Prior Learning Credit

Prior learning credits are course credits that actively enrolled Northcentral undergraduate students earn for learning that has taken place outside of a traditional academic environment.  The experience must match the learning experience provided in a university class and could include on-the-job training, military service, seminars, hobbies, volunteer work in the community, independent study, and/or noncredit courses.


To receive Prior Learning Credit, the student must demonstrate how his or her prior learning experience is equivalent to the selected university course through an evaluative process.

Northcentral University is a partner with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). This organization provides academic advising for Northcentral students to identify if the students experiences: 1) do not match any undergraduate courses and no prior learning assessment (PLA) is needed; or 2) the most appropriate type of assessment for each student, such as:

CLEP (College Level Exam Program) _ Students take tests to show what they know in selected subject areas that are approved in advance by the University. National tests are provided in many subject areas.

ACE (The American Council on Education) _ The training experiences of students are evaluated (e.g., military, work, professional, and government training) to determine if it matches the learning experience delivered in a university course.

The Portfolio _ Undergraduate students prepare a portfolio by reflecting, and then, writing about their previous learning experiences.  Supportive documentation is collected and placed in a portfolio. The prior learning experiences must be equivalent to the goals, objectives, and course description of the selected university course offered for credit.

If students use the portfolio method, they enroll in a class, CAEL 100: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice. This course is taught online by the CAEL organization. Instructors are highly trained by the organization and are experts in their field.

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