A Strategy for Retaining  Adult Learners in Higher Education Presented by:  Halona Y. Agouda, M.Ed. Doctoral Student, Comm...
AGENDA <ul><li>Thesis statement </li></ul><ul><li>Adults in higher education </li></ul><ul><li>The PLA at NOVA </li></ul><...
Thesis Statement <ul><li>How  P rior  L earning  A ssessment ( PLA ) fits into strategies for retaining adult learners in ...
What is a PLA? <ul><li>Prior Learning Assessment: </li></ul><ul><li>Process of earning college credit through the assessme...
Adults in Higher Education <ul><li>70% of college students are considered to be “adults”  </li></ul><ul><li>Most attend co...
Adults in Community Colleges <ul><li>Average age is 29 </li></ul><ul><li>2/3 attend college part-time </li></ul><ul><li>Ap...
7 Barriers to Graduation for Adults <ul><li>Time lapse between graduating from high school and college </li></ul><ul><li>P...
PLA at NOVA <ul><li>PLACE: Prior Learning Assessment for Credit Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Student centered, strengths b...
How does the PLA work? <ul><li>Student enrolls in PLACE, decides what course to challenge </li></ul><ul><li>4 parts of PLA...
How PLA fits into…  <ul><li>Curricular strategies  for retaining adults in higher education: </li></ul><ul><li>5 ways to r...
How PLA fits into… <ul><li>Organizational strategies  for retaining adults in higher education </li></ul><ul><li>Creation ...
Key Question <ul><li>Can PLA work for adult students who are unprepared for college level work? </li></ul>
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Prior Learning Assessments: Retaining Adults in Higher Ed

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Discusses Prior Learning Assessments as key strategy in retaining adult students in higher education.

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Prior Learning Assessments: Retaining Adults in Higher Ed

  1. 1. A Strategy for Retaining Adult Learners in Higher Education Presented by: Halona Y. Agouda, M.Ed. Doctoral Student, Community College Education George Mason University, Fall 2009 [email_address] Prior Learning Assessments
  2. 2. AGENDA <ul><li>Thesis statement </li></ul><ul><li>Adults in higher education </li></ul><ul><li>The PLA at NOVA </li></ul><ul><li>Breakdown of PLA </li></ul><ul><li>Curricular & organizational strategies to retain adults in higher education </li></ul><ul><li>Future research </li></ul>
  3. 3. Thesis Statement <ul><li>How P rior L earning A ssessment ( PLA ) fits into strategies for retaining adult learners in community colleges? </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is a PLA? <ul><li>Prior Learning Assessment: </li></ul><ul><li>Process of earning college credit through the assessment of past work, volunteer, training, and general life experience. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Adults in Higher Education <ul><li>70% of college students are considered to be “adults” </li></ul><ul><li>Most attend college part-time during evenings, weekends, or online </li></ul><ul><li>Retention rate for learners age 30+ is 65.4% </li></ul><ul><li>Graduation rate for learners age 30+ is 10.8% </li></ul>
  6. 6. Adults in Community Colleges <ul><li>Average age is 29 </li></ul><ul><li>2/3 attend college part-time </li></ul><ul><li>Approx. ½ of all African-American, Native American, and Hispanic college students go to community colleges </li></ul>
  7. 7. 7 Barriers to Graduation for Adults <ul><li>Time lapse between graduating from high school and college </li></ul><ul><li>Part-time enrollment in college </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of financial support from parents </li></ul><ul><li>Having a full-time job </li></ul><ul><li>Taking care of children and/or other dependents </li></ul><ul><li>Single parenting </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of a high school diploma </li></ul><ul><li>Adult students in community college are more likely to face at least 2 or more risk factors than 4-year college students. </li></ul>
  8. 8. PLA at NOVA <ul><li>PLACE: Prior Learning Assessment for Credit Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Student centered, strengths based assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment evaluated through development of a portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify student’s learning experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Match the student’s learning to college courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Articulate and document the student’s learning in a portfolio </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. How does the PLA work? <ul><li>Student enrolls in PLACE, decides what course to challenge </li></ul><ul><li>4 parts of PLA: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Life history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goals statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify competencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documentation of competencies </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. How PLA fits into… <ul><li>Curricular strategies for retaining adults in higher education: </li></ul><ul><li>5 ways to receive credit for learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enroll in traditional courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transfer credits from another institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training course approved by American Council on Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PLA portfolio </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. How PLA fits into… <ul><li>Organizational strategies for retaining adults in higher education </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of an adult learning community on campus </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize trained student support staff who are experts in needs of adult students </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage faculty to create inclusive learning environments across the college </li></ul><ul><li>CUSTOMER SERVICE IS KEY </li></ul>
  12. 12. Key Question <ul><li>Can PLA work for adult students who are unprepared for college level work? </li></ul>

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