Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Learn more about NLU's Prior Learning Assessment program here

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment


Credit for Prior Learning

At National Louis University, your personal and professional experience and knowledge may 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, Credit by Examination, Credit by Licenses and Certifications.

Credit by Portfolio

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 and competencies are assessed and credit is awarded through the institution's faculty evaluation process. Submission and assessment of one Portfolio essay is included in ACL301 tuition.  For more information, please contact us at 630-874-4319/1-800-443-5522, x4319.


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),  the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSSTs), and NYU Language Proficiency exams.   Exams measure learning in a variety of academic disciplines. The exam hotline is 800.443.5522 x4316.  Exam 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.



Active Duty & Veteran Military Members

CLEP exams are funded by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) and are free for eligible military personnel and eligible civilians and spouses.  For information regarding exam funding and eligibility criteria, please go to;

In 2006, DANTES authorized up-front funding of DSST exam fees for eligible military members at authorized National Test Centers that administer the Internet-based DSST exams.  For information regarding DSST exam funding and eligibility criteria, please go to;



    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
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    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
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    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 Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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