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As a teacher of organizational communications, I agree that there's
nothing sacred about certificates and diplomas. However, I'd want
everyone to try to see differences between education and training --
while it's easy to be self-trained, it's much harder to be self-
educated. Many of my students say "this course really isn't like
what I thought it would be," for which I'm grateful, and which
indicates that I'm doing something more than training.
Where I teach, there is a program called Project Assess, founded
originally under CAEL (Council for Assessing Experiential Learning?),
through which people can apply for course credit by filing a
portfolio and paying a very modest reading fee. Though it's not
possible to receive an entire degree by "assessing out," it can
certainly speed the process, and it might secure the most important
part of the curriculum for some technical workers. There must be
any number of colleges and universities which have similar programs.
I think that employers also might have a hard time distinguishing
between people with real knowledge and people with a few narrow
skills (and perhaps a bad case of sheepskin envy) -- and I'm all
for people with real knowledge.
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