Assignment: Education – Earn credit at Western Technical College for work/life experience

Students in Western Technical College’s “Applications of Financial Concepts” class are studying for associate degrees in financial services.

“Currently we’re about to give a presentation to Western’s board demonstrating what we’ve put together for them,” said Western student Evan Londergan.

This associate degree was a perfect fit for Londergan.

“It was a good program and it was close by,” said Londergan. “And it was affordable and they were willing to work with my work schedule, as well.”

Initially, after high school, Londergan went to Iowa State with plans to major in engineering until he realized that wasn’t what he wanted to do.

“So I kind of took a step back; took a year off; started working,” said Londergan “Came back home.”

That is when Londergan decided he wanted to finish his degree with a focus on finance.

“I had a couple of classes that transferred from Iowa State,” said Londergan.

But Londergan also was able to use work and life experiences to test out of additional classes using the Credit for Prior Learning Program.

“So what we do is with each course that’s at Western, we have course competencies,” said Tracy Noyes, Western Technical College credit for prior learning specialist. “Basically, it says that when you’re done with the course, you should be able to do these five, 10, 15 things. So the student needs to address each of these competencies, and brings forward examples of their work that demonstrates their knowledge.”

Students can show their abilities by taking different types of exams or preparing portfolios to earn credits which are applied to their program without having to take the class.

“We’ve had a couple of students who’ve been over the 15 credit mark, 15 or 18 credits,” said Noyes.

“So that equates to seven to eight classes or courses.”

Londergan was awarded 15 credits for his work and life experiences.

“It saved time and money,” said Londergan.

It also gave him a stepping stone to reach his career goals.

“I’m looking to do credit analysis and eventually work as a business banker,” said Londergan.

On average, credits at Western cost about $150.

A three-credit class would cost approximately $450.

It costs $50 to take an exam to test out of a class, and $90 to complete a portfolio or give a demonstration.

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