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What is Accreditation of Prior Experimental Learning
The Success of the European VAE, Work Experience Degrees (APEL)
In 2002 the European Council created the VAE (Validation des Acquis de l’Experience) that mandated (article L 613-3) European Universities to grant partly or totally regular degrees based on work experience through a jury of University professors. Many were doubtful of the reality or acceptance of the European VAE. Today’s Universities, Institutes of Higher education , & Foreign governments accept the VAE and its equivalency as part of their own National degrees.

Based on the above ,the University’s Evaluation and Admissions Council may grant higher degrees to suitably qualified applicants with relevant professional experience that conforms to the European “Bologna Declaration” adopted by all of European Countries.

In a number of cases the applicants work experience and credits attained elsewhere are sufficient to earn the required number of credits for the immediate award of a degree. In other instances it may be necessary either to submit a dissertation of 5-10.000 words on a topic related to the applicant’s area of expertise or to take a number of courses by Directed Coursework Study under the guidance of a university accredited supervisor.

Applicants should note that there is no material difference between a degree awarded by APEL and that awarded by directed coursework study or desertion, as the diploma does not mention that a particular degree

APEL Definition

We define Accreditation of Prior Experimental Learning as:
- Prior job experience in any field
- Published Work
- Military training
- Previous educational achievements
- Employer-sponsored training and attendance of workshops
- Participation in organizations, both professional and nonprofessional
- Professional / Corporate Trainings/Certifications
- National Testing Programs
- Independent Research Project / Self-directed Study
- Independent Reading
- Community Services
- Volunteer Activities

Portfolio Development
At University of Western California, we value the college-level knowledge you may have acquired outside the traditional college classroom.

In our Portfolio program, students demonstrate that what they already know is equivalent to what they would have learned in an equivalent college course. The program is designed to be as flexible as possible to meet your needs.

You may have acquired this knowledge through your past work, independent reading and study, training programs or in-service courses, volunteer service, cultural or artistic pursuits, hobbies and recreational pastimes, community or religious activities, organizational memberships, adult education, non-credit courses, study abroad, military training or other experiences. A portfolio enables you to identify and articulate this knowledge, and potentially earn credit for it. The resulting portfolio is submitted for review by Subject Matter Experts for award of credit.

Because this is knowledge you have already acquired, no textbook is required. This is knowledge you already have! Our Office of Prior Learning Assessment/Portfolio will provide you with the established course outcomes (learning objectives) for the courses for which you wish to earn credit based on your prior learning.

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