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!
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:
Small Group Communication
Planning & Facilitating Difficult Group Discussions
Communication of Self-Esteem
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, 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.
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:
Principles of Instructional Design
Youth Ministry 101
Christy — congratulations! This is a great accomplishment!
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.)
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:
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.