One of the many questions potential students have during the application process is whether their prospective college or university will award credits for prior experience. Individuals seeking to earn a degree in health care later in life may find that their acquired professional and personal experience provides them with an advantage over their younger counterparts. Therefore, nontraditional students are encouraged to apply this experience to a degree in healthcare from online colleges and universities.
Accreditation of prior learning
There are many ways that students can demonstrate knowledge of various topics to ensure they do not have to repeat classes that are beneath their level of experience. For example, the American Council on Education training programs offer students the opportunity to take exams such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) on a range of subjects to prove they have an adequate knowledge of the subject matter equivalent to that of college classes.
Individuals with professional experience in the healthcare field can also receive college credit without taking additional classes. For example, licensure in fields such as nursing can count toward college credit.
Making it count
While there are many ways for nontraditional students to earn credits for their previous experience, it is important to be aware that some colleges and universities may not recognize all forms of prior learning. For example, some schools may accept police training coursesas a legitimate form of previous experience equivalent to college credit, but not accept nursing licensure. Additionally, other schools may award different numbers of credits for this type of experience than others.
Individuals who are considering transferring to another institution should discuss their plans with an admissions adviser at their prospective school. These professionals will be able to advise transfer students on which forms of prior learning the school recognizes, how many credits a student’s experience is worth, and what forms of documentation are required in order for the credits to be applied to their transcript. With planning, forethought and hard work, pursuing a degree in healthcare could be the best decision nontraditional students ever make.