A Case Study on the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Perception of University Faculty
The recognition of prior learning (RPL) has been implemented to varying degrees across Canada in secondary schools and post-secondary institutions, through workplace training models, businesses, sector councils and industry groups, apprenticeship, the military, and professional accrediting/regulatory bodies. RPL however remains fragmented and seriously under-supported at Canadian universities. As a key driver, RPL can play a leading role in addressing labour force changes, economic competitiveness, facilitating access to post-secondary education, and in the recognition of foreign credentials. While RPL challenges the university hierarchies of knowledge, learning and power, there are significant social and economic consequences for failing to address the increasing amount of unrecognized learning. This doctoral case study explored the general perceptions of RPL role-players at a western Canadian university during the summer of 2017. The results revealed there were lost opportunities and differences in understanding RPL. Additional findings relate to the invisibility of RPL, roadblocks to implementation, an intrinsic belief in the value and benefits of RPL, and some constructive ideas for moving forward. These findings point to directions for future research.
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