Chris Brinks: Becoming More Cognizant Of Learning

Chip Brinks, a Real Estate Studies major from Southern California (with extensive experience in the Real Estate industry), just completed a 33-credit Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio. He wrote for the following topics:

  • BA 238:  Sales / Selling as a Profession
  • RE 140: Intro to Property Management
  • RE 155: Intro to Escrow
  • MSD 117 and 161: Customer Relations
  • BUS 157: E-Commerce
  • PE 182: Tai Chi
  • PE 183: Beginning Karate I and II
  • PE : Swim Conditioning
  • PAC 242: SCUBA – Open Water
  • PAC 243: SCUBA – Advanced

Here is what Chip wrote about in his Final Reflective Essay in regard to his experiences with the PLA program:

Due to the self-discovery involved in the PLA process, I have developed additional learning skills which will empower me for the rest of my life. I now have become much more cognizant of learning and have gained a great deal of self-awareness as I develop knowledge acquired from new experiences. I have become more naturally curious about higher levels of knowledge as I apply the skills I have developed in this process.

Although I enjoyed the PLA process, I did find the pace to be very challenging and found it was wise to take only this course during each session. However, I found the PLA courses were very worthwhile as I have saved a tremendous amount of time in the pursuit of my degree without decreasing the quality of my education.

Congratulations, Chip!

Loretta Rowe: Weathering the Storm

Sometimes you don’t know what you know. You know? Well Loretta Rowe knows!

In just two terms, Loretta earned 21 Prior Learning Assessment credits, and in the process of doing so she discovered that she knew a lot more than she thought she knew. In her final Reflective Essay, Loretta shared this:

As I prepare my Final Portfolio, I wrestle with mixed emotions, feeling a sense of great relief and immense achievement. In two quarters, I will have earned twenty-one credits through PLA, but more than earning the credits, I leave PLA with a great sense of self-triumph. Not just for the essays I have written, but in realizing my experiences in life brought me knowledge to challenge college-level classes. . . PLA has improved my self-esteem. . . Writing down the experiences and knowledge I have gained in life through the PLA process has helped me grasp the fact that I have a wealth of knowledge, and I want to share it.

Loretta’s major is Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Business and Communications. The PLA topics Loretta wrote for were:

  • Effective Listening
  • Public Presentations
  • Principles of Management and Supervision
  • Psychology of Loss and Grief
  • Property Management
  • Sales

Loretta tells about her PLA experiences and offers some PLA writing tips in this video. (Her words are so powerful, in fact, that the electricity flashed on and off as she was talking; indeed, we filmed this in the midst of a summer thunderstorm.)

Ty Wells: A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Ty Wells, a Business & Leadership major, just submitted his Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio totaling 27 credits. Ty’s experience resides mostly in the food and hospitality industry, and he was able to use those learning experiences to write PLA essays for the following courses:

  • Conflict Management
  • Public Presentations
  • Team Building
  • Foodservice Organizations
  • Management Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Winemaking
  • Foodservice Production and Principles
  • Small Business Management
  • Principles of Accounting

In his Final Reflective essay, Ty wrote, “The end result is that I am far better equipped as a writer.” As Ty describes in this video, for students like him, PLA can be a gift that keeps on giving.

Julie Fleming: Claiming Her Knowledge

This week, Julie Fleming, one of our Prior Learning Assessment students, turned in her final PLA Portfolio: 17 credits for college-level learning that she had gained through her experiences owning a dance school and teaching dance.

Congratulations, Julie!

Julie’s major is Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Business, Communications, and Dance. The 17 credits fulfill her requirements for her Dance concentration entirely. Courses she earned credit for through the PLA process include Dance Education Theory, Methods of Teaching Children’s Dance, Dance Composition I, Music for Dance, Costume Design and Construction for Dance, and Dance Production.

In her Reflection Essay, Julie wrote, “The PLA process is much like a second journey down a familiar path, examining my past through an academic lens.” I asked Julie to share a few thoughts about the PLA process, its benefits, as well as some of her essay writing strategies. I think after you watch this video, you’ll agree with me that its theme is about claiming your knowledge and framing it academically, a benefit that for Julie has gone far beyond earning the credits.