Prior Learning Assessment and LOs LO25918

From: Peggy Stuart (
Date: 01/17/01

Hi all:

Funny, here I am doing all this research on LOs, and it was only today
that I realized the link between LOs and my work. I work in non-profit
organization funded by the British Columbia government and my function
supports and coordinates Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) activities, both
at the institutional and provincial level.

As many you already may now, perhaps using different terminology, PLA is a
systematic process that enables individuals to earn credit and gain
recognition for the skills and knowledge they already possess.

BC has supported the PLA initiative for a number of years, and we now have
almost all of our public post-secondary institutions offering PLA and
related services in some form. During the 1999/2000 reporting period, we
had these institutions report over 60 collaborations with agency,
community, business and labour organizations that assessed employees'
prior learning and experience against the program/course learning outcomes
related to their educational goals.

One quick example is one of our institutions' collaboration with three
local credit unions. Eleven senior credit union managers underwent an
extensive and rigorous workplace-based assessment and ultimately each
manager received a minimum of two years academic credit towards their
Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Although we can say the impact
on an individual level would be very positive, I don't know what this
initiative had on the learning culture of these credit unions. I think I
could safely say that it went a long way in promoting the concept that
"learning has no boundaries" and as such may have, if maybe only for a
time, made these organizations LOs.

In concept, it seems to me that PLA would be an integral tool that LOs can
use to promote and enhance workplace learning and as such, I would think
that LOs collaborations with the post-secondary system would be essential.
I would really like to hear your thoughts on this and perhaps some
practical examples of how, if at all, you have seen this happen in your




Peggy Stuart <>

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