Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)
Mount Mercy offers an opportunity for students to request that substantial work-related or other prior learning experiences and accomplishments be evaluated for potential academic credit. The Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) process requires that eligible students submit a portfolio documenting specific learning outcomes attained through previous personal or professional experiences. Qualifications for students seeking APEL review include:
- Must be officially enrolled in a degree program at Mount Mercy.
- Must be able to demonstrate that the experiential learning for which they intend to seek credit is related to their educational goals at Mount Mercy.
- Must complete the assessment process, including the credit evaluation, prior to their final semester.
Students participating in the APEL process are allowed to submit a revised portfolio for consideration just one time. The maximum number of credits to be granted through portfolio assessment is 30 semester hours, and it is possible that no credit will be granted. Faculty evaluators will recommend the amount of assessed credit, within the maximum noted above, to the Provost for final approval. The credit may be applied to core curriculum, electives, or majors or minors depending on: 1) the content and level of learning assessed; and 2) the approval and recommendation of the appropriate academic departments. Credits earned through the APEL process are NOT considered part of the 30 semester hours required to be taken at Mount Mercy.
Once the credit has been approved, it will be recorded on the transcript as credit hours in experiential learning with a title specified by the faculty evaluators. The credit will be listed on the transcript with a grade of Pass (P) and is not calculated in the cumulative GPA. Credit will not be granted when it will duplicate college credits previously earned, nor will students receive Mount Mercy credit when it will duplicate credit previously earned through an assessment or prior experiential learning.
Please be sure to identify your military service in your application and during your initial advising appointment as credit hours may have been earned for your military training. Military education is evaluated by the Registrar’s Office upon the receipt of a Joint Services Transcript or official transcript from Community College of the Air Force.
Be sure to contact your respective branch office or Educational Services Officer prior to enrolling in classes or sending transcripts.
Some military education credits transfer as two-year institutional credits.
Veteran and Military Services
Students eligible for educational benefits from the Veterans Administration or Department of Defense should notify the Registrar’s Office prior to the first term of attendance. After the necessary documents have been supplied, enrollment certification will be submitted or confirmed. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Registrar of any changes in registration. Failure to properly alert the Registrar of changes in enrollment may result in loss, delay, or repayment of educational benefits.
More information on military policies can be found here.
Students are expected to take all courses in the block format. Students who desire to take a traditional course should consult with their advisor about course availability. (Selected courses intentionally designed to be offered jointly to accelerated and traditional students are exempt.) Students should contact their advisor for assistance switching programs if they wish to take a majority of courses in the traditional format.
Dual Program Enrollment
Students are not allowed to pursue dual programs – a major or minor in the traditional program and a major or minor in the accelerated program – at the same time. Students desiring to mix programs must first complete one program and then apply to the second program for completion of the second major or minor.
Second Baccalaureate Degree
A Mount Mercy graduate or a person who holds a baccalaureate degree from another institution, whose accreditation is comparable to that granted by Mount Mercy, may earn a second baccalaureate degree at Mount Mercy by fulfilling the following requirements:
- Must be admitted or readmitted to Mount Mercy and to a major other than the major of the original degree.
- Original degree must be completed and not in progress before the student begins work toward the second degree.
- Must earn at least 30 consecutive hours at Mount Mercy beyond the original degree, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 (or higher, if the designated major requires a higher average).
- Must fulfill all requirements of a major (different than the original major) as described in this Catalog in effect at the time of admission or readmission to Mount Mercy and at least 12 semester hours, above course number 199, in the major must be completed at Mount Mercy. (Note: the core curriculum requirements are waived).
- Pass/Fail grades in courses used for completion of the second degree are unacceptable unless the course is designated in this Catalog as solely as a Pass/Fail course.
The student who earns a second baccalaureate degree will receive a Mount Mercy diploma and may participate in graduation ceremonies. The student is not eligible for graduation honors with exceptions granted by petition through the Provost. An important consideration in the decision will be the cumulative GPA from the previous degree.
