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Adult Learning Resources

OnPaste.20200130-141949

Can Behavioral Science Help College Students with Children Graduate?

22% of today's undergraduate students are parents. And yet, in spite of being highly motivated, only 17% of these parents will complete their bachelor's degree in 6 years (compared to about 60% of students without children). Colleges and universities are exploring ways to close this gap with programs such as 2Gen programming which supports both the student and their children.

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More-Than-Just-A-Job-Report-Cover

More Than Just a Job Search: Relevant, Intentional and Accessible Career Services for Today's Student (and Returning Adults)

Colleges and universities are recognizing the need to reimagine their approach to career services support. The old career services model is a reactive one, with career centers that students can seek out if they want to and with services typically including assistance with job searches, resume review and interview preparation. Today's students, especially adult students, face different challenges that require different approaches because, at this time in their lives, it's more than just a job search.

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Adept at Adapting
Adult Learner 360 Case Studies

Adult learners, or returning adults, often face multiple challenges to earning a degree or credential: caregiving and household obligations, a full-time job, unexpected life disruptions (such as medical bills) and more. It is not always clear to institutions of higher learning how to effectively serve adult learners, whether they are already meeting the needs of these students or how to prioritize future investments to serve them.

This report examines the experiences of three institutions that used data gathered using CAEL's Adult Learner 360 platform to guide their decisions on building programs and services for their current and prospective adult students.

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Fin Aid Redesign

Financial Aid for Prior Learning Assessment

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor invited postsecondary institutions to participate in an experiment to learn how federal financial aid might be used to cover the costs of prior learning assessment (PLA). This brief highlights some of the experiences and successful results of the experiment so far, while also pointing to how this new application of federal financial aid might be best supported if available nationwide.

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kresge

The Kresge Foundation 2015 Annual Report: Using the Right Tools for Social Change

This white paper outlines some of the issues facing adult learners including confusing or incomplete information, patchwork of regulations, and a need for more flexible and impactful educational offerings. It provides examples of existing building blocks which encourage success, such as Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) and Competency-Based Education (CBE), among others.

View Annual Report

book_of_states

The Adult Learner: A Critical Ally for State Economic Development

This article, written by Wilson Finch, senior consultant at CAEL, is featured in The Council of State Governements Book of States 2016. This piece makes the argument to state policymakers that a focus on adult and nontraditional students is not only critically lacking and long overdue, but also essential to state educational attainment and economic goals.

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strengthening_americas_economy

Strengthening America's Economy By Expanding Educational Opportunities for Working Adults

This white paper outlines some of the issues facing adult learners including confusing or incomplete information, patchwork of regulations, and a need for more flexible and impactful educational offerings. It provides examples of existing building blocks which encourage success, such as Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) and Competency-Based Education (CBE), among others.

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AdultBrain

Why the Adult Brain Likes PLA

Based on my experience in the PLA world for more than 40 years—as a teacher, mentor, and assessor in programs that have benefitted from CAEL’s pioneering advocacy of PLA—I think we need to do more to showcase the fact that students often gain new learning from the process of PLA. I, therefore, propose an additional tag line—something like: “The experience, not the learning, is what’s prior in PLA. PLA leads to new learning.” Which brings me to the title of this piece: Why the Adult Brain Likes PLA. Or, more explicitly: How PLA works with an adult learner’s brain, especially when it involves constructive, intentional guidance from an experienced educator or facilitator.

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Adult Learner 360 Sample Summary Report

Check out an example of an Adult Learner 360 Summary Report. This valuable report shows how adult-friendly an institution is by outlining an institution's strengths, challenges, and comparisons — both internal and external. Recommendations on how the institution can become more adult-friendly are also provided.

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NAL

National Adult Learners Satisfaction-Priorities Report

The report reveals the results of the pilot study of the new Adult Learner Inventory™ conducted by Ruffalo Noel Levitz and CAEL (Council for Adult and Experiential Learning). The results identify the level of importance that adult learners place on aspects of their student experience ...

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The Career Lattice

The Career Lattice is the essential guide to strategic lateral moves, showing through narratives and case studies how individuals and employers grow in their careers.

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MOW_Reports

Maturity in the Workplace: Stories of Workers Aged 55+ on their Journeys to New Work and Careers

This publication profiles the stories of some of the mature workers who have participated in the Tapping Mature Talent initiative. Some have needed to upgrade their skills, some have pursued brand new careers in high-growth industries, some have worked hard to recover.

