Episode 032: Chari Leader Kelley on Adult Learning & Prior Learning Assessment

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Non traditional students in college ARE the new “traditional”.  According to a recent Washington Post article, “About 40 percent of all college students are older than 25, according to U.S. Education Department data. More than a third attend classes part-time. Nearly 20 percent work full-time. About 60 percent enroll at four-year public and private schools, while the rest mostly attend community colleges or enroll at for-profit colleges. Very few attend the well-known universities topping the U.S. News and World Report rankings.”

In this episode, I chat with Chari Leader Kelley about articulation and recognition of prior learning for this market segment.  Enjoy!

Guest Bio

Chari Leader Kelley is an independent consultant focused on improving college access and success for adult students. Chari’s work has been at the institutional, state and national levels.

Chari Leader Kelley

Leader Kelley has served as a Senior Fellow with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. Prior to this, she served for two years as the Vice President of LearningCounts.org, a one-stop prior learning assessment portal managed by CAEL. Chari has been with CAEL since 2011, previously serving as the Senior Consultant for Higher Education Services.

Prior to this, Chari served as the Vice President of Enrollment Management at Excelsior College for 9 years, along with a concurrent designation as Acting Provost/CAO in her final year at Excelsior.

Chari Leader Kelley earned her baccalaureate from Bellevue University, her Master of Human Relations degree from the University of Oklahoma and her PhD (education) from Walden University. She earned all three degrees as a post-traditional student, juggling work and family demands while studying. She received an Excelsior College Partners in Lifelong Learning Award in 2012.

She has been designated CAEL Senior Fellow, effective October 1, 2013; when she will resume her consulting career.

You can reach Chari on Twitter (@charikelley) and Linkedin.

Show Notes

(1:30)  Chari’s story as a first generation college graduate

(8:00)  LearningCounts.org and Prior Learning Assessments for adult learners

(13:20)  The value of a degree

(17:14)  Where do you think Competency Based Education will be in the next 5 years?

(20:01)  What excites you about the future of education and learning?

(21:43)  What frustrates you about the future of education and learning?

(22:54)  If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?

*Barack Obama


 Shout Outs

Bellevue University

Excelsior College

Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL)



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