I was happy when my counselor told me about scholarship dollars being available toward an exam. Passing an exam saved me a lot of money in the long run by not having to take an actual course and this scholarship reimbursed me for the exam and registration fees.
What a great program to offer to students!
I was thrilled to learn about PLA because it was an incentive for me to get my degree faster and at a cheaper cost. have taken multiple exams and received the PLA scholarship for each of them. I have found the application and scholarship awarding process to be self-explanatory and easy to follow. The scholarships I was awarded provided me with the incentive to pass and relief for lowering my education costs. Taking advantage of this opportunity was valuable; it has allowed me to cut off a semester and a half of being in school and has saved me a couple thousand dollars.
Thank you to Charter Oak State College and the Prior Learning Assessment Office for offering such a great program/scholarship!
PLA is a great program! I am so pleased to be a student at Charter Oak State College, a college that recognizes that work experience and life experience can and should be identified as an intrinsic part of a person’s knowledge. There are certain life and work experiences that can far outweigh what can be learned in a classroom or in a class setting. Thank you for giving me and others with work and life experience the opportunity to put that experience toward our degrees.
My experience with Charter Oak State College’s PLA portfolio was very successful. I was enrolled in the portfolio development course (IDS 102) which gave me the skills necessary to create successful portfolios for review, with the goal of earning upper level college credit. The portfolio development course helped in every aspect from page one to the final documentary evidence. I have a lot of documentation of my experiences with art and dance, it inspired my narrative, which ended up being a joy to write as I went down memory lane. One of my favorite parts of creating the three portfolios was getting verification letters. These helped to validate within myself that I have worked hard on these subjects over the course of my life, and people noticed and continue to support me.
I was relieved financially by utilizing the scholarship fund specifically for PLA. Without it, it would have been difficult to guarantee when I would have been able to submit my portfolios. Because of the scholarships, I was able to submit them when I was finished creating them, thereby keeping me on schedule for graduation. I am now free to look at graduate schools. I am extremely grateful for this fund and the support of the PLA office. I am also grateful that the portfolios are allowing me to get a degree with a studio art focus. I did not know that I could do that in an online school. It is really something special to be given the opportunity to reflect on my accomplishments and see how they can be elevated in their relevance and impact by assigning them college credit toward a degree.
During my studies at Charter Oak, I received PLA credit for 2 CompTIA certifications, 3 DSST exams, a TECEP exam, and 3 CLEP tests. I think every Charter Oak student should use PLA. Although Charter Oak is a relatively affordable college, tests and exams are 6 to 8 times cheaper per credit than courses. PLA is one of the reasons I’ve been able to avoid college debt so far. Charter Oak even has a scholarship program available for PLA, so it’s possible to get credit through tests for free. You can study for exams at your own pace, which is very helpful for balancing work and school commitments. I usually study for the test during weeks with lighter workload from my courses.
I am very happy with the PLA program at Charter Oak, but there are some things I would have done differently if I was enrolling today. If I was a new student, I would review my college requirements while looking at the exam list and advising worksheet and work with my Academic Advisor to create a PLA plan.
I mistakenly thought that applying for the PLA Scholarship might be a cumbersome process and did not take advantage of that opportunity early in my studies. That was an error, as applying for the scholarship was quick and painless. To conclude, all Charter Oak students can use PLA to achieve their academic goals. It is an inexpensive, flexible way of earning credit and helps you to stay out of debt.
“The Prior Learning Scholarship is a great way to earn and pay for credits for knowledge you already have. My counselor suggested that I may be able to get credits for a certification that I had already achieved during my years of working. As we were discussing the courses required for my degree, I mentioned to her that I am a certified Project Manager and had passed the PMP exam a few years ago. She advised I should apply for the Prior Learning Assessment credits for the 3 project management courses and that there was a scholarship which could help pay for the assessment application. She provided me the information and application form and it was a short 2 page form that only took a few minutes to complete. I was informed within a couple of weeks that I had gained the scholarship and the cost of the PLA was credited to my student account. This was a great win for me and meant I was able to get three classes checked off without any expense to me. This is just another great benefit of attending Charter Oak and demonstrates how they are helping me to achieve my education goals!”
