EARNED DEGREES THROUGH LIFE EXPERIENCE LEARNING



ASSOCIATE OF ARTS DEGREE BASED ON THAT WHICH YOU ALREADY KNOW.

Our Philosophy

Consistent with its mission, ACU maintains a conviction that most adults have already earned the equivalent of a degree/degrees through their life learning. Traditionally, degrees have been issued only to those who chose to take a path directed by a university primarily based on classroom instruction. ACU Allows Students to design their own path using Community based learning.

As a "Fresh Start" incentive for life-long Students to continue pursuing academic validation, ACU helps individuals to gift themselves an Associate of Arts degree by documenting 24 units through its Community Learning Validation Division, for a total tuition cost of $2500.00 USD.

Empowerment of the Student is central to ACU's philosophy. The Student is the central figure in determining what is to be done and how it is accomplished. Whether through CLVD or degree completion by completing additional courses, the Student determines the selection of beneficial Student-contracted mentors and community resources.

". . . and if education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in thebettering of a person's future. . . and so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being."

Maria Montessori (1870-1952).

One tenet of the philosophy of American Coastline University is that learning is a life-long process. The renaissance of recognizing learning as a life-long activity is growing throughout the world. According to research scientist K. Patricia Gross, it is becoming more and more apparent that adults are decreasing the separation between education, work and leisure activities. Adults employ different types of learning methods, illustrating that learning is an active process of inquiry, and not merely a passive accumulation of information.

How It Works

Potential Degree Program of a Student: This Student is forty-one years old, and recently sold a small local delivery service, and plans on traveling the US for a year. After that there is a plan to seek employment in the career field of transportation manager. Past employment has included sales for a major trucking firm, an airline, and a package delivery service. The Student also worked as a cargo-handler and dispatcher for one of the major international package delivery firms before starting a local "Pony Express" company ten years ago. The company, which recently merged with a larger one, mainly delivered legal forms and bank documents within a ninety-mile radius.

Education-Training: Transcripts City Community College, Big City, IL, 1990, General Ed; Townsite Technical Institute, Big City, IL, 1982, Earned Commercial Drivers License; Military Service, United States Marine Corps, 1971-74, Rank Sgt. (which could be as many as 60 credits)

Experiential Learning: In 1996 started a side "seasonal" business of creating fireworks displays, licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Safety, as Fireworks Display Operator, Pyrotechnic Display
Operator, and granted a certificate in Fireworks Safety, completed at the International Association of Underwater Instructors, Montclair, CA in 1990 the Openwater I. Scuba Diving course, two weeks full time. He tells his advisor in his initial autobiography.

The Student writes in the Autobiographical Assignment. . I used this training in Mexico to look for sunken treasure (but never found any). "I used tapes and local citizens in Mexico to learn Spanish lived two years in Mexico, driving a truck back and forth to the US, and scuba diving in my spare time. I can converse in Spanish. At the BigCity Baptist Church, I sing in the Choir, have sung Solo in the Messiah, and similar historical and contemporary cantata's, etc. I perform also in a local quartet in my spare time." Military: Us Marine Corps, 1971-74 Honorable discharge.

The Program: the Student seeks a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, which requires a minimum of 120 credits. This Student may request assessment credit for any learning described above that is NOT in a transcript. The Student also wants the transcript to reflect some current study in areas related to transportation. In discussion with the advisor, the student begins developing a learning inventory-plan. For part of the research looked at a nearby university catalog for business course descriptions, and also into a community college that offers a degree in transportation management.

The Process: the Student will turn in transcripts from City Community College, and Townsite Technical Institute, a copy of the DD 214 showing Marine Corps service and MOS (if necessary we can use our CE guide to evaluate the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS for credit); the Illinois Department of Public Safety, certificates as Fireworks Display Operator, Pyrotechnic Display Operator, and granted a certificate in Fireworks Safety with a single ASSESSMENT Request. The student will also prepare an assessment request for the Openwater I. Scuba Diving course; a course assessment request with a TAPE for Spanish Credit. The student also submits an assessment request with a tape demonstrating singing at the BigCity Baptist Church, and in the quartet.

To get started the student first complied a COURSE LIST - LEARNING INVENTORY, which listed all of formal and informal learning experiences up to now. Next, the student goes to the library and researches local college catalogs to see what their requirements might be. Then, after consulting with the advisor A LEARNING PLAN is developed that incorporates all appropriate prior learning, and what the student feels will achieve the degree learning goals. Consulting with the advisor, they both agree that the Student will conduct limited research using a local library, current publications, and interviews with local experts Then the Student will prepare a series of short essays as course assessment requests agreed topics. Each assessment request or "course" receives 3 credits each

The selected topics are:

Process of Self-Initiated Learning The Manager and Society
Computer Applications Business Operation and Strategy
The Transportation Industry Local Delivery Systems
Transfer and Shipping Documents Intercultural Relations
Manpower Problems in the Trucking Industry Long Distance Transportation Systems

NEXT STEP: The Student, after consulting with the advisor, prepares a working draft of the final transcript. The Student may request changes in topics as this progresses, and this "draft" may be revised many times before the Degree program is complete.



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Copyright 2001 American Coastline University

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