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Game Changers: Education and Information Technology

CAEL’s Pamela Tate and Rebecca Klein-Collins contributed a chapter to this book discussing technology and the nontraditional learner, with a focus on career pathways, prior learning assessment, and career/educational advising…

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Tapping-Mature-Talent-Policies-for-a-21st-Century-Workforce

Tapping Mature Talent: Policies for a 21st Century Workforce

People aged 55 and older are one of the fastest growing demographic groups in much of the developed world. While they have seen tremendous changes in technology and everyday living over their lifetime, some of the biggest societal changes are those that they themselves are helping to make.

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W-A-S-L-M-T_Reports

Workplace Action Steps for Leveraging Mature Talent: Findings from the Talent Management Study

Demographic and other trends indicate that the U.S. will be seeing more mature workers actively engaged in the labor market, whether out of financial need or out of continued ability and preference.

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O-W_Reports

Older Workers, Rising Skill Requirements, and the Need for a Re-envisioning of the Public Workforce System

The lingering aftermath of the Great Recession that commenced in December 2007 has shown that despite the efforts of the traditionally under-resourced public workforce system to serve more job seekers than ever before, far too many job seekers have been unable to reconnect to the labor market.

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F-L-R-D_Reports

Financial Literacy and Retirement Decisions: The Choices Facing Older Workers

Older workers face a series of decisions that will affect their economic well-being in retirement. They must decide when to retire from their career jobs, whether to work after retirement, whether they need to continue to invest in their skills and productivity, when to start pension and Social Security benefits, whether to accept lump-sum distributions, and how to invest their retirement wealth.

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O-P-M-W_Reports

Occupational Profiles for the Mature Worker: Finding and Using Detailed Information About Occupations with the Largest Share of Mature Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor supported a three-year Aging Worker Initiative (AWI) between 2009 and 2012. As this initiative came to a close, CAEL invited leading experts on the mature workforce to help us showcase the work of the AWI grantees alongside their own research findings.

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H-S-C_Reports

From High School to Career: A Strategy to Weather Talent’s Perfect Storm

Across the country, businesses are partnering with high schools and colleges to build programs that develop the skills needed for employment within their own industry. This report covers exemplary high school-to-career programs. Each of these initiatives results in prepared students contributing to a prepared workforce.

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Competency-Based Education Resources

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Giving CBE a Jumpstart: Stories of Institutional Progress on CBE from the Jumpstart Initiative

This report examines the CBE efforts of the 21 Jumpstart participants and their varied journeys in developing CBE programs: the unique decisions they have made around their developing programs; the challenges that have delayed some programs or prevented others from moving to implementation; and lessons from these stories that may prove useful for other colleges, universities, and systems looking to take their own dive into CBE.

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PLA_and_CBE

PLA and CBE on the Competency Continuum

There is no single “right way” to do CBE, but there are two different ways to approach it, as defined by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions.

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Competency-Based Degree Programs in the U.S.: Postsecondary Credentials for Measurable Student Learning and Performance

This paper examines the current state of competency-based postsecondary education in the U.S., profiling the various types of competency-based, or competency-focused, models that currently exist, the extent to which these programs assess for student competen-cies or learning outcomes, and the extent to which these programs operate outside of a credit-based system. These programs can help inform other institutions interested in develop-ing a stronger focus on competencies, whether by demonstrating the possibilities of high-quality programs or by facilitating the recognition of learning acquired outside of traditional instruction.

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Meeting Students Where They Are: Profiles of Students in Competency-Based Degree Programs

This report catalogues stories of average Americans—some who went to college directly after high school, some who are returning to postsecondary education after many years in the workforce, and others who are pursuing graduate studies. All of these students have one thing in common: They are participating in a competency-based education program that tracks their progress by measuring the knowledge and skills they have acquired. This report demonstrates the positive qualities of competency-based learning and identifies commonalities among student experiences that can inform the policy priorities for those looking to expand and reform postsecondary educational offerings.

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FACULTY_AND_ADMINISTRATOR_VIEWS_ON_COMPETENCY-BASED_EDUCATION

Faculty and Administrator Views on Competency-Based Education

Today’s competency-based education (CBE) programs offer students a unique post-secondary experience that focuses more on student learning and less on whether or how long a student has spent time in a classroom.

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Assessment’s New Role in Degree Completion: A Registrar’s Primer on Prior Learning Assessment and Competency-Based Education

This 23-page publication provides an introduction to prior learning assessment (PLA) and competency-based education (CBE), and explores what registrars should consider in their roles supporting institutional adoption of these assessment-focused programs and services.

