ERIC Number: EJ958575
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 19
What Is Next after 40 Years? Part 1: Prior Learning Assessment--1970-2011
Travers, Nan L.
Journal of Continuing Higher Education, v60 n1 p43-47 2012
Education practices focused on adult learners, such as prior learning assessment (PLA), are becoming more established in the United States. Initially, PLA was developed to provide greater access to higher education for World War II veterans and later for adult learners more generally as a way to balance the concentrated efforts most colleges and universities placed on reaching traditional-age students. Over the past 40 years, there has been a growing focus on adult learners in higher education, and PLA opportunities for students have increased. Research on PLA is also growing. The Prior Learning International Research Centre (PLIRC), sponsored by Thompson Rivers University, Open University, British Columbia, seeks to collect and synthesize research in PLA worldwide and increase the awareness of and commitment to research in this emerging field. Many other countries recognize the value of PLA and use it to promote workforce development. For example, in Australia PLA and recognition has become a nationally sponsored program and is used throughout the country to help individuals increase their employability. In the United Kingdom, there are national standards for assessing prior learning in higher education. In South Africa, prior learning is used to place students within the educational system. Many other countries are recognizing the worth of individual's knowledge within the workforce and education through PLA processes. PLA is finally coming into its own time. After 40 years, it is becoming more widely recognized and accepted. It is no longer the stepchild cast off into basement offices but is front and center in many institutions and national agendas.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Open Universities, Prior Learning, Adult Learning, Adult Students, Foreign Countries, Educational Opportunities, Academic Achievement, Outcomes of Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A