New understanding about past learning – it doesn’t get better than that!
Susan Hess Logeais, an Interdisciplinary Studies major at Marylhurst University, recently completed a 45-credit portfolio through Prior Learning Assessment — Congratulations, Susan! She challenged a number of college courses that matched the knowledge she’s acquired through her career as an actor, screenwriting and film director, as well as through her personal life as a wife, mother, and social activist:
Metamorphosis: The process of change within human cultures and individuals
Acting for the Camera
Advanced Screen Writing
Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Filmmaking
Digital Video Editing
In her final PLA Reflection essay, Susan commented on new insight she gained through this process of critical reflection and discernment: “When looking back over the subjects I wrote about, I see a clear pattern of deep inquiry and a strong sense of social responsibility. [This] has helped me narrow my thinking on the kind of senior film project I want to create.”
In this video, you can learn about Susan’s unique experience in the PLA program, and how she was able to translate her extensive professional learning into 45 college credits!
• 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.”
David Walker, an Interdisciplinary Studies major with concentrations in Cultural Studies and Text: Image, earned 36 credits through the Prior Learning Assessment program. With a solid background in writing, PLA was a comfortable fit for David, yet he says it was a challenging one. With rich personal and professional experiences, David wrote for the following topics:
Minorities in the United States
The Graphic Novel
Film and Social Struggle in America
U.S. Ethnic and Immigration History
Topics in Major Directors: George Romero
Media and Society
World and Ethnic Literature
History of Film
In his reflection about the PLA process, David tells us, “PLA is not about what you know so much as it is about how you know it. Each essay is part of a personal narrative that defines who you are through the things you have learned.” Congratulations, David!
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:
Real Estate Practices
Solving Communication Problems with Technology
Persuasion, Argumentation, Debate
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 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!
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!
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
Observation and Guidance I
Environment and Curriculum II
Instructional Strategies – Reading
Introduction to Christian Bible
Backpacking: Map and Compass
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.
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.
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:
Principles of Management and Supervision
Psychology of Loss and Grief
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.)