Maps to Credentials is a three-year project supported by the Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and implemented by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) in partnership with the American Council on Education (ACE) and AACC. The project has provided support and assistance to three community colleges as they develop credential road maps for military students that incorporate ACE credit recommendations for military occupations and training and other Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) methods to allow veterans and other military students to use their prior learning to accelerate their attainment of a postsecondary certificate or degree. The project also helped to focus institutional attention on a broader range of issues related to serving veterans and to expanding capacity and availability of prior learning assessment to adults.
CAEL and ACE divided project management responsibilities with AACC. CAEL and ACE shared expertise in serving adult learners, assessing prior learning, and effectively serving military veterans with the partner schools. Faculty, advisors, and counselors at partner schools participated in a range of related professional development activities.
- Increase campus awareness of military student needs
- Raise veterans’ postsecondary attainment
- Maximize learning gained from military training and experience through credential roadmaps
- Provide models for mapping prior learning credits to courses and programs
- Advance institutional commitment to credit for prior learning policies and practices
Initially, the project focused on military veterans who frequently have college-level skills and knowledge gained through military service and are a population essential to the country’s workforce.
The three community college partners vary greatly in size, structure, and community demographics. They have worked cross-department and cross-campus to develop credential maps and address the need of student veterans in their communities. Despite their differences, the college partners have also benefited greatly from working with and learning from each other. The courses and program areas mapped at these colleges range from logistics management, business administration, and criminal justice to law enforcement, emergency medical services, and culinary technology. They were selected and developed to capitalize on veterans’ prior learning as well as student veteran interest and local employers’ needs.
Click here for a recording of a 2013 webinar on the project and suggestions on starting PLA activities for veterans on your campus. The slides are available here.