We can tell you everything you need to know about Prior Learning…

Attend our PLA Information Meeting on Monday, March 11 to learn how you can earn college credit and save time and money through our Prior Learning Assessment program.

BP John Administration building, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Call 503.699.6260 for more information.

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!

Helen Fern: Informed by Life Experience

Helen is a Human Studies major, and she earned credit through the PLA program for the following courses:

  • Introduction to Photography
  • Mushroom Identification and Taxonomy
  • Anasazi Archeology
  • Conflict Management
  • Effective Listening
  • Psychology of Loss and Grief

Three of these topics were grounded in her hobbies and avocations (she has some great mushroom recipes and some amazing photographs!). All were deeply informed by her life experience.

Christy Dirren: Validate and Celebrate

Christy Dirren, an Organizational Communications major, talks about her experiences in the Prior Learning Assessment program. Christy earned 12 credits toward her Bachelor’s degree by writing essays based on learning from her prior experiences.

The PLA topics that Christy wrote for were:

  • Managing Transitions
  • Team Building
  • Principles of Instructional Design
  • Youth Ministry 101

Christy — congratulations! This is a great accomplishment!

Barbara Eckroad: Tips from a Distance Student

Barbara Eckroad recently submitted her PLA Portfolio for the maximum number of credits allowed — 45! For Barbara, all of that life experience has added up — big time!

Barbara is an Interdisciplinary Studies major with concentrations in English, Literature & Writing, Media Studies, and Religious Studies. The topics she wrote for were:

  • LIT 223: Introduction to Literary Genre
  • WR 367: Writing Workshop I: Poetry
  • WR 368 & 468: Writing Workshop I & II: Short Fiction
  • LIT 329: The Novel
  • WR 312: Writing the Novel
  • SSC 210: Introduction to Hebrew Bible
  • SSC 211: Introduction to Christian Bible
  • SSC 422: Gospels
  • SPP 330: Spiritual Discernment through Writing
  • SPH 357: Existentialism
  • CCM 321: Small Group Communication
  • HST 353: History of the 1960′s
  • SPH 300: Ethics and Social Issues
  • CCM 333: Intercultural Communications

 

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!