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Community Colleges Offer Credits for Life Experience

  Community colleges statewide have standardized their way to assess prior work and experience for college credits through Credit Fast Track.

The new system allows all 14 community colleges in the state to access the same website where students can apply for the program. After applying students will work with a faculty member in the area to review what work was done, and see if it applies to a course through a portfolio of their work. 

“A student has to be able to verify that they have mastered the learning outcomes for a particular course, but they just didn’t master them in a traditional classroom,” said Community College of Allegheny County’s VP of Student Success and Completion Mary Frances Archey.

A student must also be enrolled in the college.  Students at CCAC will be charged $129 to submit a portfolio.

“There are many individuals that started college, in many cases years ago, and for one reason or another they just have not been able to finish their degree, but they went to work, and in that work experience they build up some skills that they can document for a portfolio,” said Archey.

This system is made possible by a 2.5 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that will fund the program for 3 years, after that the fees to access the portfolios will take up the cost to maintain the system.