Beth Doyle, Council on Adult and Experiential Learning’s Vice President of Marketing and Assessment for Learning Counts, was the keynote speaker at Victoria College’s Spring 2017 Convocation on Jan. 9 at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex. Doyle provided information on CAEL’s prior learning assessment model that VC is studying.

“Many adults want to come back to college because they’re stuck in their careers and they can’t move forward without getting a degree,” Doyle said. “They are looking for institutions that will award credit for their previous academic experiences as well as their job experiences.”

Doyle took advantage of a prior learning assessment initiative at Chicago’s DePaul University to earn her bachelor’s degree in 2½ years. She had previously earned a certification in advertising design at a community college and immediately began working full time.

“About six or seven years later, I realized I needed to go back to college,” Doyle said. “But in my head I was thinking that none of my community college credits would count. I was also working full time, and I knew I could only go to school part time. I figured it would take me about a decade to get my degree. That’s a very discouraging thought.”

A CAEL poll found that 87 percent of Americans think students should be able to receive college credit for knowledge and skills acquired outside the classroom.

“Since 75 percent of college students work and attend school at the same time, being able to get some college credit for what you’ve already learned can be a huge boost for older adults coming back to school,” Price-Seeger said. “It can shorten their time to completion, allowing them to move more quickly back into the workforce or on to a university for completion of a bachelor’s degree. Everybody wins.”

Victoria College plans to offer a free online portfolio development workshop for students to create their portfolio to be assessed by CAEL faculty. Dr. David Cockrum, University of Houston-Victoria interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, said UHV would be interested in collaborating with VC in the initiative.

“We certainly will accept prior-learning credits,” Cockrum said. “If they are on a transcript, we will accept those credits. We have a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree, which fits right in with this.”

Beth Doyle
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning’s Beth Doyle was the keynote speaker at Victoria College’s Spring 2017 Convocation on Jan. 9 at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex.
Published: Wednesday, 18 January 2017

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