ACT Ready for Work

Podcast Episode 3: Awarding Credit for Prior Learning Assessment

One technical college in Wisconsin is blazing a new trail by offering college credit for core courses using prior learning assessment (PLA) – credits typically reserved for electives. Awarding PLA credit beyond electives has yielded unforeseen results for individuals and the institution.

Guest Lynette Livingston, Executive Dean of Business, Arts, Sciences, and Academic Initiatives at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, shares how her institution started with curriculum profiling. 

The process of curriculum profiling helped CVTC evaluate how ACT® WorkKeys® Assessments correlated to a current core math course. Although hesitant initially, educators recognized the benefit of awarding credit to students who have proof of demonstrated skills. Rather than reassessing students to prove their competency a second time, students are able to take more advanced courses. Ultimately, this incentive encourages students to finish a degree program more quickly. In fact, creating a dual-credit program alongside the PLA program has increased enrollment at CVTC. 

Lynette shares the motivation behind starting with a curriculum profile, challenges CVTC overcame to successfully implement a prior learning assessment program, and what they learned along the way. Listen to Episode 3 to learn how CVTC leverages their prior learning assessment program as a recruitment tool. 

“Students are much more likely to stay in their degree and finish their degree when they earn credit for prior learning.” 

- Lynette Livingston 

Join the Conversation

Lynette Livingston: @3LLivingston 

Chippewa Valley Technical College: @CVTC

Jasen Jones: @JasenCJones 

ACT Twitter: @act 

ACT LinkedIn: ACT Workforce Solutions

Lynette Livingston

About Lynette Livingston

Lynette Livingston is an Executive Dean over Business, Arts, Sciences and Academic Initiatives at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. In addition to overseeing academic degree programs, Lynette is a member of the Persistence and Completion Leadership team at the college, and leads Eau Claire County’s ACT Work Ready Community steering committee—the first in Wisconsin! Additionally, she is also active in Chamber committees and Economic Development Critical Talent Committee efforts. 
Lynette holds a doctorate degree in Career and Technical Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout where she conducted her research, “Determining the Usefulness of the WorkKeys Assessment for Advancing Wisconsin’s Collaborative Career Readiness Effort.” Lynette holds a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in Education and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in Business Education. Prior to working in higher education, Lynette spent 20 years working in K-12 education as a teacher and administrator, including charter school education. Livingston is also a certified SMART Goal instructor and coach and member of Wisconsin’s ACT State Organization Council.