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Common Skills for Employability and Pathways to Advancement

Competency Mapping Resources for Retail & Adjacent Industries

The skills and abilities critical to success in retail work—skills like customer service, teamwork, service recovery, and problem-solving - are in demand from employers not just in retail, but many other industries.

CAEL created these resources that capture and expand upon existing research on skills developed through front-line retail worker. They can be used to communicate the value and inform the creation of competency-based workforce activities in retail.

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Peirce College

Competency-Based Education at Peirce College: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

In keeping with their mission to educate adult learners through flexible and affordable programs, Peirce College recently converted an existing Bachelor of Science in information technology degree to a non-traditional, competency-based format designed specifically for working adults. The program successfully launched with its first enrolled class in September 2016.

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Valdosta

Competency-Based K–5 Science and Mathematics Teaching Endorsements at Valdosta State University

In the spring semester of 2016, Valdosta State University launched a CBE program aimed at providing local K–12 teachers with science and math teaching endorsements. A model for collaboration, the self-paced program was developed with support from the Georgia Department of Education and input from two local school districts.

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Competency-Based Master of Business Administration at Davenport University

Developed over the course of a year by a core team of business school faculty and staff, the program is designed around the mastery of 12 professional competencies and one personal development competency through the completion of proficiency modules. These modules, designed to develop and assess particular skills and knowledge associated with an individual competency, are built around a standard 3-phase process: pre-assessment of existing knowledge, formation of needed knowledge and skills, and final assessment demonstrating competency.

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Lord Fairfax Community College: Knowledge to Work

In October 2014, with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor, Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) began work to develop a far reaching“Knowledge to Work” (K2W) initiative to establish new competency-based degree programs. LFCC began offering these new competency-based education (CBE) programs in fall 2015, including Associate of Applied Science degrees in health information management and information systems technology; a certificate in office systems assistant; and career studies certificates in hospital facility coding, information processing technician, cyber security, and networking specialist.

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Salt Lake City Community College: Competency-Based Education in the School of Applied Technology

This publication is part of CAEL’s ongoing series of case studies on competency-based education (CBE) programs in the U.S. The new case study is of Salt Lake Community College’s ambitious CE initiative, which launched with 10 active programs in 2015 and many more under development.

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Customized, Outcome-based, Relevant Evaluation (CORE) at Lipscomb University

This is the first of what will be a series of case studies of competency-based degree programs that have been emerging in recent years. The case studies are prepared by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) with funding from Lumina Foundation.

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competency-based_bachelor_of_business_administration_at_brandman_university1

Competency-Based Bachelor of Business Administration at Brandman University

In October 2014, Brandman University launched a competency-based direct assessment program. Brandman University is a private, adult-focused, non-profit institution based in California. The competency-based Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) is a low-cost and flexible alternative for adult and nontraditional students.

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City of Seattle (CityU): Performance-Based Degree Model

This case study is part of a series on newer competency-based degree programs that have been emerging in recent years. The case studies are prepared by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) with funding from Lumina Foundation.

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texas-affordable-baccalaureate-program

Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program

A Collaboration between the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, South Texas College, and Texas A&M University-Commerce.

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Employee Career Development

Next-Generation Career Exploration to Combat Talent Flight

Next-Generation Career Exploration to Combat Talent Flight

Talent flight has always been a challenge for employers. Yet as older employees retire and millennials rapidly become the largest demographic in the workforce, employers now face talent flight to an extent never previously seen. Check out our ebook to find out how modern career exploration tools are helping employers keep their best employees longer.

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Developing-Americas-Frontline-Workers

Developing America's Frontline Workers

In support of The White House initiative to UpSkill America’s low-wage and entry-level workforce, the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), in collaboration with the Aspen Institute's UpSkill America, surveyed 365 U.S.-based businesses to explore what they are doing to develop their frontline workers, as well as reveal the business impact of respective developmental initiatives or programs.

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Talent_Investments_Pay_Off

Talent Investments Pay off: Cigna Realizes Return on Investment From Tuition Benefits

An analysis of health insurer Cigna’s Education Reimbursement Program (ERP) shows every dollar the company puts into the program is returned and generates an additional $1.29 in savings—a 129 percent return on investment. Lumina Foundation, a national foundation focused on increasing postsecondary attainment partnered with Cigna to design the study, which was conducted by Accenture, a leading global professional services company.

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Six Steps to Improved Employee Engagement

“Engagement.” It’s quite a buzzword when it comes to employees these days. But what does it really mean? At CAEL, we speak with employers frequently about the concept of engagement, and in most cases, we’re referring to employee enthusiasm and performance and, by extension, employee productivity. The bottom line: Engaged employees are employees who feel valued. Because of that, they are more productive and more likely to stick with the company.

