Prior Learning Assessment

A student must enroll at the college and meet all admission requirements for the program in which credit for prior learning is being sought.

Students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours in the associate degree or certificate of 30 hours or more with courses taken at Oakton. A minimum of one-half of the credits required for a certificate of less than 30 credit hours must be earned at Oakton. Credit awarded via the Prior Learning Assessment process may constitute the remaining credit.

Equivalency credits will be posted on the student’s transcript with the Oakton course prefix and number for which such equivalency credit is granted, and with a notation that such credits were earned through proficiency.

The college may levy a fee for assessing credit for learning experiences, and if credit is awarded, may charge tuition and/or additional, related fees.

Credit awarded for alternate learning may not be accepted by other transfer institutions. Some academic programs may require grades of A or B in specific courses required for certificate or degree completion.

For more information about credit for prior learning, contact the Office of Advising, Transitions, and Student Success at 847-635-1700 (Des Plaines) or 847-635-1400 (Skokie).

At the present time, students may obtain credit for prior learning based on successful completion of one or more of the following options:

Advanced Placement Credit (AP)

Students complete AP exams while still enrolled in high school. Oakton awards credit for AP scores of 3 or higher. See Advanced Placement Equivalencies to understand how Oakton awards credit for AP tests and scores. Each course awarded fulfills degree requirements at Oakton in the form of general education coursework or elective credit.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

CLEP tests are administered once a student is enrolled in college. Oakton awards credit at the American Council on Education (ACE) recommended score of 50 or higher. See the CLEP test credit list to understand how Oakton awards CLEP credit. Each course awarded fulfills degree requirements at Oakton in the form of general education coursework or elective credit. See the Testing Center CLEP instructions on how to take the test at Oakton.

United States Military Credit

  • Service Credit for Health and Physical Education
    Any eligible veteran who has completed a minimum of six months of active duty in the armed forces may receive credit for Physical Education 101. The veteran must submit a copy of Form DD214 to the Registrar Services for evaluation.
  • Military Training
    Students who would like to receive credit for military training may submit a military transcript to Registrar Services for evaluation. Service members from the Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy may obtain official military transcripts that validate training and experience from the Joint Services Transcript (JST). Members of the Air Force may obtain transcripts from the Community College of the Air Force.
  • Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)
    Credit for successful performance on a DANTES-funded DSST prior learning exam may be awarded for courses evaluated as equivalent to Oakton courses. An official transcript may be requested from getcollegecredit.com. Registrar Services will evaluate the transcript for credit.

Credits Earned at a Non-Regionally Accredited or Non-Recognized Institution

Applicable, up-to-date credits earned at a regionally unaccredited institution are conditionally accepted at the time of admission at the recommendation of the program or department chair and the dean of the division.

International Baccalaureate Examinations

Students complete International Baccalaureate (IB) exams while still enrolled in high school. Credit and placement will be awarded to students with International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) exam scores of 4 or higher in areas comparable to Oakton curriculum. The International Baccalaureate Equivalency Table demonstrates how Oakton awards credit for International Baccalaureate exams and scores. Each course awarded fulfills degree requirements at Oakton in the form of general education coursework or elective credit. An official IB transcript is required and may be requested at rrs.ibo.org.

College Approved Proficiency Examinations

A program or department may establish a proficiency exam, successful completion of which will enable a student to earn credits in the course(s) for which the proficiency exam is the equivalent. The dean of the division must review the exam and the vice president for Academic Affairs approve it before it can be used for the awarding of credit. Ordinarily, credit through a program or department proficiency exam will be restricted to career programs and skill-based courses. Successful completion of a proficiency exam must be comparable to a minimum grade of C work in the course(s). A student may attempt a proficiency exam for a given course no more than two times.

Credit for Previous Foreign Language Learning

Credit for previous foreign language learning may be obtained by contacting the chairperson of the Modern Languages Department in writing, requesting that credit be allowed for lower-levels of a language with the possibility of being awarded a maximum of 12 semester credit hours. The student must complete an equal number of semester hours in higher-level language courses at Oakton in that language, and must earn a minimum grade of B in each of these upper-level courses.

Credit for Previous High School Courses

Credit for previous high school coursework can be awarded when the College has an official articulation agreement with the school or vocational education regional delivery system. To receive such credits, a student must comply with all requirements encompassed in the articulation agreement.

Credit Through American Council on Education/College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE/CCRS)

Credit for previous noncredit learning experiences taken through an organization or agency recognized through the American Council on Education/College Credit Recommendation Service may be awarded when the student presents evidence of successful completion of such learning experiences, consistent with the requirements of the ACE/CCRS program.

Credit for Completion of Approved Apprenticeship On-The-Job Training Experience

Credit for completion of an approved apprenticeship on-the-job training experience in fields in which the College offers a curriculum may be awarded upon the recommendation of the program or department chair and the dean of the division. Such proficiency credits are applicable only to the specific program(s) to which these credits relate. 

Credit Through Oakton Faculty Affirmation of Prior Learning Through Successful Completion of Higher-Level Course in Sequence

Credit for successful completion of a lower-level course in a sequence may be awarded upon the recommendation of the program or department chair and the dean of the division when successful completion of a higher-level course in a sequence demonstrates that the student has acquired the knowledge, skill, and behavior commensurate with successful completion (grade of A, B, or C) of the lower-level course in the sequence.

Credit Through Oakton Faculty Affirmation of Prior Learning Through Student Attainment of Bachelor’s Degree

Credit for successful completion of a course may be awarded upon the recommendation of the program or department chair and the dean of the division when the student has the knowledge and skills of an Oakton course or courses through the awarding of a bachelor’s degree from an institution that does not require a course comparable to the Oakton course or the awarding of proficiency credit by another institution.

Credit Through Proficiency as Determined Through ROADMath, Oakton’s Developmental Math Courses

Credit for successful completion of a mathematics course or courses may be awarded in consistency with the ROADMath policies and practices for developmental mathematics.

Credit Through Oakton Faculty Affirmation of Prior Learning from Noncredit Courses, Continuing Education, Professional Training, Licensing, or Proficiency Awarded by Another Institution

Credit for successful completion of a course may be awarded upon the recommendation of the program or department chair and the dean of the division when the student provides evidence of successful completion of a noncredit course or courses, continuing education, professional training, licensing, or proficiency awarded by another institution that demonstrates the student has acquired the knowledge, skill, and behavior commensurate with successful completion (grade of A, B or C) of an Oakton course or courses.

Credit Through Portfolio Assessment

Credit for successful completion of a course may be awarded upon the recommendation of a trained faculty assessor and the dean of the division upon assessment of a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates that the student has acquired the knowledge, skills, and behavior commensurate with successful completion (grade of A, B, or C) of an Oakton course or courses.

Fifteen (15) credit hours toward a degree must be completed at Oakton prior to awarding credit through Portfolio Assessment to degree-seeking students.

Twenty-five percent of the required credits for a certificate must be completed at Oakton prior to awarding credit through Portfolio Assessment to certificate-seeking students.