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”

New Heights

“Not only did PLA reinforce my knowledge, it boosted my self-esteem to heights I have never experienced before.  I had always looked at my work history and life experiences as an eclectic anthology for my life – there did not seem to be much of a theme.  What PLA did for me was to offer a clear theme, not only for my resume but for the beliefs I hold about myself.” ~PLA Alum

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!

Susan Hess Logeais: Reflection as Learning Process

New understanding about past learning – it doesn’t get better than that!

Susan Hess Logeais, an Interdisciplinary Studies major at Marylhurst University, recently completed a 45-credit portfolio through Prior Learning Assessment — Congratulations, Susan! She challenged a number of college courses that matched the knowledge she’s acquired through her career as an actor, screenwriting and film director, as well as through her personal life as a wife, mother, and social activist:

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 her final PLA Reflection essay, Susan commented on new insight she gained through this process of critical reflection and discernment: “When looking back over the subjects I wrote about, I see a clear pattern of deep inquiry and a strong sense of social responsibility. [This] has helped me narrow my thinking on the kind of senior film project I want to create.”

In this video, you can learn about Susan’s unique experience in the PLA program, and how she was able to translate her extensive professional learning into 45 college credits!

Joan Winchester: An Accreditation of Your Life

Congratulations, Joan!

Joan Winchester, an Interdisciplinary Studies major with concentrations in Communication and Religious Studies, has just completed the Prior Learning Assessment program at Marylhurst University. She earned 23 credits covering these six subject areas for learning she acquired
through diverse personal, professional and volunteer experiences:

• Listening
• Public Speaking
• Small Group Communication
• Social Dimensions of Religion and Culture
• Sociology of Aging
• Cultural Issues of Death & Dying

In reflecting on the more personal topics she wrote about, Joan said, “It was particularly gratifying to recognize the learning I have accumulated over my adult life, and applying relevant theories helped me understand my experiences at an even deeper level.”

Richard Seymour: You Can’t Not Learn

Richard Seymour, an Organizational Communications  major, recently completed his 27-credit Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio!  In writing his essays,Richard dug deep and reflected on experiences from his personal and professional life that resulted in new meaning and learning for him.

His essay topics included:

  • Negotiation
  • Great Meetings
  • Managing Transitions
  • Organizational Cultures
  • HR for the Career-Minded Professional
  • Effective Listening
  • Small Group Communication
  • Team Building: Managing Work Groups
  • Intercultural Communication

In his Final Reflection Essay, Richard wrote: “Going forward, I hope that the entanglement I have between my prior learning and the new learning becomes even more intertwined. Because education is and should be a continuous and lifelong process of self-examination, as well as an investigation into the world around us.”

David Walker: How You Know It

David Walker, an Interdisciplinary Studies major with concentrations in Cultural Studies and Text: Image, earned 36 credits through the Prior Learning Assessment program. With a solid background in writing, PLA was a comfortable fit for David, yet he says it was a challenging one. With rich personal and professional experiences, David wrote for the following topics:

  • Film Genre
  • Effective Listening
  • Minorities in the United States
  • The Graphic Novel
  • Film and Social Struggle in America
  • U.S. Ethnic and Immigration History
  • Text:Image
  • Topics in Major Directors: George Romero
  • Media and Society
  • World and Ethnic Literature
  • History of Film

In his reflection about the PLA process, David tells us, “PLA is not about what you know so much as it is about how you know it. Each essay is part of a personal narrative that defines who you are through the things you have learned.” Congratulations, David!

Donna Gentry: Deepening Existing Knowledge

Donna Gentry, a Communications major, completed her Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio, earning 36 credits for college-level knowledge that she gained through her professional and personal experiences. She wrote for the following courses that focused on her major and greatly enhanced her professional work in teaching adults and designing corporate trainings:

  • CCM 320 Public Presentations
  • CCM 321 Small Group Communication
  • CCM 322 Interpersonal Communication
  • CCM 323 Effective Listening: From Comprehension to Critical Evaluation
  • CCM 324 Nonverbal Communication
  • CCM 328 The Communication of Affirmation
  • CCM 329 Healing Communication
  • CCM 336 Humor and Communication
  • COL 432 Leadership Communication
  • COL 426 Team Building: Managing Work Groups
  • CTD 440 Principles of Instructional Design
  • CTD 446 Helping Adults Learn

In Donna’s final reflection she wrote, in part:

I feel a great sense of pride every time I complete an essay.  When I reflect on my career my accomplishments and experiences I think to myself, “I really did a lot.  I really know a lot.”  And I learn something new about myself with each essay.  I am reminded to use good listening skills, I am reminded to make the conscious effort good interpersonal communication requires and the patience and self-awareness it takes to be a better communicator.  PLA reminds me of all these things and more.  My self-worth has never been so solid.