Prior Learning Credit the Topic at CMCC
July 28, 2015
Fifty-two professionals from all seven Maine community colleges gathered recently at CMCC for a conference centered on prior learning assessment (PLA). The group was joined by three experienced trainers from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
The focus of the conference was on providing students with greater opportunities for earning credits for college-level learning acquired from other sources. Examples of prior learning include work experience, professional and military training, standardized tests, registered apprenticeships, challenge exams, and portfolios.
The implementation of a standardized, system-wide PLA program to assess learning from outside the classroom is one of the goals of the Maine Community College System (MCCS) Maine is IT! initiative, funded by a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. This grant initiative coincides with the collaborative work being done between University of Maine System and the MCCS in the areas of transfer, PLA, and career pathways. In June, the two systems signed a comprehensive transfer agreement that is designed to reduce college costs for Maine students and speed their time to degree completion.
Pictured here at the CAEL conference are the MCCS grant project managers for each round of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration grant. Left to right are Leisa Collins from CMCC; Elizabeth Fortin from Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC); Michelle Hawley, CMCC; and Kurt Klappenbach, KVCC.
Anyone interested in more information on prior learning is encouraged to contact CMCC’s Learning and Advising Center at (207) 755-5380 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available online at www.cmcc.edu.