Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Learn more about NLU's Prior Learning Assessment program here

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment


Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

At National Louis University, your personal and professional experience and knowledge can be worth college credit. Colleges and universities often refer to this knowledge as prior learning. NLU's Prior Learning Assessment office offers several programs for students to demonstrate prior college-level learning including; Portfolio, Proficiency, Examination, License and Certification.

Credit by Portfolio

The Perspectives on Prior Learning course (ACL301) is a means for students to recognize, document, and validate learning from life and work experiences for potential college credit. During the course students write and compile an analytical resume, an autobiography and two life learning experiential essays. Faculty members who are content-area experts assess learning outcomes and award credit based on the level of learning demonstrated. For additional information, please contact 800.443.5522 x4319 or  

Credit by Proficiency

Credit by proficiency is possible for some NLU courses. Students may attempt to demonstrate the required competencies in a course and receive credit for that course. The evaluation is completed by a faculty member in that content area. For more information please contact 800.443.5522 x4320.

Credit by Examination

NLU awards credit to students who achieve acceptable scores on standardized tests such as College Board's College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSSTs). Tests measure learning in a variety of academic disciplines. The CLEP and DANTES testing hotline is 800.443.5522 x4316. Test schedules and registration information can be found on the upper right side of this website.

Credit by Licenses and Certifications

A list of faculty approved, nationally recognized licenses and certifications is available upon request. For more information, please contact 800.443.5522 x4320.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
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