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!

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.

Stephanie Lillegard: Learning a New Way to Learn

In May 2011. Stephanie Lillegard completed her 30-credit Prior Learning Assessment portfolio. For Stephanie, it was a journey of learning.

Stephanie is an Interdisciplinary Studies major with concentrations in Human Sciences and English, Literature, and Writing. She wrote PLA essays on the following topics:

  • ED 109: Library Procedures
  • ED 114: Reference Materials
  • CCM 325: Communication of Self-Esteem
  • ILS 300: Literature for Children
  • SP 227: Nonverbal Communication
  • SP 105: Listening
  • SP 111: Public Speaking
  • PSY 222: Family and Intimate Relationships

Congrats, Stephanie, on learning a new way to learn, and on 30 credits toward your undergraduate degree!

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

 

Debra Giannini: Ready for What’s Next

Debra Giannini just completed her 15-credit Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio. Debra is an Interdisciplinary Studies major with concentrations in Psychology and Expressive Therapies. The topics she wrote for are:

  • BIO 165 – Alternatives in Health and Healing
  • BIO 167 – Nutritional Science
  • CHS 354 – Environment, Culture, and Food
  • CCM 342 – Rhythm-Based Communication
  • SPP 371 – Communicating the Sacred through Dance

In her final Reflective Essay, Debra wrote:

Like so many others examining the trails of our lived lives, I soon discovered how much I had undervalued some experiences and independent learning. In this year, I’ve become better able to express myself in writing and discussion and to appreciate how different points of view embellish and extend the learning process. I have gained skills in computer technology, time management, and research tools, and I have made many good friends and professional colleagues in the library and through the coursework . . . I feel ready to embrace the challenge of graduate school and am grateful to have become a more confident writer.

In her video, Debra tells us more about her experiences with the program, including how she saved time and money (almost $2,500) by going through the PLA program.

Loretta Rowe: Weathering the Storm

Sometimes you don’t know what you know. You know? Well Loretta Rowe knows!

In just two terms, Loretta earned 21 Prior Learning Assessment credits, and in the process of doing so she discovered that she knew a lot more than she thought she knew. In her final Reflective Essay, Loretta shared this:

As I prepare my Final Portfolio, I wrestle with mixed emotions, feeling a sense of great relief and immense achievement. In two quarters, I will have earned twenty-one credits through PLA, but more than earning the credits, I leave PLA with a great sense of self-triumph. Not just for the essays I have written, but in realizing my experiences in life brought me knowledge to challenge college-level classes. . . PLA has improved my self-esteem. . . Writing down the experiences and knowledge I have gained in life through the PLA process has helped me grasp the fact that I have a wealth of knowledge, and I want to share it.

Loretta’s major is Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Business and Communications. The PLA topics Loretta wrote for were:

  • Effective Listening
  • Public Presentations
  • Principles of Management and Supervision
  • Psychology of Loss and Grief
  • Property Management
  • Sales

Loretta tells about her PLA experiences and offers some PLA writing tips in this video. (Her words are so powerful, in fact, that the electricity flashed on and off as she was talking; indeed, we filmed this in the midst of a summer thunderstorm.)

Ty Wells: A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Ty Wells, a Business & Leadership major, just submitted his Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio totaling 27 credits. Ty’s experience resides mostly in the food and hospitality industry, and he was able to use those learning experiences to write PLA essays for the following courses:

  • Conflict Management
  • Public Presentations
  • Team Building
  • Foodservice Organizations
  • Management Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Winemaking
  • Foodservice Production and Principles
  • Small Business Management
  • Principles of Accounting

In his Final Reflective essay, Ty wrote, “The end result is that I am far better equipped as a writer.” As Ty describes in this video, for students like him, PLA can be a gift that keeps on giving.