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Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Writing Goals: Several Tips

Goal Statement Guidelines

Goal Statements can vary in length. You can write several pages or a short synopsis, but the clearer and more specific the better.

Stating your short, medium and long-term goals and the reasons that you chose those goals will help assessors understand your educational and professional focus. The statements also show the assessors that you have a plan and have considered the steps you will need to take to attain your goals.

Make SMART goals:

Specific: Do you know exactly what you want to accomplish with all the details?

Measurable: Are you able to assess your progress?

Attainable: Is your goal within your reach given your current situation?

Relevant: Is your goal relevant towards your purpose in life?

Time-Sensitive: What is the deadline for completing your goal? 

Educational Goals:

Goal, Motivation, and Time Frame 

  • What is your goal?
  • Where and when will you attend college?
  • What are the reasons (professional and personal) you are pursuing your goal?
  • What is the realistic timeframe for completing your education?

Looking Back

  • Was there a turning point when you reached the decision to return to school?
  • What are the changes that you’ve witnessed in the workplace, your personal life, and society that have had an effect on your decision to return to school?
  • What are your thoughts and feelings about not having finished your education?

Looking Forward

  • What assets do you bring to the classroom that you did not have even five to ten years ago?
  • What combinations of emotions do you have as you think about returning to school (such as fear and excitement)?
  • Where do you see your career headed in the next five to ten years?
  • How would you feel if you do not achieve your educational goal?

Action Plan

  • What is your plan to receive the maximum benefit from your education?
  • What changes in your lifestyle are you able to make in order to find time for class work?
  • What are several action steps that you can take now that will help you manage your time effectively?
  • Who will support you in pursuing your goal?
  • Are there any skills you need to be better prepared for the challenges ahead, and if so, how will you brush up on those skills?

Colvin, Janet. Earn College Credit For What You Know. Chicago: CAEL, 2006.

Personal and Professional Goals:

Regardless of where your priorities lie, use the examples below to help you set and achieve a goal. You just need to know the “why” or purpose of the goal.

e.g.: Do you want success within your company, or do you want a new job?

SMART Goals For Your Personal and Professional Life

  Good  Needs Improvement
Specific  “I want to have more corporate clients”  “I want to get more clients”
Measurable  “I want 20 new clients”  “I want to get more new clients”
Attainable  “I want 5 new clients”  “I want 20 new clients”
Relevant  “My 5 new clients will represent emerging companies to grow my business”    “I can have the 5 new clients join me in the club for activities on evenings and weekends”
Time-sensitive  “I’ll add 5 new clients over the next few months.”   “I’ll have 5 new clients by the end of the year.”  

Thompson, Stephen. Setting Professional Goals Using the SMART Method and Loo, Tristen. Create SMART Goals

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