Adult students bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to college, and we value what you have learned from your experience on the job, in your family life, your travels, and through non-collegiate course work. We value your experience so highly, in fact, that it’s possible for adult students to earn a maximum of 48-semester hours of college credit for the experience they bring to the classroom. We offer several ways for adults to earn college credit for the experience they have already gained.
Experiential Learning Portfolio
If you have already mastered material offered in one or more courses at Elmhurst College, you may qualify to earn credits using the experiential learning portfolio. Students enroll in SPS 100 Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice, an 8-week, online, 3-semester-hour educational planning course. The course teaches you how to assess and document your learning from outside the college classroom and assemble a successful portfolio. After completing SPS 100, students have six months to submit up to three portfolios for faculty members, with expertise in your subject matter, to assess. Each portfolio submitted and approved counts towards one approved elective at the College. Students may receive a maximum of 12-semester-hours (3-course-credits) after successfully completing three portfolios. Tuition for SPS 100 is assessed at the current tuition rate and course credits may count toward financial aid hours. For a complete list of approved Elmhurst College courses, contact the School for Professional Studies.
Learn more about the Experiential Learning Portfolio class.
NOTE: Only students enrolled in an accelerated degree completion program at Elmhurst may register for SPS 100. Students must have approval to take this course. Contact the School for Professional Studies prior to registering for the class.
If you have completed course work through non-collegiate agencies—including the federal government, professional associations, military services, or unions—you may be eligible to earn non-Collegiate instruction credit. For example, you may be able to earn credit for computer classes, for classes in health and safety, for interpersonal communication training, or for course work leading to a real estate license.
To apply for non-collegiate credit, complete and submit a Non-collegiate Instruction form along with certificates and documentation of your work to the School for Professional Studies. The evaluation is based on the content of the work completed, the method of assessment used, and how many hours your training lasted. Non-collegiate credit applies only to elective requirements, and cannot apply toward major requirements or duplicate any of your required course work. Non-collegiate credit work done prior to admission should be submitted after admission to the College. Work done while enrolled must be submitted six months prior to graduation from the College.
College Level Examination Program
Through the College Board’s College Level Examination Program (CLEP), you may be able to earn credit by passing an exam in a variety of subjects. If you have a strong background in English literature, for example, you may wish to take the literature CLEP exam to earn Integrated Curriculum credit in literature. CLEP credit usually counts towards Integrated Curriculum requirements or electives; in rare instances it may be accepted for major credit. This program is ideal for transfer students who have transferred the maximum number of credits and still have requirements to complete. For a listing of CLEP examinations (pdf) accepted by Elmhurst College, click here.
For more information, call the School for Professional Studies at (630) 617-3300.