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; Credit by Portfolio (options 1, 2 and 3), Credit by Examination, Credit by Licenses and Certifications.
Credit by Portfolio - Option 1
ACL301 - Perspectives on Prior Learning: This 2QH course provides a structured experience in which students learn to recognize, document, and validate learning from life and work experiences for potential college credit. Throughout this course, students are offered group and individual assistance in the development of a portfolio documenting their prior learning experiences and evidence of achievement of specific learning outcomes. This course is offered on a quarterly basis, both online and at various site locations. Undergraduate students enrolled in the BSM, BSMIS, ABS, HCL, Human Services, Criminal Justice and Communication programs are currently eligible to take this course.
Student learning outcomes are assessed and credit awarded through the institution's standard, dual independent, faculty evaluation process. Submission and assessment of one Portfolio is included in ACL301 tuition.
Credit by Portfolio - Options 2 and 3
Beginning fall term 2015, students in the following undergraduate programs may also elect portfolio Options 2 or 3. Students may currently seek prior learning credit in the following programs: BA Communication, BSM and BA Criminal Justice.
Options 2: PLA Facilitator
An NLU-appointed facilitator provides students with a one-on-one experience through which they will be coached and guided in assembling their portfolio of evidentiary artifacts for award of credit.
Option 3: Self-Submission The self-submission option is for NLU students who wish to create their own portfolio without guided assistance, other than the services available to all NLU students (i.e., the online writing center, library support staff, etc.). Option 3 is not recommended for students who have not already submitted a portfolio via Options 1 or 2. It is important to note here that if the student's self-submission fails to achieve the minimum performance level to be awarded credit, the student may elect to resubmit only after completing Option 1 or Option 2.
For more information, please contact www.nl.edu/pla, or call 1-630-874-4319.
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.