Magazine article The Catalyst

Endpaper

Magazine article The Catalyst

Endpaper

Article excerpt

This issue of the Catalyst has highlighted some of the important research and best practices that have emerged from CAEL over the past four decades. While CAEL has tremendous breadth in its impact - influencing state and federal policy, shaping institutional decisions and programs, and affecting the lives of individual learners through LiLAs and other educational programs - the focus of CAEL, no matter its sphere of influence, has always been on removing barriers for adults interested in continuing their path of lifelong learning.

This continues to be the case as CAEL moves into its next decade. Among its leading initiatives is LearningCounts.org, an online resource for adult learners. This service evaluates an adult's learning gained outside a traditional academic environment for college-level credits - through work, employer training programs, military service, or independent study, for example.

Unlike many other prior learning assessment (PLA) programs, LearningCounts.org is available to any individual - regardless of their enrollment in college, or even their interest in pursuing postsecondary education. LearningCounts.org is available to individuals who might want to have their personal and professional areas of learning evaluated for any reason - including progress towards a degree or certificate, expanding their professional portfolio, or, demonstrating their patterns of successful lifelong learning to their employer. And, unlike many other PLA programs, LearningCounts.org has accessio a national roster of credentialed faculty - individuals with professional experience in the field, regionally-accredited graduate degrees in the field, and access to specialized training in PLA by CAEL.

And, of course, using PLA is a considerable resource for employers. Not only does it expand the professional training resources available to your employees, but it does so usually at greatly reduced costs and in considerably less time. Just think about it! Rather than financially supporting the tuition for an employee to attend a course covering material they already know, an organization could, instead, support having the learning measured through LearningCounts.org while also encouraging the development of learning portfolios. …

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