“I was thrilled to receive credit for my years of experience. Although gathering all my information from 20+ years of experience was challenging, the end result was rewarding!! I have two more PLA I hope to complete.” - Marie
“My experience with Charter Oak State College PLA Program can only be described as phenomenal. Not only do they have a list of programs that have already been approved but they will look at any past experience as well. In my situation a program that I had taken was on the list. All I had to do was fill out the paper work with the name of the program, years attended and supporting proof that I completed the program. I had to pay no money out of pocket since it was a program that was in the list with the dates required. Convenient, simple, fast and free. Like most people attending Charter Oak we are very busy with family and work that takes up most of our time. Charter Oak has really helped me in not having to take another class.”
“The PLA is an opportunity that has helped me get closer to realizing my goal, finishing school. While I am still in the thick of the work, the PLA has already helped relieve the burden associated with schooling costs. My plan is to use the opportunity to speed up the process of getting through school and reaching my goals. With resources like the PLA I never want to forget the help I received from it, and I plan to consider how I can help upcoming students that come after me, to help them in their journey.”
“I learned of the Portfolio Program through a Prior Learning Assessment information session. When evaluating whether to take the course, I spoke with my advisor about my work experience and courses that I felt I could challenge. Together, we decided on one that met my degree requirements and I registered for the course (IDS 102) the following semester. The eight-week course provides step-by-step guidance on fulfilling each section of your portfolio and a critique of the completed portfolio prior to submission to the Prior Learning Assessment Office. By submitting my portfolio, I was able to prove that I should receive credits for the course challenged because I had already mastered the student learning objectives outlined in the course syllabus, and since I submitted it within 30 days of completing the course, the assessment fee was waived. Essentially, I was able to receive six credits for the price of three. It was very rewarding to receive my credit approval letter and realize that I was one step closer to earning my degree. I would urge all students to speak with their advisors to assess this very valuable option.”
“The PLA scholarship was a great asset to my educational journey here at Charter Oak. I was very surprised to see how my career and life experiences could play a vital role in my academics. The process was easy with the help of the PLA Staff and once you are granted the credits it makes your academic load much lighter and more attainable”
“Two years ago I found myself at age fifty with two children in college and my role as a stay-at-home father complete. Ready to set out and establish a career teaching photography, my profession and passion, I was soon to learn that only those with a college degree would be considered in today’s educational system. Like many artists, for better or for worse, I had foreshortened my college experience in order to practice my art in exclusivity. Over the years, I had accumulated a wealth of experience as a fine art photographer and a vast portfolio to show for it, but this was irrelevant without a college degree. Even applying to graduate school for an MFA, the necessity of an undergraduate degree took precedent over the quality of a portfolio. I was stuck without one. Charter Oak’s Prior Learning Assessment Program offers the ideal solution to my dilemma. With the help of my advisor, I have been able to pull together credits from my first college foray and fulfill the remaining liberal arts credits needed by taking online classes offered at Charter Oak. Most importantly, I have been turning specific photography projects and experiences into credits though the PLA’s portfolio assessment program. The process has been remarkably straightforward. I find an appropriate class at any college or university and package an existing project in such a way as to demonstrate how I have fulfilled the requirements of that course. I can go about doing this as quickly as I choose and from the convenience of my home office. Work I have put a great deal of time and effort into and then set aside is now being turned into college credits at a fraction of the cost of enrolling in a traditional institution and starting from scratch. As an added bonus, I am rediscovering the pleasures of writing and thinking afforded to the college student and I may even graduate, BA at last in hand, at the same time as my children. I could not be happier with my experience at Charter Oak and its PLA program. It has proven to be a life changing experience.”