Texas A&M University-Texarkana has been named one of the “12 Most Innovative Colleges for Adult Learners” in the United States by the editors of Washington Monthly magazine.
In its September/October issue, the magazine profiled Dr. Lisa Myers’ transformative work on prior learning assessment (PLA), which allows students to earn credit when they demonstrate college-level knowledge gained through formal and informal work training, continuing education programs, professional certifications and other learning experiences.
After arriving at A&M-Texarkana in 2013 as an instructor of adult education and coordinator of the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program, Dr. Myers began reinvigorating the university’s PLA model to enable students to use their assessments to think about their learning, often in the form of essays, and analyze it using adult learning theory and models.
This new PLA model at A&M-Texarkana recognizes and enhances soft skills, such as conflict resolution and time management, which research shows are crucial to success in any occupation.
A&M-Texarkana has also included PLA assessments, which usually cost students between $125 and $250 out of pocket, into the cost of tuition, which allows financial aid to cover the cost.
“The inventive approach that Dr. Myers has taken in transforming our adult learning programs is a tremendous benefit to our non-traditional students and reflects the creative, solution-oriented way in which our faculty members focus their efforts on student success,” said Dr. Emily Cutrer, president of A&M-Texarkana.
In the article, Becky Klein-Collins, an expert on competency-based education at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, says she “would definitely consider (A&M-Texarkana’s) approach to be in best-practice territory.”
To view the Washington Monthly article, visit http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/septemberoctober-2017/the-twelve-most-innovative-colleges-for-adult-learners/.