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CAEL Pathways Blog

How Colleges Can Make Prior Learning Assessment More Equitable

Dive Brief:

  • Nontraditional college students, generally age 25 and older, who earned credit through prior learning assessments were more likely to complete a credential than peers who did not earn credits, according to new research from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
  • However, just 11% of adult students earned PLA across the roughly 70 institutions studied. Those who did earned an average of a half-year or more of full-time credits.
  • Colleges are striving to reach adult learners with some college but no credential and who may seek college credit for their work experience.


One reason students with PLA may be more likely to graduate is that they start college with more credits completed. Earning credit from work experience can also inspire feelings of validation and confidence, said Becky Klein-Collins, associate vice president for advancement and impact at CAEL.

Read more at Education Dive

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