Prior Learning Policy

Prior Learning Policy


The Prior Learning Policy allows students to translate knowledge and skills acquired outside the classroom into college credit. Students may be granted up to 30 credit hours in this program. Petitions for Prior Learning and requests for additional information are available at the Academic Advising Center and from the appropriate academic Dean. Prior Learning credit cannot be used to satisfy the Morton College academic residency requirement.

A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit earned through Prior Learning may be applied toward graduation requirements. All other graduation requirements also must be met. 

In accordance with state regulations, no grade receive through Prior Learning is recorded for course credit. The student’s academic record will indicate only that credit has been established. The student is responsible for finding out if such credit will transfer to another college or university and if it will be applied to a specific degree or certificate program. Prior learning credit for those pursuing a transferable degree (ASD, AFA, ALS, and AA) can only be used to satisfy graduation requirements. Transferability of prior learning credit is not guaranteed.


Proficiency Examination

Proficiency examinations are open to students who meet the requirements through previous course work, experience or a combination of both. Examinations may be taken in certain courses or programs upon petition by the student. Please note that not all courses are eligible for proficiency examination. Proficiency examinations may be taken only with the approval of the instructor and the appropriate academic Dean. Credit is given if the student passes a proficiency examination; however, no letter grade is given.


  • Proficiency exams may not be taken to improve a grade, remove a failure or replace an incomplete.
  • Proficiency exams may not be taken before the student is admitted to Morton College.
  • Proficiency exams may not be taken more than once for a given course.
  • Proficiency examinations must be completed in proper course sequence for each discipline. Once a student has received credit for a particular course, either through enrollment or proficiency, he/she may not apply or receive credit for a lower-level course in that sequence. For example, after receiving credit in OMT 250, one may not apply for proficiency credit in OMT 102.
  • A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit earned through proficiency may be applied toward a degree for graduation requirements. Only one-third of the semester hours of credit required for a certificate program may be earned through proficiency.


Portfolio Evaluation

A portfolio evaluation is another way of illustrating how experience correlates with course objectives. A portfolio evaluation requires the student to prepare a portfolio documenting relevant information on experiences and background and then have a conference with the appropriate faculty member. Examples of supporting documentation include professional licenses and certifications earned relevant to course objectives for which credit is sought. The instructor and the appropriate academic Dean will determine the student’s eligibility for credit.


College Level Examination and Advanced Placement Programs

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a national program that grants college credit through examination. Students who have taken a CLEP exam must submit an official examination report (in a sealed envelope from the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) to Morton College’s Office of Admissions and Records. Students should discuss the CLEP option with an Academic Advisor prior to registering for classes at Morton College.

High school students who have taken an Advanced Placement (AP) Test conducted by CEEB may have their official test results sent to the Office of Admissions and Records.

Official AP/CLEP scores will be evaluated to determine coursework equivalencies at Morton College. Students may earn up to 45 credit hours through AP. Students may not use AP/CLEP to improve a grade, remove a failure or replace an incomplete. All coursework equivalencies earned through AP/CLEP credit will be posted on the stu-dent’s academic history on the student portal. Students are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to learn how credits earned through AP/CLEP may be applied to a degree or certificate of completion.

Currently, the AP exams, course equivalences and credits awarded and accept-ed are evaluated on an individual basis by the appropriate academic dean.

NOTE: Students transferring to other schools are advised to check with the transfer school to determine its policy toward credit by examination.

Morton College AP and CLEP Equivalencies Effective Fall 2016


International Baccalaureate & Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy

Students can earn college credit through the International Baccalaureate (IB) program by submitting their IB transcript to the Office of Admissions and Records for evaluation. Credit awarded for successful examination scores will be posted on the student academic record.

The institution also recognizes the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy and the Illinois State Biliteracy Commendation for high school students who have demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language. Students who have earned this recognition can earn college credit by submitting their official high school transcripts reflecting the Seal. Credit awarded will be posted on the student academic record upon receipt of official transcript.

Military Service Credit

Military veterans who have served at least one year of active duty and have been honorably discharged are eligible for four semester hours of credit in physical education to be applied to their academic record. A copy of the DD214 (separation papers) must be on file with the Office of Admissions and Records so this credit may be applied. Additional credit may be granted for military training and experience listed on Joint Services Transcripts (JST) for service members in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard and on the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcripts for service members of the Air Force. Official transcripts are to be sent electronically to the institution for evaluation. Students who have completed college level courses through the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, the United States Army Fund or the American Council on Education should also submit official copies of their records for evaluation.  Veteran students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor to discuss how their credits apply to their program of study.


Receipt of credit

To receive credit, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • A fee for each course must be paid when a student applies for a proficiency examination or portfolio evaluation. This fee covers the cost associated with taking the examination or being evaluated. The fee is not refunded to a student failing to qualify. In certain cases, the Illinois Veterans’ Grant may pay the fees of Non-Traditional Learning credit. Veterans should consult the Director of Financial Aid.
  • A student must be admitted and enrolled in courses at the institution in order to receive prior learning credit. Degree seeking students are required to complete fifteen (15) credit hours before prior learning credits are applied to the academic record. Conversely, students who are certificate seeking must earn ¼ or 25% of the credit required of their certificate at the institution before prior learning credits are applied.


For more information please contact Academic Advising at
(708)656-8000 ext. 2250