Ross Garmil Slides - Ohio Board of Regents

Creating a Unified PLA Policy
Recommendation for the State
University of New York
Ross Garmil
Empire State College
PLA with a Purpose Symposium
April 29, 2014
• Empire State College
• Founded in 1971, prior learning assessment included in
original academic program
• Median student age: 36; 70% part time
• Associate, Bachelor’s & Master’s: ~ 50% advanced standing
• SUNY TAACCCT Grant (2012-2015)
• Develop and implement statewide systems for evaluating
• Create uniform and consistent policies and practices for
identifying credible work-based experiences [to earn
PLA credits]
• Provide system-wide professional development on PLA
policies and procedures
Committee Membership
30 community colleges
44 members
 VP/AVP or Dean: 18
 Faculty or Academic Program Director: 9
 Workforce Development or Partnership Coord: 4
 Admissions/Registrar/Student Services: 4
 Grants Management/TAACCCT Coord: 9
• Board Chairs Empire State College
• Advisory
 SUNY Central Administration
 Manufacturer’s Alliance of New York
Committee Charge
• Review PLA best practices and research nationally to determine
best ways to recommend uniform policy and practices across SUNY.
• Review current policies and practices across SUNY Community
Colleges to determine best ways to recommend uniform policy and
practices across SUNY.
• Create a recommendation report to SUNY on PLA policy standards
and best practices.
• Provide professional development across SUNY Community
Member Responsibilities
As a Board member
• Participate actively in board and subgroups
• Engage in discussions
• Participate in research on policies and practices
• Contribute to decisions and recommendations
As a Campus Representative
• Provide information regarding your campus’ policies and procedures
• Communicate with campus leadership, faculty and other appropriate
audiences regarding Board’s work
• Collect input from appropriate audiences at your campus to share
with Board
Committee members formed seven subgroups to complete detailed
analysis of program factors:
PLA Policy
Participation and Approval
PLA Credits and Options
PLA Communication and Resources
Individualized PLA
Program Evaluation
Professional Development
Committee Activity
• Regular contact with board members through online meetings and
 13 contacts from December 2013 through March 2014
 Review work completed
 Provide feedback and direction for next step
• Research
• Policy analysis
• Local issues
• New policy
Policy Analysis: SUNY
• Reviewed catalog and online materials from individual SUNY
community colleges to identify all policies related to PLA.
• Relayed policies to individual members for confirmation/revision.
• Analyzed policy statements using program factors ESC has
previously identified as critical to any PLA program.
• Discussed results for clarification and impact.
Policy Analysis: External
• Review Council of Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
publication “State Policy Approaches to Support Prior Learning” and
research on international PLA programs implemented on a countrywide basis
• Identify program designs that best match SUNY history and
TAACCCT grant goals
• Examine and modify process based on CAEL findings from similar
programs, as necessary
Policy Analysis Tool
Original Document created from
research on PLA programs throughout
the US.
• 6 Sections
• 45 top level questions
• >110 second level questions
Policy Analysis Tool (cont’d)
Document adjusted to facilitate
community college policy and program
self-analysis in shortened time scale:
• 3 Sections
• 30 questions total
Policy Analysis Tool (cont’d)
Results from each community
college’s self-analysis tool compiled
by program factor.
Committee subgroups summarized
results and posed system-wide policy
Developed site to share professional development and committee
Website (cont’d)
Website designed as organizational tool to support committee
members in completion of their project tasks:
• Professional development: PLA research and best practices
• Links to presentations and recordings from past meetings
• Link to active survey
• Subgroup information, including compiled policy results
Website will be modified in future for next stages:
• Moved onto SUNY server
• New professional development videos will be created to train faculty
and staff in operation of PLA program
Online Meetings
Used Blackboard Collaborate tool to conduct synchronous meetings. Open
discussions and instant polls gauged member feedback and identified
areas that required further exploration.
Online Surveys
Surveys were produced after every meeting to further address issues that
were not fully resolved during the meetings, to allow feedback from
members who could not attend meetings, and to receive feedback and
focus members on the next step of the project.
Ross Garmil
518-587-2100, ext 2249
[email protected]

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