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Obtaining College Credit through Life Experience

A big question that readers of the blog at www.TheDegree.com keep asking is … “Can you actually obtain a degree for life experience?”

Unlike most questions about education there is a simple one word answer for this question which is a plain NO. Any person who states that you can attain a degree for life experience is trying to sell a valueless piece of paper to you which will not be helpful for your life. Getting a degree is easy nowadays, but it can not guarantee a good life for you, but it’s just a tool to search for employment.

But it’s possible to obtain college credit and acquire complete degree depending on what you have learnt at workplace, through independent readings or study, life events, knowledge acquired from hobbies, life events, voluntary work etc, with help of exams like DANTES and CLEP and also through assessment of earlier learning (APL).

Adult learners with work experience often already know what students usually learn at colleges, having gained knowledge outside of the classroom. Many accredited universities in the United States and throughout the world offer credit when a student is able to prove that they have learned something, which is equivalent and valuable as a course. In United States, “portfolio” is used to asses prior learning when compared to college degrees. Portfolios are considered to offer a course description at college level from any college within United States. Hence portfolios are considered as necessary by some universities as evidence to prove that someone has acquired knowledge, which is tantamount to a college degree. In other institutions verification of work experience can meet their criteria for college credit.

In all cases, the knowledge, which is gained through experience at workplace, is compared with knowledge that is needed to complete a course and acquire a degree based on common standard. With portfolios, this is explained by a real life example of a student who explains what they have done in their life that includes proof to support the knowledge, which they have gained substantiating that it is equivalent to knowledge obtained through classroom training.

Because the process of assessing portfolios consumes lot of time and many students are searching for different alternative methods to showcase their skills and knowledge, which they consider to be equivalent to degree attained from a University. For the most part only universities present outside United States which are fully accredited are providing credit through APL (Assessing of Prior Learning), with and without need for submission of portfolios.

While this can save lot of time for students, the end result is actually same and student is able to attain credit for learning outside classroom through research, work experience, hobbies, voluntary activities or life events. International University of Panama is one such university, which gives credit to students for outside classroom learning. You can find lot of useful information about acquiring credit from knowledge gained through outside classroom learning at the website, http://www.thecareerpeople.com/

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