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Thomas Kerr

Tom is an alumnus of the ESC Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program and currently holds an advising-mentoring position with the School of Arts and Humanities. He is also a member of the Editorial Team of SUNY Empire's international publication, PLAIO (PLA Inside Out). He has held numerous employment positions positions at the college since 2008 at the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor Studies including writing coach, adjunct instructor, enrollment specialist, and interim student service specialist. Tom’s expertise for over a decade in the area of individualized prior learning assessment has led him to present at multiple national and international conferences and publish domestically and internationally. He has completed a workbook for labor leaders and the general population of students seeking iPLA credits. He has mentored two students selected as recipients for the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence; co-led a group of eight students to Geneva, Switzerland to attend an International Labor Organization’s (ILO) annual congress (2012); and served on the editing committee for several issues of the publication, Labor Writes. Tom’s work with students in iPLA over the past decade has yielded over four-hundred evaluated requests with less than ten-percent recommended at zero credit.

Tom serves in several college-wide affinity groups and has participated for several years in the college's Institute for Mentoring, Teaching and Learning (IMTL).

Tom is a published essayist and poet and has completed two books, Fathers of the Sea and Interim.


  • MA in Liberal Studies from Empire State College - State University of New York
  • BA in American Studies from University of Missouri - Kansas City


  • Kerr, T. (2019). "Developing iPLA Requests with Labour Leaders Using the Threshold Learning Model." Work Based Learning e-Journal, (Vol. 8, No. 1).
  • Kerr, T. (2018). "Occupational Confrontations: Regarding PLA Development at the Van Arsdale Center." All About Mentoring, (Issue 51, Winter).
  • Kerr, T. (2016). “Voice and Struggle: A Review of What Did You Learn at Work Today? The Forbidden Lessons of Labor Education by Helen Worthen.” All About Mentoring, (Issue 48, Winter).
  • Kerr, T. (2014). "Thinking of Doing." PLAIO (Prior Learning Assessment Inside Out), (Volume 2, Number 2).
  • Kerr, T. (2013). "An Update on PLA for Labor Leaders and Electricians." The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, (61:183-186).