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.

Velda Metelmann: 67 Years of Learning

Velda Metelmann recently completed her undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with concentrations in English Literature & Writing and Human Studies, and is now in a graduate program to earn her Masters! Congratulations, Velda!

As part of her undergraduate program, Velda earned 25 credits for the following courses through Prior Learning Assessment:

  • Effective Listening
  • Public Presentations
  • Human Emotion
  • Publications and Performance
  • Women Working for Change
  • Readings and Special Project in the Teachings of Abd’ul-Bahá

In her Final Reflection Essay, Velda talked about how writing for PLA credits increased her confidence in her writing skills, so that now a 6-8 page term paper seems like an easy task after working on a 20-25 page PLA essay. She also commented that, “My love of writing has been increased as well as my skill in the art, and I look forward to my next terms with excitement.”

In this video Velda shares her experience in the PLA program – her enthusiasm for life-long learning is infectious!

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.