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8_Tips_for_Better_Employee_Retention

Eight Tips for Better Employee Retention

If employee retention isn’t on your mind today, it should be. Now that the economy has bounced back, businesses are hiring and employees are ready and willing to seek new opportunities. All of a sudden, keeping your employees is more important than it was during the recession. To keep employees happy, there are a number of factors to consider. This includes a culture of transparency, engagement and development, and all of that contributes to somebody wanting to stay with you. It’s not all dollars.

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Knowledge_Transfer_4_Tips_to_Get_You_Started

Knowledge Transfer: Four Tips to Get You Started

With thousands of baby boomers retiring each day, knowledge transfer has never been more important. What do we mean by “knowledge transfer”? It’s the process of transferring knowledge from one part of the organization to another in an effort to organize, create, capture and distribute knowledge to ensure its availability for future users.

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5_Tips_to_Create_a_Transparent_Workplace

Five Tips to Create a Transparent Workplace

Transparency is a big topic that touches on both a company’s external and internal brand. One key aspect of business transparency centers on the internal discussions between employer and employee, for both present and future employees. When a company is committed to internal transparency, it forms an active “partnership” between the employer and the employee.

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a_guide_to_upskilling_america

A Guide to Upskilling America’s Frontline Workers

The US economy is continuing to experience a strong recovery and is creating millions of jobs along the way. But still, there are not enough skilled workers to fill these jobs. In fact, as of January 2015, five million jobs remained unfilled in the United States. Employers consistently report they are facing a major skills shortage challenge. 

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Learning_counts_portfolio_assessment

LearningCounts Portfolio Assessment Means Cost Savings for Students…and Employers

Adults who pursue postsecondary education often bring with them considerable college level learning that they acquired from their work, military, or life experience. Through prior learning assessment (PLA), they may be able to have this learning evaluated for college credit. One form of PLA is individualized assessment, in which students prepare a portfolio of their experiential learning, often with supporting documentation. This portfolio is then evaluated by trained faculty assessors to determine a credit award. PLA can save students a significant amount. 

Download Now

the_hidden_classroom-min

The Hidden Classroom of the Workplace

Many of us are accustomed to the idea that we learn at school and that a college education is acquired in college classrooms. In reality, however, learning takes place in all aspects of a person’s life — through military experience, raising a family, volunteering, and perhaps most significantly in the workplace. 

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Are Your Employees Asking for Career Development?

"This white paper explains strategies that address career development in the entry and mid-level workforce."

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Military-Connected Students and Veterans

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Promoting Veteran Career Success Through Employer Partnership

In 2013, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation joined forces to form the Veterans Working Group (VWG) as a community of knowledge dedicated to veteran employment efforts. This case study outlines the important work that the VWG has done to promote veteran career success.

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valuing military learning

Valuing Military Learning: A Guide to Military Prior Learning Assessment and More

This guide is designed for servicemembers and veterans in the healthcare field to assist them in their transition into the civilian workforce by obtaining career credentials through prior learning assessment (PLA). The Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) worked closely with the CAEL to produce the online guide which provides guidance for military personnel in applying and enrolling in college, obtaining college credit for military learning, and funding for their education. This guide was made possible by a grant from Strada Education Network (formerly USA Funds).

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Developing Military to Civilian Accelerated/Bridge Programs in Healthcare

Lessons and recommendations from a national scan of select related programs, focusing on opportunities for Army Medics (68W) in nursing and allied health occupations.

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promoting_college_and_career_succes

Promoting College and Career Success: Portfolio Assessment for Student Veterans

Active service members and veterans are pursuing postsecondary degrees in record numbers today, due in large part to the GI Bill education benefits that can cover much or all of the cost. An important tool for helping service members and veterans succeed in postsecondary education is prior learning assessment, or PLA.

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investing_veterns-min

Investing in Veterans: The Need for Career and Education Advising

Federal education benefits for veterans represent a substantial investment—$18 billion since 2009 under the Post-9/11 GI Bill—in the development of a skilled American workforce.

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serving_stduent_Veterans-min

Serving Student Veterans

CAEL works directly with veterans services coordinators and faculty at Chicago-area colleges and universities to create networks that promote best practices in serving student veterans. For example, CAEL has developed veteran-focused higher education affinity groups in Denver and Chicago. Within these networks, CAEL has organized quarterly professional development opportunities, leveraged the collective voice of members in advocacy efforts, and encouraged cross learning. Issues that have been addressed include military benefits, recognizing military learning through prior learning assessment, and accommodations and disabilities.

