Credit for Prior Learning
Earn credit for what you already know.
We recognize that prior to enrolling at Nicolet, a student may have acquired some of the skills, knowledge, and competencies included in the programs offered by the College. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is a process for evaluating your learning and awarding appropriate college credit based on the demonstration of college-level learning. CPL is awarded only for learning that can be verified. We will make every effort to ensure students receive appropriate CPL to minimize duplication of competencies attained from previous education, life, or work experience; lessen the cost of duplicative education; and accelerate the achievement of educational goals and credentialing.
Students must earn a minimum of 25% of the required technical studies, occupational specific, or liberal arts credits of their certificate, diploma, or degree through Nicolet College coursework. These established minimums cannot be met through Credit for Prior Learning.
See Nicolet’s administrative policy for more specific information: AP 2.04 Credit for Prior Learning
Transfer of Credit
If you have already earned credits from other colleges or universities, you may be able to apply them toward your Nicolet program of study. Please list your prior schools on your Nicolet application and have your official transcripts sent directly to Admissions at Nicolet. You may not need to complete Nicolet’s placement exams if you have prior earned college credits.
To be eligible for transfer of credit:
- The course being transferred must be comparable in content to the Nicolet course
- The course must apply to the student’s program of study
- You must have earned a minimum 2.0 grade point on a 4.0 scale at a nationally or regionally accredited institution of higher education
There is no fee for the evaluation and granting of transfer credits.
See the Military Training and Experience section for more information about transfer of military credits.
International credits may qualify for transfer if the international credits are deemed comparable to credits offered by Nicolet. Students seeking credit for international coursework must provide an official evaluation of academic credentials which has been completed by a current member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). This foreign credential evaluation must include a course-by-course evaluation and grade point average (GPA). For additional information, visit http://www.naces.org.
Military Training and Experience
Military coursework and experience may qualify for Credit for Prior Learning towards your Nicolet certificate, diploma, or degree program, depending on your training and experience. The American Council on Education (ACE) has evaluated formal courses and occupations offered by all branches of the military for equivalent college credits that may apply to your program of study. Nicolet will review your military transcript to determine what transfer credits and/or Credit for Prior Learning may be granted. There is no fee for the evaluation and granting of ACE recommended credits for military training and experience.
Service in the Army, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard:
- Your Academic Advisor and program faculty will review your Joint Services Transcript (JST) for potential transfer of credit and/or Credit for Prior Learning
- Request your JST at https://jst.doded.mil
- Your JST will be electronically submitted to Nicolet
Service in the Air Force:
- Your Academic Advisor and program faculty will review your Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript for potential transfer of credit and/or Credit for Prior Learning.
- Request your CCAF transcript at https://www.af.mil/
- Your CCAF transcript will be electronically submitted to Nicolet
You may be eligible to receive Nicolet credit by meeting the required scores on professionally-developed standardized exams. Your Academic Advisor or Success Coach will evaluate your national exam scores, and determine if you qualify to earn credit for courses in your program of study. There is no fee for the evaluation and granting of credits for national exam scores, although there will be a fee for taking the national exam. Some national exams can be taken at Nicolet’s Assessment Center. Click for more information on scheduling an exam.
Some of the most common national exams include:
Advanced Placement (AP):
- AP exams are available upon completion of high school AP coursework.
- You may also prepare for an AP exam through individual study.
- Request your official score reports be sent to Nicolet Admissions https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/home
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP):
- CLEP exams are available for broad fields of study (composition, literature, world language, history, social sciences, mathematics, science) and specific course content (business, IT, accounting, management, marketing).
- Request your official score reports be sent to Nicolet Admissions
DSST (formerly DANTES):
- DSST exams are available to test knowledge gained through military classes, work assignments, and other life experiences.
- Service members and military-affiliated civilians may be eligible for funding to cover or reduce the costs of DSST exams and test preparation materials.
