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.
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.
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.