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CAEL-METC_Guide_to_Military_Traning_for_College_Credit_cvr_img-full-8x6x54Q

Guide to Assessing METC Healthcare Training for College Credit

This guide is designed to assist academic institutions in their efforts to expand the recognition of military education for academic credit in healthcare programs and should serve as a companion piece for administrators, faculty, and staff who have toured METC and want additional direction about potential next steps in initiating degree bridge partnerships or crosswalk processes.

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Prior Learning Assessment

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Recognition of Prior Learning in the 21st Century

The authors of this brief conducted conversations with several leaders of change within the higher education landscape. Drawing on these conversations, the authors suggest what a future higher education model could - and should - look like in order to reflect the realities of the changing world of work post-COVID while taking advantage of advances in technology-based tools and our growing understanding of how people learn.

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OnPaste.20200702-124949

Recognizing Prior Learning in the COVID-19 Era: Helping Displaced Workers
and Students One Credit at a Time

This brief focuses on issues arising in the practice of the recognition of prior learning, policies that encourage or limit its adoption, and key research needs and future directions for the field. A full series of briefs, as well as original research on the impact of prior learning assessment on student outcomes, will be released later this summer.

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Do Methods Matter? PLA, Portfolio Assessment, and the Road to Completion and Persistence

This report presents the findings from a study that examines the relationship between PLA and student outcomes, while also exploring whether students might have different outcomes depending upon the specific method of PLA that they are using.

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What Happens When Learning Counts? Measuring the Benefits of Prior Learning Assessment for the Adult Learner

This report presents the findings of our study, which examined the enrollment patterns and degree completion of former LearningCounts students as reflected in data available through the National Student Clearinghouse, supplemented by the perspectives of the students themselves through survey responses.

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assessing learning

Assessing Learning: Quality Standards and Institutional Commitments, 3rd Edition

In the third edition of Assessing Learning: Quality Standards and Institutional Commitments, Donna Younger and Catherine Marienau provide an updated set of standards for the assessment of learning and the awarding of credit for learning gained from experience.

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Fin Aid Redesign

Financial Aid for Prior Learning Assessment

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor invited postsecondary institutions to participate in an experiment to learn how federal financial aid might be used to cover the costs of prior learning assessment (PLA). This brief highlights some of the experiences and successful results of the experiment so far, while also pointing to how this new application of federal financial aid might be best supported if available nationwide.

Download Now

chart_the_path

Chart the Path to Adult Student Success with PLA

More than half of today’s students are adult learners, juggling jobs and families, in addition to college. This brings new challenges for institutions of higher education, forcing them to adjust rapidly to address the needs of their growing adult student base. Download our ebook to learn how prior learning assessment can help your adult student succeed.

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PLA Data Tracking

In this new report, CAEL proposes a model for institutional tracking and reporting of credit earned through prior learning assessment (PLA). The report provides recommendations for specific PLA-related variables that postsecondary institutions should track in their student information systems (SIS), as well as suggestions for internal reports on PLA.

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state_policy_approaches_to_support_prior_learning_assessment

State Policy Approaches to Support Prior Learning Assessment

This guide is intended to serve as a resource for state leaders who wish to promote PLA policy, whether through new higher education policy or through legislation. It includes background information on PLA and why a state- or systemwide approach can be helpful, information on the kinds of policies that other states and systems are adopting, and case studies of both general approaches to state- or systemwide PLA and approaches designed specifically to benefit veterans. 

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PLA is Your Business

As more institutions embrace PLA, two of the questions they frequently have are, "What should my organization be charging for the various PLA services we want to offer?" and "What are the costs to my organization?"

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PLA_and_CBE_on_the_competency_continuum

PLA and CBE on the Competency Continuum

There is no single “right way” to do CBE, but there are two different ways to approach it, as defined by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions. 

 Download Now

state_system_PLA_adoption_d

State System PLA Adoption: Lessons from a Three-System Initiative

In states across the nation, there is an urgency to increase the educational attainment levels of citizens and the workforce. Between 1973 and 2008, the share of jobs in the U.S. economy which required postsecondary education increased from 28% to 59%, and it is projected that by 2018, that proportion will rise to 63% of all jobs. 

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random_access

Random Access: the Latino Experience With Prior Learning Assessment

Through analysis of more than 32,000 student academic records, as well as interviews with Latino students and PLA administrators, the study examines how Latino students engage with PLA in terms of methods used, number of credits earned, and areas of study for which credits are earned. 