If you are interested in pursuing a double major during your program of study be sure to discuss this with your program advisor to strategically plan your course schedule. A student taking two separate majors while working toward a first baccalaureate degree at Mount Mercy earns a second major, not two degrees. Both majors will be recorded on your official transcript, but only one baccalaureate degree shall be granted. If the two majors lead to separate degrees (e.g., BBA and BS), the student shall make the decision of which degree to pursue and that degree shall be recorded on the transcript once the work is completed.
Once you have decided to pursue a second major and/or minor during your program of study, complete the declaration of major/minor form.
Mount Mercy graduates, and/or graduates from other institutions whose accreditation is comparable to that granted by Mount Mercy may earn a second major at Mount Mercy by fulfilling the following requirements:
- The student must be admitted or readmitted to Mount Mercy and to a major other than the original major.
- The student must complete the requirements for the major as described in this Catalog in effect at the time of admission or readmission to Mount Mercy.
- Students must earn 12 semester hours or more, at the upper level at Mount Mercy toward the second major, not used toward a previous major.
A second major, whether taken while working toward the first degree or subsequently, is not to be confused with a second baccalaureate degree. Earning a second major is generally more economical in time and money than earning a second baccalaureate degree. A student already possessing a baccalaureate degree and is completing a second major will not receive a diploma, will not be eligible to earn honors, nor will the student be eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies.
The second-grade option occurs when a student repeats a course previously taken at Mount Mercy or previously transferred into Mount Mercy. If the student repeats a Mount Mercy course with another Mount Mercy course, both grades stay on the permanent record. The first grade is not calculated into the grade point average, and the last grade stands as the official grade and is the only grade calculated into the grade point average. If a student transfers in a course from another institution prior to repeating the course at Mount Mercy, both grades stay on the permanent record. The first grade is not calculated into the grade point average, and the Mount Mercy grade stands as the official grade and is calculated into the grade point average. If a student transfers in a course from another institution after taking the course at Mount Mercy, both grades stay on the permanent record, and the earned credit hours of the two courses are adjusted for purpose of the cumulative grade point average. Approval for this action must be given by the Registrar.
A student may only use the second-grade option once per course. Students who wish to take a course a third time must petition the Registrar's Office.
If the course was taken for a grade the first time, it must be taken for a grade the second time. If the course was taken pass/fail the first time, it may be taken pass/fail or for a grade the second time. Courses that are a part of the Bachelor’s degree earned at Mount Mercy are not approved for second grade options after the degree has been awarded.
Students are classified according to number of semester hours earned toward the degree. Those who meet the entrance requirements and have earned 29 semester hours or less are classified as freshman. Students must have 30 semester hours before they may be classified as sophomores, 60 semester hours before they may be classified as juniors and 90 semester hours before they may be classified as seniors.
Enrollment Status and Student Load
To determine enrollment status, blocks 1, 2 and 3 comprise the Fall semester; block 4 is the Winter term; blocks 5, 6 and 7 comprise the Spring semester; and blocks 8 and 9 comprise the Summer semester. Note: Loan Servicers use the enrollment status to defer loans. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester hours per semester to be considered full-time status. Enrollment of less than 6 semester hours per semester is considered less than half-time status. Students should contact the Mount Mercy Student Financial Services Office to determine hours needed to be eligible for state or federal financial assistance.
Applying for Graduation
Students need to submit the Application for Graduation to the Registrar’s office to be considered a candidate for graduation. The Application for Graduation should be submitted at the time the student registers for the final two semesters of study. The Application for Graduation is available on the Mount Mercy web site. Requirements include:
- A minimum of 123 semester hours credit earned toward the degree.
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 for all credits earned at Mount Mercy.
- Completion of the core curriculum requirements.
- Completion of a major program of study.
- At least 12 semester hours, above course number of 200, in the major must be completed at Mount Mercy.
- Minimum of 30 consecutive semester hours completed at Mount Mercy immediately preceding graduation.
- If graduating with a minor or endorsement, nine (9) semester hours of the minor must be taken at Mount Mercy.
The major typically includes 30 or more semester hours, as indicated in individual requirements by field. The minor requires fewer semester hours. The student is, in every case, responsible to see that he or she properly applies for graduation and meets the graduation requirements.
For a full list of applicable polices please refer to the main policies page.