MONTPELIER, Vt. — In honor of its upcoming 50th anniversary, Community College of Vermont (CCV) has received a generous gift of $50,000 from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation to provide scholarships for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) classes, which offer students the opportunity to earn college credit for knowledge gained in the workplace, in the military, through volunteerism, or in other settings outside of the traditional college classroom.

For more than 40 years, CCV has been awarding college credit through the Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) class, a three-credit, semester-long course with a focus on the creation of a portfolio that describes and documents prior learning in a variety of subject areas. 50th Anniversary Portfolio Scholarships are available for both APL and the Focused Portfolio Development class, a one-credit offering in which students request credits in a focused curricular area. Scholarships will cover approximately 50% of the course cost, and students will also be eligible to receive a second award of equal value if they enroll in a CCV class within a year of completing their portfolio course. The scholarship is intended for adult students with 2-5 or more years of work or military experience.

“When adults go to college, there are two hurdles: time and money,” said Director of Prior Learning Assessment Melissa DeBlois. “This is an amazing opportunity for adults to reach their academic goals in the shortest, most cost effective way possible.” Nearly 8,000 Vermonters have participated in the APL portfolio process since it was established in 1975.

According to a national study by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), adult students who receive credits for prior learning are more likely to complete associate and bachelor’s degrees. CCV and Vermont State Colleges System students who earn credits through portfolio classes, exams, or course challenges are two to three times more likely to complete a degree than their peer group taking traditional classroom courses for all requirements.

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