Credit for Prior Learning Services

Up to 30% of the credits for an Andrews University undergraduate degree may be earned through prior college-level learning.  Personal and professional development is assessed externally through advanced placement or standardized exams most commonly.  Occasionally, internal assessments are possible through departmental challenge exams, validation or proficiency assessments, and through course-specific portfolio assessment.

These webpages provide procedural guidance, reflecting policies in the current Academic Bulletin's sections on Credit for Prior Learning for Undergraduate and Graduate levels. 

Some high schools offer classes at a level equivalent to first year university classes in the United States.  Other high school classes include the option to take advanced placement examinations through a nationally recognized examining body. Andrews University grants credit for qualifying scores on the following exams, upon receipt of an original transcript:

Completing a national or standardized exam listed as assessing outcomes for a particular college or university course is an efficient way to earn college credit for what you have learned through personal study, work or life experience. Other national or international exams may also qualify.  

Steps to Taking Exams and Getting Credit Recorded:

  1. Discuss credit options with your academic advisor before or during your first semester at Andrews University. 
  2. Look up exams using the links above. Be sure you have prior learning to be able to score high on an exam. Then review the equivalency table (links above) to see which course would be articulated for a qualifying score.  
  3. Register online to take an exam at any recognized testing center.  CLEP exams may be taken at the Andrews Counseling and Testing Center in Bell Hall 123 (phone: 269-471-3470)
  4. Use the official review materials and other sources such as  or free online classes (e.g. Modern Alliance courses listed with each CLEP exam). 
  5. Request an original transcript sent directly to Undergraduate Admissions, 4150 Administration Drive, Berrien Springs, MI 49104.  Scores at or above the Andrews University minimums (see tables linked above) will be articulated with a passing grade.

A limited amount of credit may be earned through departmentally constructed written, oral or skill assessments, or nationally formed professional examinations administered by the department. For example, modern language and biblical knowledge may be assessment by departments to waive some general education requirements.

Special assessments may also be taken for reasons other than earning credit. Certain published curricular or degree requirements may be waived, or transfer credits from an unaccredited college or training program may be validated through special examinations. For further information, contact the dean of the respective school.

Andrews University may recognize college-level learning through professional development and training which led to certification, classes or testing recognized by entities such as:

Students may apply for prior learning assessment of personal achievements and professional expertise where no standardized or departmental examination is available. 

  • Credit may be granted for on-the-job training, community-service activities, non-credit classes, and/or special accomplishments which provide evidence of learning aligned with specific class outcomes.
  • Evaluations are done on a course-by-course basis through portfolios including reflections on what was learned and documentation of college level learning aligned with specific class outcomes.
  • Talk with your academic advisor first, then work with the Prior Learning Coordinator to determine whether an Andrews University faculty evaluator is available or working through CAEL is best
  • An prior learning portfolio may be submitted after completing twelve or more college credits and prior to completing the last twelve credits in a program of study. 
  • The portfolio development process is more successful when a portfolio course is taken prior to developing the portfolio. Andrews University recognizes and recommends the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning's portfolio development class, LearningCounts. Register online for the course, which includes evaluation of as many portfolios as you submit within the class registration period.  Request a CAEL transcript sent to Undergrad Admissions for articulation of passing grades.
  • Review the Andrews University steps to portfolio development and assessment.

Are prior learning credits transferable?  As the decision to accept credit for prior college-level learning is determined by each college or university in the context of a specific program of study, be aware that any internally evaluated CPL credits (departmental challenge exams, validations, portfolio assessments) on your Andrews University record may not transfer.  Externally evaluated credits earned through advanced placement and standardized exams, while still subject to each institution's CPL policies, are more readily transferable.