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ERIC Number: ED544465
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
2011 Report to the Legislature: Credit for Prior Learning Experience in Washington
Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (E2SHB 1795), passed by the Legislature in 2011, identified prior learning assessment (PLA) as an innovative means for improving degree and certificate attainment and improving cost effectiveness and efficiency within Washington's higher education system. The Act defines prior learning as "the knowledge and skills gained through work and life experience; through military training and experience; and through formal and informal education and training from in-state and out-of-state institutions including foreign institutions." Research supports the benefits of awarding credits for prior learning. A 2010 nationwide study of 62,000 students found that it has a positive impact on student persistence and completion, especially for Hispanic and African American students. A report based on the research also concluded that awarding prior learning credits establishes a value on learning acquired by students on their own, helps identify additional knowledge they will need in order to achieve their personal goals, and cuts tuition costs by reducing the number of courses a student is required to take. The legislation directed the HECB to convene an Academic Credit for Prior Learning Work Group to address goals outlined in the legislation. The HECB convened the work group, which was comprised of a broad range of stakeholders, in February 2011. The work group reviewed earlier work on prior learning and examined evolving national and state best practices. It also reviewed current practices for assessing learning outcomes achieved through prior learning, and the practices used by Washington institutions to award college credit for prior learning. Appended are: (1) Text of Section 28, Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1795 Effective August 24, 2011; (2) Assessing and Awarding Credit for Prior Experiential Learning; and (3) Centers of Excellence. (Contains 19 footnotes.)
Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board. 917 Lakeridge Way SW, P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430. Tel: 360-753-7800; Fax: 360-753-7808; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: College Level Examination Program