PLA Plays a Part in Jeffery’s Bucket List

Jeffery Temple, a Business Management major, completed his Credit for Prior Learning Portfolio earning 43 credits towards his undergraduate degree.  Congratulations, Jeffery!

In reflecting on the knowledge he gained through his professional and personal experiences, Jeffery knows that strong communication skills have been key—especially in his roles as a manager, husband and father. The topics he wrote for are:

  • PSY 222 Family and Intimate Relationships
  • SP 105 Listening
  • MSD 117 Customer Relations
  • MSD 279 Project Management
  • CCM 347 Negotiation
  • CCM 346 Conflict Management
  • COL 426 Team Building
  • CCM 322 Interpersonal Communication
  • COL 432 Leadership Communication
  • COL 340 Organizational Communication
  • MGMT 100 The Business Environment
  • CMST 230 Small Group Communication

Jeffery shares highlights of his CPL journey and gives quality tips to future students who want to earn college credit by tapping into their experiential learning.

PLA: A Labor of Love for Sue Kloster

Sue Kloster, a Communication Studies major with a concentration in Training & Development, completed her PLA Portfolio at Marylhurst University over a five-year span, earning a total of 30 credits! With Sue’s rich work experience, she was able to challenge courses in her major on topics that she already uses on a daily basis and could document extensively. They include:

BUS 400 Personal Ethics in Organizations
COL 340 Organizational Communication
COL 432 Leadership Communication
CTD 440 Principles of Instructional Design
CTD 446 Helping Adults Learn
CTD 448 High Impact Training Materials
CCM 311 The Art of Purposeful Interviewing
CCM 323 Effective Listening
CCM 324 Nonverbal Communication
CCM 420 Professional Presentations

As Sue reflected on PLA, she revealed how important it was to her personal learning journey:

“I absolutely love the feeling of acknowledgment and validation I got from the prior learning assessment process. It has made me appreciate how much learning is available outside the academic environment for those who embrace and pursue it….  The PLA program, like many of the courses I have taken at Marylhurst, has taught me more about myself than any other single thing. It has been hard and wonderful.”

Continue reading “PLA: A Labor of Love for Sue Kloster”

Prior learning + transfer credits = not starting from scratch

One of my students, Angela Murphy, in spring term’s LRN 150 Learning Assessment Workshop, openly shared her apprehensions about coming back to college. As she considered what she’d need to do to complete her undergraduate degree, she worried that her previous college credits wouldn’t be accepted, and whether she’d be able to manage the course Continue reading “Prior learning + transfer credits = not starting from scratch”

Ken Schultz: a life-changing experience with the support of faculty and peers


Ken Schultz, an English Literature & Writing major with a concentration in Text:Image at Marylhurst University, recently completed a 25-credit portfolio through Prior Learning Assessment  — CONGRATULATIONS, Ken!

Public Speaking
Metamorphosis: The process of change within human cultures and individuals
Acting for the Camera
Advanced Screen Writing
Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Filmmaking
Digital Video Editing

In his final PLA Reflection statement, Ken speaks of the power of learning in a community, with peer review as an essential component of the PLA writing process.  “I have found benefit in peer review not only for developing my PLA essays, but in my personal fiction writing, as well.  I have become a lot more invested in disseminating and gathering feedback about my own writing, both personally and professionally, and feel like I have a much clearer understanding of how this added perspective contributes to improving my work.”

In this audio clip, you can learn about Ken’s personal experience in the PLA program, and how he demonstrated his extensive personal and professional learning to earn 25 college credits!

Catherine Hooper: Learning to Dream Again

Catherine Hooper, an Organizational Communications major at Marylhurst University, recently finished her 9-credit PLA Portfolio for the following topics:

  • COL 427 Great Meetings: Planning and Facilitating Difficult Group Discussion
  • CCM 321 Small Group Communication
  • COL 426 Team Building: Managing Work Groups

In her Final Portfolio Reflection essay, Catherine wrote:

The PLA program was especially valuable to me because it provided tools to help me find what I was interested in and did well at, and then matched that to a degree program. Education is valuable and I have always wanted to complete my bachelor’s degree; the PLA program created an environment where experience and education are combined to build a strong resume and a sound career path while working on my degree.

Through the PLA program I learned to dream again and think about my future in a more creative way. It offered me opportunities to remember where I had been and what I had done in life and how that has molded me into the person I am today. PLA then helped me take that awareness to develop an educational degree plan that truly excited me.

Congratulations, Catherine!

Debra Giannini: Ready for What’s Next

Debra Giannini just completed her 15-credit Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio. Debra is an Interdisciplinary Studies major with concentrations in Psychology and Expressive Therapies. The topics she wrote for are:

  • BIO 165 – Alternatives in Health and Healing
  • BIO 167 – Nutritional Science
  • CHS 354 – Environment, Culture, and Food
  • CCM 342 – Rhythm-Based Communication
  • SPP 371 – Communicating the Sacred through Dance

In her final Reflective Essay, Debra wrote:

Like so many others examining the trails of our lived lives, I soon discovered how much I had undervalued some experiences and independent learning. In this year, I’ve become better able to express myself in writing and discussion and to appreciate how different points of view embellish and extend the learning process. I have gained skills in computer technology, time management, and research tools, and I have made many good friends and professional colleagues in the library and through the coursework . . . I feel ready to embrace the challenge of graduate school and am grateful to have become a more confident writer.

In her video, Debra tells us more about her experiences with the program, including how she saved time and money (almost $2,500) by going through the PLA program.