Did you know that your experience from you current job can help advance your degree forward? There are many accredited continuing education programs that award “life experience credit” for a student’s knowledge from various activities and work experience including management, writing, field work and corporate administration. Life experience credits provide solid opportunities for seasoned professionals to have a jump start toward their college degree. This will enable you to earn college credits in the shortest time and at the lowest cost.
Benefits of Receiving Life Experience Credit
If you have a lot of practical experience and knowledge from your current job but you do not have a diploma to show for all your hard work, life experience credits might give you the recognition you deserve. Perhaps you have field experience in your current job or you have designed commercial websites. Instead of wasting time sitting in class to learn topics you have already mastered, life experience credits can give you credit for the coursework.
Many people do not realize how much they have really learned in their current job or past jobs until they begin to review their life. Throughout our lives we are constantly learning new things. It does not matter where you learned your knowledge – whether as a manager or at another college – as long as it is documented and properly assessed. The amount of life experience credit will depend on what you have learned and how well you can write about your experiences.
The best way to save money on college is to speed it up and complete your coursework in less time. This will help increase your lifetime earnings and ensure you graduate with less education debt. You will reduce the amount of college credits you will have to complete when you demonstrate your proficiency on a subject matter. College advisors will assess the life experience you have and translate what you have learned into college credits.
How To Use Your Experience To Move Your Degree Forward
The process for getting life experience credit for your previous experience varies from college to college. However, you will need to prove that your work experience or volunteer experience led to both theoretical and practical knowledge.
You will most likely have to submit a portfolio including documentation about your experience and an essay that synthesizes what you learned. You will have to pay an evaluation fee no matter what the results are.
Most colleges limit the total number of life experience credits that they will accept per student. Although the limit varies, the limit is usually 30 credits, one year of college.
Steps To Earning Life Experience Credit
- Find an accredit university that considers life experience credits. Before you enroll in the school, check with the admissions office to make sure they will consider outside experience. Be aware of scams online that promise easy degrees that are completed totally based on previous life experience.
- Contact the guidance office to find out the procedure to apply for life experience credits. In addition to completing an application and turning in a portfolio, you may need to provide multiple references, meet with advisors or pass a test in the subject you are requesting credit for.
- Collect all documentation that proves your previous experience. Include anything that demonstrates your skills and knowledge. This may include work samples, resumes, awards, references, certificates, videos, photographs, clippings from newspapers or magazines and previous job descriptions.
- Organize your portfolio. Present your life experience portfolio in a concise, clear and convincing manner. You should provide a list of all the documents you have included as well as the knowledge and skills that they prove.
This is by no means a quick way to gain college credits. In general, the application process takes several months. You may be required to attend multiple meetings with your academic advisors. In addition, you must showcase convincing writing skills. You need to be able to illustrate your experience in writing and display how you have found meaning in what you have done.
Even though it can take a lot of time and effort to apply for life experience credits, it does not compare to the amount of time you would spend in class learning material that you have previously mastered.
Devin Johnson is a Fort Lauderdale-based freelance writer who specializes in finance and higher education. She has been published all over the internet under her name and as a ghostwriter. Devin received a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from Nova Southeastern University in 2006.
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