Not all education happens within the walls of a classroom—many people learn through their employment, life experiences, volunteer positions, or other avenues. As students, these adults now will have a streamlined pathway to earn college credits based on prior work or life experiences with a new online tool, College Credit Fast Track, developed by Montgomery County Community College in collaboration with Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges and announced on Feb. 2 at a launch event at Harrisburg Area Community College.
“Today, we are launching College Credit Fast Track, found at ccfastrack.org, a new website and e-portfolio platform, which provides a single point of entry for adult learners in the Commonwealth to access prior learning credits at any of our community colleges,” said Dr. Kathrine Swanson, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management at Montgomery County Community College, during at the Feb. 2 launch event.
Developed by AcademyOne, the College Credit Fast Track online site provides a uniform standard for the practice and promotion of PLA. AcademyOne also was the technology partner for the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center (PA TRAC) which supports student transfer in the Commonwealth.
Through use of features on the site, prospective students will be able to build a profile, create a petition requesting prior learning credit, select a local community college, submit an application to a specially trained advisor at the community college and build an e-portfolio. College Credit Fast Track will help students obtain credit for a variety of prior learning experiences, including employment, training programs, military service, independent study, community service and completion of free online courses. All prior experience and knowledge must meet certain criteria to qualify for college credit.
Earning credits for work or life experience will help students, like Anthony Caso, who is working on his associate’s degree in Criminal Justice at MCCC. Caso, who currently works as a police detective for East Norriton Township Police Department, was awarded 27 credits for his law enforcement experience and training.
“I am convinced that just as PLA will change the narrative for individuals like Anthony, PLA will also change the narrative about the number of adults in the Commonwealth with earned postsecondary credentials who are participating in Pennsylvania’s workforce,” said Swanson.
To introduce this new tool and help prospective students walk through the process of creating an online portfolio of their prior learning experience, Montgomery County Community College will be holding free PLA Portfolio Information Workshops. The workshops are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 23, 6 to 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Feb. 25, 10 to 11 a.m. at Parkhouse Hall, Room 115, Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and for Thursday, Feb. 26, 10 to 11 a.m., and Monday, March 9, 6 to 7 p.m. at South Hall, Room 220, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. To register, contact Denise Collins at 215-619-7313 or email@example.com.
Funded by a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, the College Credit Fast Track program is part of a combined initiative of the Commonwealth’s community colleges to train and place underemployed and unemployed residents in high-demand job fields.
To learn more about the program, visit ccfasttrack.org or contact Denise Collins at 215-619-7313 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To talk to an advisor, contact Mary Beth Bryers at email@example.com or call 215-641-6319.
~ by Diane VanDyke