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!

Catherine Hooper: Learning to Dream Again

Catherine Hooper, an Organizational Communications major at Marylhurst University, recently finished her 9-credit PLA Portfolio for the following topics:

  • COL 427 Great Meetings: Planning and Facilitating Difficult Group Discussion
  • CCM 321 Small Group Communication
  • COL 426 Team Building: Managing Work Groups

In her Final Portfolio Reflection essay, Catherine wrote:

The PLA program was especially valuable to me because it provided tools to help me find what I was interested in and did well at, and then matched that to a degree program. Education is valuable and I have always wanted to complete my bachelor’s degree; the PLA program created an environment where experience and education are combined to build a strong resume and a sound career path while working on my degree.

Through the PLA program I learned to dream again and think about my future in a more creative way. It offered me opportunities to remember where I had been and what I had done in life and how that has molded me into the person I am today. PLA then helped me take that awareness to develop an educational degree plan that truly excited me.

Congratulations, Catherine!

Angela Pernisco: An Innovator for the Next Generation

Angela Pernisco, a Psychology major, just completed her PLA portfolio for 15 credits, all in Communications topics:

  • CCM 320 Public Presentations
  • CCM 323 Effective Listening
  • CCM 324 Nonverbal Communication
  • CCM 346 Conflict Management (with the grade of “A”!)
  • CCM 356 Intercultural Communication

Angela wrote this in her final Reflection Essay:

When I began the PLA process, I thought that this journey would focus on demonstrating how my previous experiences reflected the skills that would have been taught in a classroom setting. However, this experience has been much more than that. I have learned a great deal of academic theory relating to what I’ve been practicing for years in the “real world.” . . . This process has transformed my thinking by demonstrating that there is a significant difference between academic learning and experiential learning. On-the-job training provides us the competency to complete a task, whereas academic learning provides us with a history of why we do things as we do. This additional history is what transforms us from being process-oriented participants to innovators for the next generation.

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!