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:

Listening
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.

Jennifer Goff-Hawkins: The Power of Peer Review

Jennifer Goff-Hawkins, a Business and Leadership major at Marylhurst University, recently earned 30 credits through Prior Learning Assessment. She submitted  PLA essays for topics that represented her learning from her personal and professional experiences:

  • Listening
  • Small Group Communication
  • Leadership Communication
  • Health Information Management
  • Conflict Management
  • Organizational Communication
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Great Meetings
  • Strategic Listening for the Workplace

In her final PLA Reflection Essay, Jennifer shared that writing for PLA credits was a rigorous process that she found difficult, thought-provoking, and entirely rewarding.  She also commented,

The successful PLA student must be able to objectively reflect upon her life experiences, and must be able to commit to the Prior Learning Assessment process. Being a successful PLA student myself, I feel part of an elite group of uncommon individuals. I know that this is an experience that I will reflect upon for the rest of my life.

In this video Jennifer shares her experience in the PLA program – the challenges, the benefits, and also some great tips for current or future PLA participants.

Jodie Johnson: Balancing Prior and New Learning

Congratulations to Jodie Johnson, an Interdisciplinary Studies major with concentrations in Religious Studies and Human Studies, who recently completed her Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio. Jodie earned 33 credits based on knowledge she gained through both her professional and personal experiences! She wrote nine PLA essays on the following topics:

  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Business Ethics
  • Real Estate Practices
  • Solving Communication Problems with Technology
  • Listening
  • Customer Relations
  • Sales
  • Persuasion, Argumentation, Debate
  • Computer Concepts

In Jodie’s Final Reflection Statement she wrote:

After writing seven essays and against the recommendation of my instructors, I decided to take a term off from PLA. I was so excited to delve into my core classes and obtain new learning. Ultimately it did not do me any favors when I went to finish up the last two essays…My eighth essay was an incredible struggle…I had to relearn the structure of Prior Learning…I should have kept on the motivated wave of writing and finished. It is the greatest lesson I can pass along to all those interested in moving ahead in their college career with PLA.

Greg Carradine: He Learned A Lot In High School (Working There!)

Greg Carradine, a Human Communication major, recently completed his 32-credit Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio — Congratulations, Greg!

Greg used his personal experiences as well as those from his professional life as a high school teacher and athletic coach to demonstrate his college-level competency for these courses:

  • Effective Listening
  • Small Group Communication
  • Conflict Management
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Planning & Facilitating Difficult Group Discussions
  • Communication of Self-Esteem
  • Team Building
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Poverty and Schooling

In his Final Reflection Essay, Greg wrote, in part, “I learned how to analyze and evaluate theoretical texts from scholarly sources and to apply this material to my own life experience.  Organizing my essays produced a continuum, and with the completion of each paper the method became smoother.”  

Carleen Walsh: Credit for Diverse Knowledge

Carleen Walsh, an Interdisciplinary Studies major with concentrations in Early Childhood Education, Psychology, and Literature, recently completed her Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio, earning 45 credits for knowledge she gained through her professional and personal experiences – that’s the maximum number of PLA credits a Marylhurst student can earn!  Here is a list of the courses Carleen wrote for:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Law – Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Law – Substantive Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • Litigation
  • Evidence
  • Observation and Guidance I
  • Environment and Curriculum II
  • Instructional Strategies – Reading
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Effective Listening
  • Introduction to Christian Bible
  • Nutrition
  • Backpacking: Map and Compass

Congraulations, Carleen!

One thing of note that Carleen included in her Final Reflection Essay was this:

As I was writing each essay, I was totally caught up in what I was writing about, and became aware how much knowledge I gained through different experiences.  Some of these experiences were over 10 years ago, but I was back at that time as I was writing the essay, and reading material showed me how much I know about a certain subject.