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.”

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.

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.”  

Victoria Hurlock: Establishing a Rhythm

Victoria Hurlock recently completed her PLA Portfolio with 27 credits. Victoria’s major is Communication, and the topics she wrote for were:

  • CCM 321 Small Group Communication
  • CCM 323 Effective Listening
  • CCM 325 Communication of Self-Esteem
  • CCM 337 Gender and Communication
  • CCM 346 Conflict Management
  • COL 340 Organizational Communication
  • COL 426 Team Building
  • MSD 130 Creative Problem-Solving
  • RE 100 Introduction to Real Estate

Here is what she has to say about it all:

From the very beginning, the PLA process helped me to see how much I had learned and applied during my 20 year career. The detailed evaluative process in LRN 150 affirmed my ability to apply college level concepts in my everyday life. I was surprised to see how many credits I could have written for based on my prior training, experience, and education. I opted to write for only 27 credits.

The process itself was challenging in the beginning, but once I established a rhythm and process to follow, it became easier. It was an enriching experience and I learned a much more about each topic as I wrote each paper.

For anyone considering it, don’t let a 25-30 page paper intimidate you. There are many resources available and the staff is amazing to work with. I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to complete the PLA process at Marylhurst. I would not have had as rich of an experience without it.

Congrats, Victoria! 27 credits well-earned!