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CAEL's "Do Methods Matter? PLA, Portfolio Assessment, and the Road to Completion and Persistence"

PLA Inside Out


A Study of Prior Learning Assessment and Adult Students' Academic Outcomes at Four LearningCounts Partner Colleges.

PLAIO is pleased to include a link to this publication developed by CAEL (Council on Adult and Experiential Learning). CAEL’s summary is as follows:

"This report presents the findings of a new study that examines the relationship between PLA and student outcomes, while also exploring whether students might have different outcomes depending upon the specific method of PLA that they are using.

"Consistent with previous findings, we found that students with PLA credit persist and complete their degrees at higher rates, compared to students with no PLA credit. An additional examination of students’ outcomes by individual PLA methods suggests that some methods of PLA may be associated with higher degree completion and persistence than others — particularly portfolio assessment and standardized exams."


Klein-Collins, R., & Hudson, S. (2018, February). Do methods matter? PLA, portfolio assessment, and the road to completion and persistence. A study of prior learning assessment and adult students' academic outcomes at four LearningCounts partner colleges. The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). Retrieved from


Special thanks to CAEL for allowing us to share this resource with our readers.

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