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earn cc for what you know

Earn College Credit for What You Already Know, Fifth Edition

Janet Colvin: This edition offers the latest, most current information on prior learning assessment (PLA). Earlier editions of this book, specifically written for adult learners considering the prior learning assessment process, have assisted tens of thousands of adult learners. The book is also helpful to evaluators, administrators, faculty, and training managers. Many CAEL member institutions use this book as text for their PLA portfolio development courses. 

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promoting_college_and_career_succes

Promoting College and Career Success: Portfolio Assessment for Student Veterans

Active service members and veterans are pursuing postsecondary degrees in record numbers today, due in large part to the GI Bill education benefits that can cover much or all of the cost. An important tool for helping service members and veterans succeed in postsecondary education is prior learning assessment, or PLA. 

 Download Now

Learning_counts_portfolio_assessment

LearningCounts Portfolio Assessment Means Cost Savings for Students … and Employers

Adults who pursue postsecondary education often bring with them considerable college level learning that they acquired from their work, military, or life experience. Through prior learning assessment (PLA), they may be able to have this learning evaluated for college credit. One form of PLA is individualized assessment, in which students prepare a portfolio of their experiential learning, often with supporting documentation. This portfolio is then evaluated by trained faculty assessors to determine a credit award. PLA can save students a significant amount. 

Download Now

assessments_new_role_in_degree_completions-min

Assessment’s New Role in Degree Completion: a Registrar’s Primer on Prior Learning Assessment and Competency-Based Education

This 23-page publication provides an introduction to prior learning assessment (PLA) and competency-based education (CBE), and explores what registrars should consider in their roles supporting institutional adoption of these assessment-focused programs and services. 

 Purchase Now

Growing-Importance-of-Prior-Learning-Assessment-in-the-Degree-Completion-Toolkit_Cover-Image_CAEL

The Growing Importance of Prior Learning Assessment in the Degree-Completion Toolkit

Central to many of the current developments in higher education is prior learning assessment (PLA). In the past several years, with new and ambitious degree completion goals for adults, the U.S. is witnessing what can only be called a surge of interest in PLA. This article expains the new, expanded future for PLA that may now be possible. It appeared in in the Winter 2013 issue of New Directions in Adult & Continuing Education, published by Wiley Periodicals. 

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achieving

Achieving Dreams: Results From a Survey of Students Using LearningCounts Portfolios to Earn College Credit

The benefits of LearningCounts are very real for adult learners. Successful portfolios can save students a significant amount of time and money when they can apply these credits towards their postsecondary degrees. CAEL recently reached out to current and former LearningCounts students to learn more about them—what brought them to LearningCounts, their experiences with the program, and the impact of portfolio assessment on the achievement of their education and career goals. 

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the_hidden_classroom-min

The Hidden Classroom of the Workplace

Many of us are accustomed to the idea that we learn at school and that a college education is acquired in college classrooms. In reality, however, learning takes place in all aspects of a person’s life — through military experience, raising a family, volunteering, and perhaps most significantly in the workplace. 

Download Now

Assessing Student Portfolios, Kelly, Ph.D.

Assessing Student Portfolios for College Credit

Assessing Student Portfolios for College Credit: Everything you Need to Know to Ensure Academic Integrity in Portfolio Assessment, unlike many books on higher education that are written with an emphasis on theoretical constructs without concrete examples, includes actual student portfolios and discusses how to effectively assess students’ portfolios. The author, Dr. Leader Kelley, also addresses the myths that have grown up around prior learning assessment, allaying the fears of faculty and administrators through concrete evidence of the value of using portfolio assessments to help adult students succeed. 

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Fueling-the-race-to-postsecondary-success

Fueling the Race to Postsecondary Success: Executive Summary

With support from Lumina Foundation for Education, CAEL collected data on 62,475 students at 48 higher education institutions that offer prior learning assessment (PLA). The new report presents our findings on the comparison of PLA students with non-PLA students in terms of earned degrees, persistence, and time to degree. Such a large-scale look at PLA credit earning and academic outcomes has never before been done. 

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Fueling_the_Race_to_Postsecondary_Success

Fueling the Race to Postsecondary Success

With support from Lumina Foundation for Education, CAEL collected data on 62,475 students at 48 higher education institutions that offer prior learning assessment (PLA). The new report presents our findings on the comparison of PLA students with non-PLA students in terms of earned degrees, persistence, and time to degree. Such a large-scale look at PLA credit earning and academic outcomes has never before been done. 

