Rep. McLachlan’s College Credit for Work Experience Bill Advances

Bipartisan legislation would allow college students to obtain academic credit for work experience

DENVER, CO — Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Representatives Barbara McLachlan and Mark Baisley that would make it easier to obtain academic credit for work-related experiences across all state institutions today advanced from the House Education Committee. The legislation passed unanimously.

“As a former teacher, I know that some of the most important education a student can get happens outside of the classroom,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan (D-Durango). “This bill would allow students who have had formative educational experiences in the workplace to get the academic credits they need to complete their degrees in a more affordable and expedited way. As Colorado employers continue to struggle to fill jobs that require a post-secondary credential, it is critical that we do everything we can to help students get the skills they need to compete in a 21st century economy. This bill would have a lasting and important impact on non-traditional students in my district and across the state, and I’ll keep working to make it a reality.” 

HB20-1002, which advanced from the Making Higher Education Attainable Interim Committee, would require the Commission on Higher Education to create a model to award academic credit for work-related experiences. The credits would be acceptable and transferable across all state institutions, improving access and affordability for non-traditional students. The bill also includes a provision that will require state institutions to develop a mechanism through which students can test out of any undergraduate class through an individual assessment or other testing means.