Op-Ed: Credit for Prior Learning Builds Equity in Higher Education

Credit for Prior Learning Supports Underserved Students

California Competes Executive Director Dr. Su Jin Gatlin Jez wrote a commentary published by EdSource last week that advocates for more comprehensive and consistent credit for prior learning (CPL) policies at California colleges and universities. CPL aligns with California Competes’ commitment to building a more inclusive and equitable system of higher education by awarding credit to students who have acquired expertise through employee training and military courses. Currently, the only kind of credit regularly and uniformly recognized across the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California is Advanced Placement—further perpetuating a system that favors privileged students from richer school districts.

Research from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning shows CPL helps Black students save an average of 14.2 months toward their bachelor’s degrees and Latino enrollment stands to increase by nearly 3 million students with more comprehensive CPL policies. People of color already comprise 64 percent of Californians who could benefit from more comprehensive CPL practices, and higher degree completion rates could significantly reduce equity gaps.

Right now, California has a unique opportunity to level the playing field when it comes to our public colleges and universities.

Read Dr. Jez’s commentary.

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