Credit for Prior Learning
Are you finishing your bachelor’s degree or thinking about finishing? Antioch University Seattle offers students prior learning credits. In a nutshell, this program allows you to earn college credit from your life experiences.
How It Works
Prior learning credits gives you an opportunity to mine from your personal and professional experiences and package what you learned from those experiences into the equivalent of a course. Once you’ve identified an experience that qualifies, you articulate that experience in a narrative form, giving you the opportunity to sharpen your writing skills. An evaluator in the field you’re writing about will read your work, and, upon confirming that you’ve demonstrated what you’ve learned, you earn college credit. You can earn up to 45 credits total in prior learning. Plus, prior learning credits are a great cost and time saver at $150 per credit.
“It can be empowering to realize that learning from experience is valued and comparable to what someone might have learned in an academic setting,” says Elizabeth Burke, who heads Antioch’s prior learning credits program.
Burke adds that a major benefit of prior learning credits is that it gives students the opportunity to connect your past with your future. For example, a student who worked in customer service and then goes back to school to be a therapist can see how the listening skills and desire to help she learned in her customer service career will be useful in her counseling career.
“Claiming what you learned and naming it empowers you to connect what you’ve done in the past with what you want to do in the future,” Burke says.
Luke Morrissey, a bachelor’s student at Antioch, received prior learning credits for his military experience, where he served as a combat medic. “Antioch respects students’ drives to learn what they know they want to learn and what they know they need to learn,” he says.
What Experiences Qualify?
Typically, life experience that took place after high school and before enrollment at Antioch may qualify for prior learning credits. Keep in mind, however, that the learning must be college level conceptual and transferable learning. The types of life experiences that qualify range from business to art to psychology. Examples of life experiences that past Antioch students have received credit for include:
- Postpartum doula practices
- Military experience
- Event planning, marketing, and management
- Grief and suicide
- Healing from trauma
- Art exhibit curation
- Empowerment through graffiti
- Non-profit program development
- Criminality and addiction
- Early childhood education classroom management
- Eating disorder treatments
- In-home dementia care
- Management and supervision
- Project management
Basically, if you can demonstrate what you’ve learned from your life experience, there’s a good chance you can receive prior learning credit for it. One of the amazing things about the prior learning credits program at Antioch is that it gives students a chance to forge their own educational path, creating a rich academic experience that they wouldn’t get anywhere else.
“Antioch gives students a place and a permission to do what they want to do,” Burke says.