College Level Examination Program and Prior Learning

Prior learning has been around for years, disguising itself in the form of College Level Examination Program or CLEP exams or military credits. But it’s just now recently that it has burst upon the scene of the modern college experience. Now, with hundreds of universities offering prior learning programs, its rivaling web based programs in terms of how busy adult learners are acquiring college degrees. Human resources staff is poised to matter in their organization by promoting prior learning evaluation as a feasible option for members looking to return to school and continue on with the organization as a college graduate.

CLEP logoPrior studying evaluation (PLA) is a means by which adults get credit for the experiences they have had while gainfully employed or through military programs. It turns years of sales experience, a company-mandated computer training course, or even a skill mastered eventually into college credit, thus lessening the cash a college student spends on college studying. The fewer classes a college student has to register for, the less cash is needed. From an economic standpoint, a semester’s value of credit adds up after factoring in tuition, books and travel time to campus. In a nation stuck by education and student loan debt, this is an inviting perk to a non-traditional college student looking for a cheaper way to get a degree.

Another major player in PLA is the aforementioned CLEP. This has the potential to give a college student with multiple credit hours. Common College Level Examination Program exams include general education, like the entry-level math programs. For learners who work in a technical field, this could be a quick 3 hours earned. Also at an advantage are multilingual adults. A steadily growing Hispanic population in the country means an increase in the number of adults who are fluent in both Spanish and English. CLEP exams could offer these multilingual adults the opportunity to get all their language requirements. Schools can be finicky when it comes to transferring prior college credits, with many science and math credits stuck with an expiration date. College Level Examination Program bypasses assists here as well: if the college student still can demonstrate mastery in a class credit score does not transfer, there is still an opportunity to get that class credit.

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