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CAEL Launches Technology Solution To Help Boost Equity in College Completion

New Credit Predictor Pro Centralizes and Streamlines Entire Credit for Prior Learning Process So Institutions Can Serve More Students Through CPL

INDIANAPOLIS – The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) today announced the launch of Credit Predictor Pro, a web-based solution that helps colleges and universities increase the reach and track the effectiveness of credit for prior learning (CPL) programs. Research shows that students who participate in CPL are more likely to complete college and that they save time and money while earning a degree. However, only about 10% of adult college students participate in CPL. Moreover, while CPL drives completion for all student demographics, lower-income adults, Black adult students, and community college students are even less likely to participate in CPL. 

Credit Predictor Pro has an interactive, user-friendly platform for students, administrators, faculty, and advisors. The configurable platform features a branded portal that can be linked to institutional websites, moving students quickly into the CPL process. Students complete a CPL profile that links their prior learning with potential credit estimates so that prospective students can consider their CPL potential as they weigh enrollment decisions. The portal features a resume reader and a comprehensive checklist that guides students through inventorying their language fluencies, skills, informal learning, workplace training and industry certifications, military experience, and other sources of CPL for potential credit. 

Advisors and faculty members then review and evaluate the students’ profiles in Credit Predictor Pro to review and evaluate potential credit opportunities. CPL can be a challenge for advisors, faculty, and registrars because student registration systems and CRMs do not typically track data about students’ experiential learning or colleges’ CPL options. Credit Predictor Pro provides both a workflow for evaluating students’ experiential learning for credit and dashboards for tracking the overall CPL program usage and student progress. 

“By validating learning that occurs outside of the classroom, CPL creates new pathways for postsecondary education to deliver the upskilling and reskilling opportunities that are critical for inclusive economic mobility and a thriving workforce,” said Earl Buford, CAEL president. “However, although CPL is rooted in equity, we have barely scratched the surface of its potential to level the playing field for adult learners.”

“With Credit Predictor Pro, institutions can focus on growing their CPL program to meet adult learners where they are, honoring the expertise they’ve achieved in a variety of ways outside of the classroom,” said Kristen Himmerick, vice president of solutions.

“Demographic challenges and dropping enrollment underscore that institutions need to get serious about serving adult students and offering CPL,”  Beth Doyle, CAEL’s senior vice president of initiatives, solutions, and operations, added. “Despite the common myth that CPL reduces enrollment, CPL students actually take more traditional-course credits than non-CPL students. They are more likely to persist to completion while shoring up retention rates, both of which are often requisites of institutional funding.” 

Credit Predictor Pro simplifies the CPL approval workflow and tracks institution-wide usage and outcomes. While advisors and enrollment team members may not be trained in eliciting CPL information—or have the bandwidth to do so, Credit Predictor Pro directs prior learning details to the appropriate review personnel. A searchable crosswalk database further reduces manual processes by automatically mapping students’ prior learning to approved institutional course crosswalks. 

Administrators can track and report on the growth of CPL programs at the institution or system level through Credit Predictor Pro’s dashboard functions, which provide real-time visibility on advisor interactions with students, the CPL methods used by students, overall CPL usage, and other key performance indicators. Also effective with the launch of Credit Predictor Pro, CAEL institutional and organizational members not only receive a discount on annual and implementation fees but also receive exclusive access to a complimentary version of the product that offers a lead management platform connecting current and prospective students to CPL options at their institution.

More information about Credit Predictor Pro is available at cael.org

About Credit for Prior Learning
Credit for prior learning, or CPL, is a term for various methods that colleges, universities, and other education or training providers use to evaluate learning that has occurred outside of the traditional academic environment. It's also sometimes called prior learning assessment (PLA). It is used to grant college credit, certification, or advanced standing toward further education or training. Overall, adults who earn credit for prior learning are 17% more likely to graduate than adults who do not. The CPL completion benefit is 25% for adults at community colleges, 24% for Hispanic adults, 13% for Black adults, and 19% for Pell Grant recipients. On average, adult degree earners with 12 or more CPL credits save 9 to 14 months. Adult students who earn CPL save $1,500 to $10,200 in tuition dollars, and graduate 9-14 months faster than non-PLA adult students. More research and other information about CPL is available at cael.org.

About CAEL
Recognizing that adult learners are the backbone of the U.S. economy, CAEL helps forge a clear, viable connection between education and career success, providing solutions that promote sustainable and equitable economic growth. CAEL opens doors to opportunity in collaboration with workforce and economic developers; postsecondary educators; employers and industry groups; and foundations and other mission-aligned organizations. By engaging with these stakeholders, we foster a culture of innovative, lifelong learning that helps individuals and their communities thrive. A national membership organization established in 1974, CAEL is a part of Strada Collaborative, a mission-driven nonprofit. Learn more at cael.org and stradacollaborative.org.

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