Prior Learning Assessments
Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs) enable members of the current workforce to earn community-college credit for previous professional learning experience. The UHCCs will refine, market, and implement common PLAs to acknowledge early childhood professionals’ prior learning and award them with college credit. By doing so, the UHCC demonstrates that the system values students’ prior learning and skills without discrimination of where and how the student acquired the knowledge. PLAs recognize and legitimize the significant learning in which adult students have engaged in many parts of their lives through community based/workforce training. Currently, the PLAs consist of an exam and an assignment. Re-examining the process used to evaluate skills and abilities using constructivist and narrative storytelling approaches will make PLAs more accessible to students while increasing students’ self-awareness, self-efficacy, career identity, and goal orientation. For students from racially, ethnically, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds, the credits earned through PLAs can be a powerful motivator for students to begin their studies as well as persist in completing the degree. The additional credits earned through PLAs will also assist students to complete their degrees sooner. The UHCCs will standardize and align their policies and procedures for PLAs.
One of the PLAs that is being developed along with/or an articulation agreement is between Honolulu Community College and People Attentive to Children (PATCH), our state’s child care resource and referral agency. First, HonCC is examining how PATCH training objectives and assessments align with current Professional and Career Education for Early Childhood (PACE) non-credit ECE program workshops and ECE credit courses.