Student Gets Big Head Start to Completing His Degree Thanks to PLA
Inspired by his wife Tatiana, who attended the institution, George Guerrero enrolled at Broward College. It was the first time he stepped foot in a classroom in 33 years. He believes returning to school was one of the best decisions he ever made. Now, Guerrero is on track to earning his Associate of Science in Business Administration in May with a bachelor’s in Supervision Management in December.
Thanks to his past college transcripts and work experience as a project manager and in IT for the US Air Force, Guerrero received 24 credits through Credit for Prior Learning (CPL). Guerrero was given tests to gauge his knowledge, commonly known as a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), which gave him a head start to fulfilling his academic aspirations.
Some years ago, he was unemployed and looking for a job. During the job search he noticed many employers wouldn’t even offer an interview because he didn’t have a degree, despite his diverse professional resume and the fact he was ex-military. This fueled his desire to finish a degree.
His apprehension about returning to school was eased significantly knowing he wasn’t starting from scratch. Prior Learning Assessments were created with adults like Guerrero in mind, recognizing there is educational value in time spent outside the classroom. Students can essentially get credit from job experience, employment-related training programs and seminars, volunteering, travel, military service or intensive self-directed study.
He felt good heading into night and weekend classes with the idea that what he had done in his life mattered. Eventually, Guerrero did get hired by FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) as a project manager where he applies the education he is attaining at the College on a daily basis.
After he registered at the College he called his son in Orlando who had some prior credits himself and was in a similar situation. Guerrero encouraged him to go back to school at Valencia. With his wife, who recently graduated from Florida International University, learning truly is a family affair.
There isn’t a limit to the number of hours students can receive through prior learning, but 25 percent of the credits for a degree must be earned by taking classes at the College to satisfy residence requirements for graduation. Credits also are not available for all courses, so it’s best for students to see an academic advisor to discuss career options related to their experience. For more information on the program, visit the PLA website.