My.EOU Portal Current Students Faculty/Staff
Sept. 7, 2023
LA GRANDE, Ore. – La Grande resident Keith Walker is a lifelong learner, but never formalized his education with a degree. Encouraged by his spouse to finally earn that degree, Walker is using Eastern Oregon University’s Credit for Prior Learning to get a jump start on his future.
A senior anthropology/sociology major, Walker is taking advantage of EOU’s physical proximity and the Credit for Prior Learning program to prepare himself for his future.
“It’s been my experience, if you want to be (in my career field) you need a bachelor’s degree,” Walker said.
Walker, a non-traditional student, works in La Grande at a drug treatment facility and said he has all the requirements to be a qualified addictions counselor in the State of Oregon, “but if I leave the state I need the degree,” Walker said.
“Personally I think it’s great, and (EOU) was affordable,” Walker said. “I live in La Grande, you have a University right down the street.”
“The credits I got were stuff related to alcohol and drug abuse continuing education,” Walker said. “I took it to the registrar and she looked at the applicability.”
By working with Priscilla Valero, EOU Ontario Center Director, and the EOU Registrar’s Office to review what courses he had taken in his job and how it could apply to a degree, it was determined Walker would get 18 hours using EOU’s Credit for Prior Learning, a savings of over $4,000 toward his education.
“Overall I’m getting the job done (towards the degree),” Walker said. “You have to be self-disciplined, there is more reading and writing when you are remote.”
“(EOU’s Credit for Prior Learning is) a great asset, I’ve got 15 years of accumulation (of coursework I had to take for my job),” Walker said. “It’s a great tool for people outside the standard box. It got me where I wanted to go.” Walker stated that many of his classmates have families and full-time jobs, situations that would prevent easy access to a traditional classroom schedule, and hoped others would look into what experiences they have to determine if they can get similar credit.
Through the credit, Eastern Oregon University is recognizing the value of on-the-job learning experiences and wants to help adult learners make their education more affordable and accessible.
Walker, who will graduate in Spring 2024, said he wants to make a difference. He chose alcohol and drug rehabilitation because he was an addict.
“I’m in recovery myself, I shouldn’t be upright, I’ve been clean for 35 years,” Walker said. “The reality is I’ve been on borrowed time, I’m now trying to be part of the solution.”
On top of CPL opportunities, EOU provides a tight-knit, supportive student experience, exceptional academic programs, and hands-on learning that equips graduates for successful lives and careers anywhere in the world. EOU continues to provide an incredibly personal and affordable education at Oregon’s Rural University
Additional information on the APEL program can be found at eou.edu/apel/.
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