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ACHE 2014

October 27–29, 2014

Las Vegas, Nevada

Removing Roadblocks and Building Bridges: Standardizing and Enhancing PLA Policy and Practice in Tennessee through Consensus

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 10:45 AM–11:30 AM PDT
Concurrent Session 4
Session Description

Tennessee’s public colleges and universities and state policymakers have sought to expand and enhance the state’s PLA offerings by standardizing PLA policy and practice and by removing barriers for adults. Through a voluntary statewide PLA Task Force of institutional and systems representatives, a set of comprehensive, statewide standards were developed. At the center of the development and implementation of these standards was a conscious effort to build consensus from the bottom up and to reach out to key campus groups, leading to improved institutional and system acceptance of PLA. This panel, made up of institutional, system, and state representatives, will provide an opportunity for participants to learn about and to discuss the way in which consensus and buy-in around PLA were created and the specific compromises and solutions that were reached.

Session type preferences: Concurrent session, panel presentation, roundtable.

Session Focus
Credit Programming
Post-traditional Students
Accelerated Programs
Student / Client Support Services
Marketing / Social Marketing
Professional Development
Session Audience
Program Directors
Program Staff
Deans & Senior Administrators
Student Services Providers

Primary Presenter

Wilson Finch, Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Contact information; 615-741-2204

Brief Bio

Wilson Finch is the Assistant Director for Postsecondary Completion Initiatives for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and works primarily with initiatives designed to increase college attainment and reduce time-to-degree for students in Tennessee’s public colleges and universities, in addition to working with policy and program initiatives associated with post-traditional student populations. Mr. Finch has coordinated, supported, and overseen programs associated with Degree Compass (a technological advising tool), the Tennessee College Completion Academies, the Tennessee Co-Requisite Remediation Academies, the Default Transfer Pathways Convenings, and the Tennessee Prior Learning Assessment Initiative. Wilson holds a B.A from The University of the South in Sewanee, TN and an M.Phil. in Early Modern History from the University of Cambridge.

Additional Presenter #1

Richard L. Irwin, University of Memphis
Contact Information; 901-678-4596

Brief Bio

Associate Dean, University College, University of Memphis. As advocate of experiential learning, Dr. Irwin was awarded a Tennessee Board of Regents Access & Diversity Grant in 2011 to revitalize the University College Experiential Learning Credit Program, and this grant provided the foundation for what is now the Experiential Learning Lab, providing incoming students opportunity to validate prior learning experiences through the provision of ELC while providing continuing students with professional development through academic internships. Dr. Irwin also serves as the university representative on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Prior Learning Assessment Task Force.

Additional Presenter #2

Gloria Gammell, University of Tennessee - Kingsport Center for Higher Education
Contact Information; 423-354-2498

Brief Bio

Gloria Gammell began her career in higher education in 1980 at the University of Kentucky and has held administrative positions in student and academic affairs at the University of Michigan, Siena Heights University (MI), East Tennessee State University, and Virginia Intermont College, and she earned her doctorate in higher education administration at Vanderbilt University. She has served on a variety of university and college committees including curriculum and instruction, admissions, academic appeals, strategic planning, diversity, and continuous improvement. Dr. Gammell is the Program Manager for the University of Tennessee at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education and serves on the Tennessee Prior Learning Assessment Task Force, the Tennessee Transfer Pathways group, and the statewide Reverse Transfer initiative.

Additional Presenter #3s

Session Materials