Random Access: The Latino Student Experience with Prior Learning Assessment

Random Access: The Latino Student Experience with Prior Learning Assessment

Council for Adult and Experimental Learning
Excelencia in Education
October 2014


Many Latinos come to higher education as adults aged 25 or older. A degree completion strategy that is particularly suited to adult students in higher education is prior learning assessment (PLA). PLA This report presents the findings from a new study by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), in partnership with Excelencia in Education, which examines the experience of Latino students with PLA at 10 postsecondary institutions in the U.S. between 2010 and 2013.

To meet current and future labor market needs in the U.S., government leaders, philanthropic organizations, and higher education institutions have turned their attention to helping more people—both adults and traditional-aged college students—access education and succeed in completing college degrees. Through analysis of more than 32,000 student academic records, along with interviews with Latino students and PLA administrators, the study examines how Latino students engage with PLA in terms of methods used, number of credits earned, and areas of study for which credits are earned. It also investigates the role that institutions play in encouraging Latino students to take advantage of PLA. However, for PLA to be an effective strategy to help with Latino degree completion, Latino students must know about it and use it. The study’s findings suggest specific strategies for more effective outreach on PLA to Latino students, and other important target populations. This report was made possible with support from TG.

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