- Your DSST scores will be reported on your military transcript, and will be evaluated by your Academic Advisor or Success Coach and program faculty.
- If you are non-military, request that your official score reports be sent to Nicolet Admissions.
- More information is available at http://www.getcollegecredit.com
High School Coursework
Many high school courses allow you to earn college-level credit. If you completed an Advanced Placement (AP) course, see the National Examinations section for more information on receiving credit based on your AP exam score.
If you successfully completed Course Options/Youth Options/Start College Now coursework, these courses will appear on your Nicolet transcript. Your Academic Advisor will determine if these credits are eligible to meet the requirements of your Nicolet program of study. If you have Course Options/Youth Options/Start College Now credits from another institution in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), have your official college transcript sent to Admissions at Nicolet.
Transcripted Credit courses are taught to high school students using technical college curriculum. If you successfully completed Transcripted Credit coursework, these courses will appear on your Nicolet transcript. Your Academic Advisor will determine if these credits are eligible to meet the requirements of your Nicolet program of study. If you have Transcripted Credit courses from another institution, have your official college transcript sent to Admissions at Nicolet.
Articulation agreements are developed when a high school course is recognized as equivalent to a WTCS course. You may receive credit toward your Nicolet program of study if your high school had an articulation agreement in place and you met the conditions of the agreement. To be eligible for credit for prior learning, you must have earned a minimum 3.0 grade point on a 4.0 scale in these courses. Your Academic Advisor can review your high school transcript and help determine if you qualify for credit for prior learning.
If you successfully completed a Youth Apprenticeship program in high school, send a copy of your state-issued certificate to Nicolet Admissions. Your Academic Advisor will help determine if you can earn credit for your Nicolet program of study.
There is no fee for the evaluation and granting of credits for high school coursework.
Apprentices who have completed a minimum of 400 hours of registered apprenticeship paid-related instruction and possess a Certificate of Apprenticeship are eligible for up to 39 credits of advanced standing to meet the occupational-specific course requirements of the Technical Studies – Journey Worker degree.
Shorter apprenticeship programs and apprenticeship courses can also be evaluated to determine if you can receive credit for courses in your Nicolet program of study. See your Academic Advisor for more information.
There is no fee for the evaluation and granting of credits for apprenticeship coursework.
Challenge exams are developed by Nicolet faculty to allow students to demonstrate that they have met the competencies of a course. Successful completion of a challenge exam allows a student to earn credit for that course. Depending on the course, the challenge exam could be a written test, a skill performance/demonstration assessment, or a combination of the two. Not all Nicolet courses have the option of a challenge exam. A course-specific challenge exam may only be taken once. Students are not eligible to take the challenge exam for a course if they were previously enrolled in that course, except with Academic Dean approval. Deadline dates are established for taking a course challenge exam if the student is currently enrolled in the course (see AP 2.04 Credit for Prior Learning).
Per course fees for challenge exams:
- Written test: $50
- Skill performance/demonstration assessment: $90
- Combination of written test and skill performance/demonstration assessment: $90
Fees must be paid prior to taking the challenge exam. The fee is non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the challenge exam. For students in CBE programs, competencies may be bundled within their master course so that only a single assessment fee is charged per master course. CBE students must complete the challenge exams for a single master course within the same term to avoid additional challenge exam fees.
Many times your skills and knowledge cannot be verified by an exam, transcript, or other official documentation. A portfolio assessment is designed to document what you have learned and how it relates to a specific Nicolet course. Portfolios allow you to assemble and document the college-level learning you have gained through work experience, training, licensure, industry certifications, volunteer work, professional development, independent study, or other life experiences. Talk with your Academic Advisor or Success Coach for more information on the portfolio process for earning Credit for Prior Learning.
The fee for a portfolio assessment is $90 per course and must be paid at the time your portfolio is submitted for review. The fee is non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the portfolio review. Students are not eligible for a portfolio assessment for a course if they were previously enrolled in that course, except with Academic Dean approval.