What is "VAE"?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by BillDayson, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    There have already been hundreds of posts about "VAE", often rather hysterical and written in broken English.

    But to my knowledge, nobody has yet explained in any detail what it is.

    So what is this French "VAE" process? How is it performed? What kind of instituions are authorized to perform it?

    What kind of oversight do the institutions performing "VAE" receive, whether by the French government or by some accreditor-like organization? What is the name of this oversight agency (if it exists) and how can it be contacted?

    How does "VAE" differ, if it does, from long established prior-learning assessments in the United States, such as the exams and portfolios used by Thomas Edison State?

    Why is there so much talk about "VAE" being an innovation that the US should accept? What's innovative about it?

    Finally, how can all of this stuff be independently verified by an English speaker who doesn't understand French?
  2. ray1212

    ray1212 member

    Thanks for Your Comments Bill Dayson!

    I agree with you that there is nothing new with regards to American Institutions evaluating experiential learning. Maybe it is more than how we define learning. I believe you referred to Thomas Edison State College and there are many other fine institutions in the US that offer a similiar approach with respect to portfolio development and other assessments for the purpose of determining credit.

    I believe the reason for the imergence of VAE as a subject in American Education circles is because of the it's lack of transferability towards a graduate degree. There are very few graduate institutions of higher learning in the US that will apply some credit towards a Masters or Doctorate degree.

    What if a person had over 25 years progressive professional experience in a particular subject area, and never had the opportunity to attand a formal university? Are we to think this person is less educated and give them less status than a person with the academic credential. Just because a person has an MBA or a DBA behind their name, doesn't mean they are as experienced in the field as a person that has done the job over 25 years.

    I like the French law, and hope that eventually it will be widely accepted in the US. With the job market in the US becoming more competitive, an advanced credential is playing a crucial key in getting hired.

    I am glad to see schools, like the Robert de Sorbon University and others using this process bringing attention to the subject.


    Reverend Robert Ray Hill
    Ordained Minister
  3. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Re: Thanks for Your Comments Bill Dayson!

    My answer to this question is "yes." They may be very experienced and they even be extremely knowledgable but they are not "educated." I say this based on the context of this forum and this discussion where "education" is generally thought of as a formal process of instruction that takes place between a person and (representatives of) an institution of higher learning such as a university. Now, if a person can satisfy the criteria of such a university by passing exams, etc. then I have no real problem with this person being granted a degree.
  4. ham

    ham member

  5. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    It's what the VICTIS get. (Note icon.)
  6. PJFrench

    PJFrench member

    Re: Re: Thanks for Your Comments Bill Dayson!

    ...and the experience over 25 years is what?

    * 25 years of progressive experience
    * 1 months experience repeated 300 times
    * 1 weeks experience repated 1,300 times

    There is a hell of a difference.
  7. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Mon cher Pierre,

    Vive la différence???

    Vôtre oncle carpathien,
  8. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Thanks for Your Comments Bill Dayson!

    I'm sorry Peter, it's been a long day for me and I'm not at all sure of what you're trying to say here. I would only add that I've known people who have had 25 years of progressive experience in jobs (like a receptioist who became a secretary then a clerk then a technician and I would say that they absolutely do not have the equivalent knowledge of someone who went through a Bachelors degree program. They may know a lot about how a particular company works but they do not have the equivalent of a BA based on their job experience.
  9. PJFrench

    PJFrench member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks for Your Comments Bill Dayson!

    Dear Uncle Janko and Jack T,

    The VAE process 'seems' to assess every 3 years experience post degree as being equal to 1 years post graduate study at the next degree level. I have great difficultty accepting the apparent simplicity of this, as experiences are not always equal.

    Recently I have been assessing trained and appropriately qualified post secondary teachers. Some have clearly advanced, some marginally, and some have not really at all, hence my comment.

    * One teacher has made progress representing 25 years experience.
    * One teacher has really only repeated 1 years experience 25 times
    * One teacher has repeated 1 months experience 300 times
    * ... and without having to go too far, we will also find the teacher who has repeated 1 weeks experience 1,300 times.

    There are plenty of what we call 'public service types' [Government employees] who really haven't advanced past their graduation year no matter how many years ago that was!

    Maybe the US is different? - if so I apologise ...

    Add to this, as Jack has said, experience in one environment only, and as Uncle Janko so rightly states, there has not really been any educating - no additional/new competencies have been gained that have any application outside of their current place of work.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2004
  10. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    I just ran into this post and had to fall to the temptation of replying.

    The comments I see from some people here are very backward. To say that a person with 25 years experience is not educated is really wierd. The same person would say that TESC offers options with experience, so again there seem to be prejudice towards the use of experience for educational credit.

    The little I know about VAE seem to indicate otherwise..

    1. Its competency based as opposed to credit base

    2. It absolutely require documentation to prove the claims

    3. The concept of a jury reviewing documents and interviewing the candidate would deal with the same experience 300 times..

    4. In real life people develop new products and innovations everyday, what is wrong if that was used towards a Masters or PhD?

