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Credit by Portfolio

ACL301 Perspectives on Prior Learning

The ACL301 course (Credit by Portfolio) not only helped me grow as an individual but also allowed me to acquire the elective credits I needed to complete my degree."

— Celi, Applied Behavioral Science

The Credit by Portfolio program was not only crucial in helping me complete my many elective hours, but the class also helped me to reflect and focus on my life's accomplishments. This course is perfect for the full-time working adult."

— Dan, Applied Behavioral Science

In this five-week course, students prepare a portfolio of learning essays to potentially fulfill elective and Gen Ed elective credits. Portfolios are prepared by students who attempt to demonstrate college-level learning and course equivalent competencies that have occurred outside the traditional classroom. Student learning outcomes are assessed and potential credit is awarded by faculty evaluators.

Students are offered group and individual assistance in the development of a portfolio documenting their prior learning. A primary emphasis is placed on the skills needed to successfully complete learning experience essays. Additional individualized writing assistance is available through NLU’s Learning Support office. Learning experience essays are reviewed by NLU faculty who determine equivalency to college-level learning.

Perspective Students

Students interested in the ACL301 course musst be admitted to the university in good standing.  To determine if you are eligible to take the ACL301 portfolio course, please check the PLA information sheet for your program of study found on the Undergraduate page of this website.  To register for ACL301, please contact your academic advisor. 

ACL301 Former Student Completers

Students who have taken and successfully completed the ACL301 course within the past five years are eligible to write additional essays and submit them for academic review.  An ACL301 portfolio forum has been created for students interested in writing additional papers.  Within this forum, students will find current and updated course materials necessary to write experiential essays including; the Portfolio Handbook, the Topic Outline Packet, the Topic List, the Rubric Packet, the Petition sheet, the Essay Writing guide sheet and general fee information.

All additional essays (new or revised) will be submitted through this forum for review.   To learn more about the ACL301 forum including eligibility to participate and login instructions please email the PLA office at;   If you have already been approved, please go to the link below to login.  

Link to the



    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
    Info » | Directions »

    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
    Info » | Directions »

    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
    Info » | Directions »

    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
    Info » | Directions »

    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
    Info » | Directions »

    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
    Info » | Directions »