Alternative Credentials: Prior Learning 2.0

By Dr. Jill Buban, Senior Director of Research & Innovation, OLC

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and The Presidents’ Forum have released a new study authored and researched by the Online Learning Consortium’s Dr. Jill Buban, which sheds light on how adult learning institutions address students who possess alternative credentials and seek to apply these experiences to a degree.

This first-of-its-kind study explores key definitions and reveals five common themes focused on competency-based education (CBE), prior learning assessment (PLA), alternative credentials, the importance of reliable data, and traditional vs. non-traditional learning.

This study is expected to serve as a useful tool for education planners, policy makers, administrators, researchers and government leaders to help shape future ideas about how to serve adult learners in their quest for degree attainment.

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This study was commissioned by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and the President’s Forum, made possible through the generous support of USA Funds. In mid-2016, this group of organizations commissioned the Online Learning Consortium’s Center for Research in Digital Learning & Leadership to conduct a study on alternative credentials.