 Download Now

employer_views_on_the_value_of_PLA

Employer Views on the Value of PLA

This CAEL research brief, produced in partnership with Prometric, presents highlights from conversations with 19 U.S. employers representing a range of industries on the topic of PLA. The conversations address the value of PLA to both workers and corporations, as well as employers’ views on PLA as an allowable expense within their tuition assistance programs. 

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holding-tight-or-at-arms-length.

Holding Tight or at Arm’s Length: How Higher Educational Regional Accrediting Bodies Address PLA

In this research brief, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) explores the role of regional accrediting organizations in shaping institutional PLA policies and practices. 

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The_Learning_that_Maturity_Brings_An_Analysis_of_the_Value_of_Prior_Learning_Assessment_for_Mature_Learners_

The Learning That Maturity Brings: an Analysis of the Value of Prior Learning Assessment for Mature Learners

Just as mature workers bring decades of experience to the workplace, they also bring learning from that experience to their postsecondary pursuits. This learning, if evaluated through prior learning assessment (PLA) methods, can give mature learners a way to earn college credit for what they already know, helping them complete their learning programs in a shorter period of time. This CAEL research brief presents data on the experience of mature learners with PLA credit. 

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Moving the Starting Line Through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Prior learning assessment (PLA) methods can help adult students earn college credit for what they already know. PLA can be an important offering by postsecondary degree programs because it can save students time and money. 

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Underserved Students Who Earn Credit Through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Have Higher Degree Completion Rates and Shorter Time-to-Degree

Earning college credit for prior learning can help adult students in many ways. For example, earning prior learning credit can help students avoid having to take courses in subjects they have already mastered.  

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Raising-the-Profile-of-Experiential-Learning

Raising the Profile of Experiential Learning

Prior learning can be as valuable for an adult’s workforce advance and success as a credential, but more effort must be made by higher education and government leaders to more closely integrate the two elements. 

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Public Policy

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CAEL Policy Agenda 2017

This policy brief describes CAEL’s current policy priorities for our activities at the federal level. These are the issues that we care about and believe that there is political will to advance in conjunction with the start of a new administration. We will be working with our policy allies in Washington and across the country to make these issues known and understood among leadership in the new administration and in Congress.

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Strengthening America's Economy By Expanding Educational Opportunities for Working Adults 

This white paper outlines some of the issues facing adult learners including confusing or incomplete information, patchwork of regulations, and a need for more flexible and impactful educational offerings. It provides examples of existing building blocks which encourage success, such as Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) and Competency Based Education (CBE), among others.

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State Policy Approaches to Support Prior Learning Assessment

This guide is intended to serve as a resource for state leaders who wish to promote PLA policy, whether through new higher education policy or through legislation. It includes background information on PLA and why a state- or systemwide approach can be helpful, information on the kinds of policies that other states and systems are adopting, and case studies of both general approaches to state- or systemwide PLA and approaches designed specifically to benefit veterans.

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Renewing the Promise of the Higher Education Act

When Congress passed the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), it opened the doors of learning and economic opportunity to all Americans regardless of their financial means. The law has benefitted generations of students who might not otherwise have afforded college. It has also benefited our democracy and economy, providing the basis for a highly educated citizenry and workforce.

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State Strategies to Support the Maturing Workforce

This paper describes strategies that states and regions can consider in their efforts to assist mature workers and also to use this group as a valuable resource in meeting skill requirements for developing economies. We look at strategies that have been developed and used in a U.S. Department of Labor-funded initiative in ten pilot sites since 2009 as well as strategies that state leaders have implemented to support the mature workforce.

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Written Testimony for the Education and Workforce Committee

U.S. House of Representatives Written Testimony of Pamela J. Tate, before the Education and Workforce Committee - U.S. House of Representatives.

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Innovation in Maryland Nursing Education to Meet Anticipated Demand

This policy brief describes innovative approaches to nursing education and how the policy leadership help to support the use and expansion of these models and strategies while keeping a sharp focus on educational quality.

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Workforce and Economic Development

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Linking Public Workforce Systems and Community Colleges through Prior Learning Assessment: Learnings from a National Pilot Project

This paper provides an overview of why partnerships related to prior learning assessment (PLA), specifically those partnerships between the workforce system of a region and its community colleges, are important for increasing credential attainment. By exploring one such pilot project, this paper also provides considerations for communities that are interested in undertaking similar work.

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The Adult Learner: A Critical Ally for State Economic Development

This article, written by Wilson Finch, senior consultant at CAEL, is featured in The Council of State Governements Book of States 2016. This piece makes the argument to state policymakers that a focus on adult and nontraditional students is not only critically lacking and long overdue, but also essential to state educational attainment and economic goals.