    I really do not get the objections to this concept.. Do you respect a person that passes an exam over someone who has done the real thing several times? As long as they can describe and articulate the fundamentals of their subject..
  11. PJFrench

    PJFrench member

    Excuse me:

    1. I did not say that a person with 25 years experience is not educated - my point is that can be 25 accumlated years of experienceon one end of the scale or 300 times 1 months of the other end of the scale, with no progession or development 25 years later on. You ahevnever met people like that? Intervew a few institutionalised people in Government service.

    2. The TOSC type assessment is mapped in great detail to outocmes, courses or competencies. The VAE process deos not necessarily follow this as presented by Robert Sporbon and works in onecase I saw of 3 years expereince equals 1 years degree requirment, and in that case NO verification was done.

    3. A valid degree entirely by VAE and at doctoral level? Would you rely on the work and advice of such a person? I surely wouldn't.

    4. While people want a degree for no work these systems will persist.
  12. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Just to clarify, someone did say that a person with 25 years experience is not educated. I made a general comment, not trying to target anyone..

    I do not support any system that does not verify that a person is truly qualified.. The issue I think is how do you judge qualification, I think the VAE system does offer a means to do so.. Not what Robert S. is offering. The little I read about the process in english seem to indicate a real university in France would offer such degrees. The jury is also required to interview the candidate.

    I think some people really like to pull hair.. Their are thousands, if not millions of people with degrees who are not competent, so it goes back to the individual again..

    You cannot say that a person with 15 to 25 years experience wants a degree without work. why would they go to TESC then? Normally it takes 4 years to get a degree in the US, with TESC and good experience it could be 6 months. That is getting the degree without the traditional work required..

    Do you think the INS/BCIS process is inadequate for qualifying people to work in the US? This is where the 3 for 1 rule came from

    Another thing that people ignore somewhat is that degrees in different countries can be very different. A UK degree for example does not have a lot of General Education requirements as in the US and Canada.. They focus a lot more on the field itself, so its the same with a degree by experience as oppose to the classroom.. One is more vocational or focus than the other..

    Its the stigma of having a degree that creates the need for these process. The person could very well get the job without a degree with 25 years of good experience.. But it seem the pressure is there to show that degree nowadays..
  13. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    It would help if someone on here could get the facts about the VAE process to remove the trend towards speculation
  14. PJFrench

    PJFrench member

    Try the Rober Sorbon topic or read similar comments on Degree Board - www.forums.degreeboard.com
  15. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    I would suggest a more factual source
  16. PJFrench

    PJFrench member

    What I meant was that many have done some quite exhaustive enqiry and posted their links. Use those, or do all of you own work, and tell the few of us who may have any residucal interest what you find out.
  17. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Again what I meant is that someone with French lanquage competence could get the documents and summarize to the forum. The messages I saw on that board seem to be focused more on Robert Sorbon and their ability to operate..

    As I said before, the concept that comes across from VAE is the jury, which to me if properly formed could make a proper decision about a persons qualification.

    How does a regular French University implement the procedures? Those are the facts I would like to know..

    I really am not a gossip person, I like facts and real logic
  18. PJFrench

    PJFrench member

    Be our guest ..

    So start with google if you don't want to rely on VAE non RSU references that have access to here at DI and at DB, and use an online translator and tell us what you find.

    I have 6 months plus of references and I am not about to summarise them - sorry. I did exactly what I referring you to do ... you don't want to take that route. If someone esle does it for you you are going to want them to substantiate it all again for you, so what is the point?

    As I said, be our guest :)

    There are far better places for even a non RA degree so study somewhere else. If it is just for knowledge, we aren't here to do your work.
  19. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Again, I think you are missing my point.. Based on the small knowledge I have of the process, it does not support what you are trying to say. Here is what I learnt.

    1. There is a national registry of qualification in France.

    2. The applicant would pick the area they consider close enough to their background and apply to a school that follows the process.

    3. The School would use a qualified jury to examine and determine if the person has acquired the relevant knowledge for the degree including an interview of the applicant..

    4. The applicant is required the submit documentation to support the relevant claims..

    5. This does not mean a person with 25 years would get a degree, they have to prove that they have the expertise and relevant learning..

    To summarize, Robert Sorbon is not the authority on VAE, it is offered by regular Schools in France, meaning they have the real expertise to judge if a person is really qualified.. Please bear in mind that a person with good professional experience may have done several hundred hours of on-job-training classes which in most cases can be converted into credit as well..

    The point is that the VAE method is a more efficient way to recognize qualification than a credit based scheme.. Bear in mind that as I said earlier, the contents of a regular degree in France could be different from those in the US. However, the fundamental knowledge requirements for a field is the same in most cases..
  20. ham

    ham member

    How does a regular French University implement the procedures? Those are the facts I would like to know..

    It is just about like ANY credit transfer or PLAR procedure.
    When you even submit a thesis to any university, they must be sure the jury includes people who are very knowledgeable in THAT precise field or niche.
    As for the rest, private cases are dealt with by individual universities at the time of application.

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