New Report: Leverage Prior Learning to Close Post-Pandemic Equity Gaps

Credit for Prior Learning Could Help Uncredentialed Californians Increase Their Economic Stability

Today California Competes released its new brief, Credit for Prior Learning: Leveraging Past Learning to Close Present-Day Equity Gaps, exploring how the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California currently approach credit for prior learning (CPL) and why the approach should be more widely and consistently implemented in California to support the state’s economic recovery.

Encompassing military training, relevant work or volunteer experience, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and more, CPL allows students to apply collegiate-level learning towards a college degree and enter the skilled workforce faster. Data from other states show more uniform CPL policies could elevate individual economic trajectories while helping the state increase degree attainment and meet workforce demands.

More than ever, California must connect unemployed and underemployed individuals with the qualifications they need to help fuel the state's economic recovery—and that starts with fast-tracking new, innovative options for higher education.

Dr. Su Jin Gatlin Jez

“More than ever, California must connect unemployed and underemployed individuals with the qualifications they need to help fuel the state's economic recovery—and that starts with fast-tracking new, innovative options for higher education,” said California Competes Executive Director Dr. Su Jin Gatlin Jez. “Leveraging our present moment to invest in Californians will reduce the impact of the current crisis on California’s future and help our state recover that much faster—together.”

Wider implementation of CPL could benefit hundreds of thousands of the 6.8 million Californians ages 25-54 without a college degree and increase educational attainment and college affordability for people of color. Economic outcomes increase with quality postsecondary credentials, and using CPL to acknowledge and credit relevant experience could instill a sense of belonging in academic settings that encourages completion and pushes graduates into higher income brackets.

Read the report.

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Op-Ed Highlights Credit for Prior Learning to Build Equity in Higher Education

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