3Center or American Progress | Articulation Agreements and Prior Learning Assessments
Te problem is ha oo many mainsream possecondary insiuions employ credipolicies ha require mos or all learning relevan o a degree o ake place a heir insiu-ion. I makes i exremely dicul or sudens o ranser learning across insiuions by viewing he ranser o credi or he recogniion o learning ouside he collegeclassroom as a ringe aciviy. Such deerren policies are ofen a misake, and hey ail oserve he ineress o our sudens or our economic compeiiveness.Some wase is undersandable when sudens are changing insiuions and even areas o sudy. Bu i we wan more o our workers o earn degrees and credenials—paricularly sudens coming rom lower-income groups and whose parens did no go o college—hen we need o minimize his wase as much as possible.
Our curren sysem o insiuional exclusiviy was designed or radiional 18- o22-year-old ull-ime college sudens ha atended a single school or our years.Bu hose sudens no longer dominae college classrooms.Te Naional Cener or Educaion Saisics repored in 2002 ha as many as hree-quarers o college sudens no longer he “radiional” classicaion.
For insance,many o oday’s sudens are older han “radiional” college sudens, work ull ime,or suppor dependens o heir own. Tey are more mobile han previous generaions,and hey requenly atend muliple insiuions over he course o heir college careers.Tese sudens are ofen ill served by he radiional model o college educaion wheresudens atend he same school rom 18 o 22 years old ull ime.Moreover, many o oday’s learners ener he possecondary sysem wih college-levelknowledge or skills. Tey may, or example, have several years o work experience dur-ing which hey learned hrough on-he-job raining, workshops, company-sponsoredraining, leadership aciviies, or echnical responsibiliies. Tey also may be in he mili-ary, where hey gain a range o oher ypes o learning hrough ormal raining, inormalon-he-job learning, and leadership experience.Furher, aduls have counless opporuniies o learn in heir everyday lives hrough voluneer work, hobbies, and oher sel-direced aciviies. Some o his learning is com-parable o college-level insrucion. We need educaion sysems ha recognize hese realiies and allow sudens o earncredis across insiuions and or dieren ypes o learning.