The University of Wisconsin System has received a $450,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation in order to build clearer pathways to degrees and other credentials for adults. The grant is one of nine awarded nationwide from a pool of 78 applicants.
Lumina’s All Learning Counts initiative supports the work of UW institutions to ensure that knowledge, skills and abilities gained outside of formal higher education can be recognized and applied toward an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Over three years, $83,400 of the grant award will be distributed to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in order to support its efforts to enhance and increase participation in their Credit for Prior Learning program.
Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is typically awarded when a student’s work experience or military training and experience have allowed them to develop the knowledge and skills that align with one or more courses offered by the university. Credits can be acquired through noncredit coursework, corporate training, military training and deployment, employment or volunteer work.
Charles Hill, associate vice chancellor of curricular affairs, said this grant will help UWO better coordinate best practices for awarding CPL to adult students.
“This project will increase the ability of adult learners to gain university credit for the knowledge that they have gained in their previous work experience,” he said. “It could potentially decrease the number of credits required to get their degrees and decrease the number of semesters of attendance needed to graduate, thereby also reducing the overall cost of their education.”
Hill is hopeful that improving the CPL program will encourage more adult students to continue their education at UWO.
“In addition to helping adult students by decreasing the time and cost for them to pursue a degree, it can also help UWO become more competitive with other colleges and universities that offer CPL options,” Hill said. “This may make UWO a more attractive option for some adult students with years of business or military experience.”