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Strategies for Transformative Change

The Transformative Change Initiative (TCI) is dedicated to assisting community colleges to scale-up innovations that improve student outcomes and program organizations and system performance. CAEL was a key partner in the effort to implement Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) practices. 

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Inflection Point: Supply, Demand and the Future of Work in the Pittsburgh Region

In partnership with Burning Glass Technologies, CAEL recently completed a supply demand analysis for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. This report highlights opportunities within the Greater Pittsburgh region to use human capital to drive economic growth, as well as providing a community call to action to realize stronger engagement and greater alignment between labor supply and industry demand. 

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The Healthy Workforce Ecosystem

A healthy workforce ecosystem is one where the range of providers — K-12 systems, public and private universities, corporate education, two- and four-year colleges, skills training programs and economic developers — all play their part in meeting the range of employer and target sector needs. 

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Content, Collaboration, Communication, Capacity

Every community can expand and focus content, increase collaboration, improve communication and build capacity. As communities work to differentiate themselves in a competitive global economy, the need for alignment between economic and workforce development has never been more important. 

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A Guide to Upskilling America’s Frontline Workers

The US economy is continuing to experience a strong recovery and is creating millions of jobs along the way. But still, there are not enough skilled workers to fill these jobs. In fact, as of January 2015, five million jobs remained unfilled in the United States. Employers consistently report they are facing a major skills shortage challenge. 

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Pillars of success

Pillars of Success

A Guide to Implementing Place-Based Retail Initiatives As the retail industry undergoes rapid change, communities across the country are working to develop placed-based coalitions of employers, education/training institutions, and workforce systems to ensure that retail workers have access to quality opportunities for career advancement. With support from Walmart Giving, CAEL developed this implementation guide to describe the six different “place-based pillars” that should be considered when planning a retail career opportunity initiative. It also provides examples from two recent retail initiatives funded by Walmart Giving, describes unique considerations when engaging the retail industry, and provides suggestions on how to communicate with retailers about the public workforce system.

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Charleston

Case study: Charleston: Understanding the Human Capital Ecosystem

CAEL and our long-time economic analysis partner, Avalanche Consulting, worked with The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce in Charleston, South Carolina to conduct research and analysis and create regional recommendations for the education and training ecosystem which resulted in a strategy which supports talent development in key industry sectors in the region. 

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Case study: Kansas City: Alignment between Industry Demand and Labor Supply

CAEL conducted an in-depth inventory of postsecondary education and training offerings that support skill development for target sectors in the Kansas City region to inform efforts to better align these resources with industry need. CAEL also researched and developed a white paper highlighting best practice models for employer engagement. 

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san-francisco

Case study: San Francisco: Alignment between Industry Demand and Labor Supply

CAEL supported the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) of the City of San Francisco and their city-based training provider the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) to create structure around a city sponsored training and internship program developing the Information Technology workforce called TechSF. 

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Nashville

Case study: Nashville: Robust Workforce Pipeline to Fill High-Growth Positions

The Nashville Chamber of Commerce, and its partners at the Middle Tennessee Regional Workforce Alliance, reached out to CAEL to get a more detailed understanding of career pathways within two key industry sectors: Manufacturing and Information Technology. 

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Charlotte

Case study: Charlotte -  Achieving Scale to Drive Economic Growth

The Centralina Council of Governments has prioritized skills development and workforce capacity as a key feature of their plan to grow their economy. 

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Tulsa

Case study: Tulsa - Achieving Scale to Drive Economic Growth

The Tulsa Regional Chamber recognized that general prosperity and high employment in the region was not reaching all neighborhoods and members of the community. 

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BioOhio

Case study: Bioscience Uses an Interactive Career Map to Help with Career Exploration and Awareness

Ohio bio employers are having difficulty attracting the volume of workers required to meet these growth projections. 

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retail careers

Common Skills for Employability and Pathways to Advancement

Competency Mapping Resources for Retail & Adjacent Industries

The skills and abilities critical to success in retail work—skills like customer service, teamwork, service recovery, and problem-solving - are in demand from employers not just in retail, but many other industries.

CAEL created these resources that capture and expand upon existing research on skills developed through front-line retail worker. They can be used to communicate the value and inform the creation of competency-based workforce activities in retail.

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Want to learn more? Let's talk.

If your institution or organization is seeking guidance, solutions, or support from CAEL, or if you have an idea for a future collaboration initiative with us, please reach out. We'd love to connect.

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