Get an Accredited Life Experience Degree
Many people today have extensive experience that qualifies them for a degree. There are options for these types of students to get credit for the knowledge they already possess. There are also a variety of ways to earn credit for college other than traditional coursework. Challenge exams, such as CLEP and DSST are one option, but if multiple choice exams aren’t your strong point, these other options will also help you get an accredited life experience degree.
Academic portfolios are a good option if you are better at communicating in written form, such as through papers and essays, than testing such as multiple choice exams. You might want to consider creating an Academic Portfolio for credit if:
- Challenge exams aren’t offered in your program
- You communicate well in written form, such as papers and reports
- You know real life applications of concepts related to your field, rather than textbook knowledge
- You have examples of your work—such as websites, business plans, articles, artwork, software, certificates, videos, eBooks or written reports—which show your expertise and knowledge in your field.
In order to get credit for an academic portfolio, students may need to enroll in a class that teaches students how to put together an effective academic portfolio. These classes will typically involve working with an advisor to identify what students already know that qualifies for college credit, and learning how to properly document that.
Corporate Training Programs
Corporations spend a great deal of time, effort and money teaching their employees many of the same skills students learn in college. Corporations may have their own learning institutions for employees, where courses are offered in everything from management and soft skills to computer programming. This kind of training can often be used for college credit in accredited life experience degrees.
Large corporations have a review process with the American Council on Education’s Program on Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction (ACE/PONSI), which is now called the CREDIT program. The CREDIT program assesses these non-college courses for content, materials and procedures to determine if they are college quality. If they are, the classes are allowed to routinely award college credit for completing the course. Additionally, if credit is not awarded in this way, students may be able to get credit for the course via the previously mentioned portfolio option.
Many regionally accredited colleges accept CREDIT courses for college credit. Others may restrict the number or type of credits they will accept, or do not accept any at all. If your employer offers training courses, you can check to see if they are approved for college credit at this site:
Professional Licenses and Credentials
The American Council on Education (ACE) also makes recommendations for credit awards due to work experience on the previously mentioned site. This is particularly the case for professional certifications such as those listed below:
- Certified Public Accountant
- Certified Computer Programmer
- Certified Novell Engineer
- Certified Professional Secretary
- Certified Purchasing Manager
- Chartered Financial Consultant
- FAA Pilot, Engineer, Mechanic Licenses
- Respiratory Therapy Technician
Other national or state licenses may also be accepted for credit. Some examples that are commonly accepted are:
- Aviation licenses
- Professional Healthcare certifications
- Nursing Diplomas
- Real Estate licenses