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UNB s College of Extended Learning honoured for support of Canadian Forces reservists

Author: Communications

Posted on Apr 13, 2015

Category: UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick College of Extended Learning (CEL) was recognized for providing outstanding support to reservists of the Canadian Armed Forces. UNB’s CEL received a Canadian Forces Liaison Council Educator Support Award at a ceremony held at Old Government House in March.

Business administration student, Jeremy MacDonald of the B Coy Trg O Royal New Brunswick Regiment, nominated CEL for the award.

Returning to school after serving as a reservist in the Canadian Forces for over a decade, MacDonald says completing his degree would not have been possible without the direct support of representatives at CEL. He also credits the university’s policy for granting credit for military training and their Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition [PLAR] process.

The university assesses military training for possible credit toward UNB programs.

“Through PLAR, credit can be granted for less formal learning that occurs outside of a structured learning or training environment, provided it is equivalent to university level,” says Lorna Campbell, program coordinator for Adult Learner Services at UNB CEL.

For MacDonald, this meant that he was able to complete his program in two years rather than the usual four years it takes to complete a degree.

“This has several benefits to me as a soldier,” said MacDonald. “First off there is the recognition of the benefits of military training and education. Second, there is a direct and immediate savings since I will not have to pay for two full years of university education. But more importantly, instead of being a full time student for those two years, I can return to full time employment, a direct economic benefit to me.”

UNB CEL is the home of the UNB PLA Centre, which is dedicated to helping learners move forward through recognition that non-formal, informal and/or experiential learning is as valuable as formal academic learning.

Campbell says that learners acquire knowledge through several channels.

“Whether it be through professional accreditations, work experience, volunteering, or academics, the body of knowledge an individual acquires through his or her life, whether formal or informal, should be properly recognized,” she explains.

To MacDonald, the support through CEL and the PLA Centre was outstanding.

“I would never have been able to complete a degree in any reasonable time frame otherwise. I truly believe the UNB CEL has surpassed the standard of any other educational institution in supporting the military and I believe them to be completely deserving of the award.”


Media Contact: Belinda Elliott-Bielecki

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