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 at least 25 years of age.
- 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.
College Level Examination Program
Credit may be earned by demonstrating academic achievement as measured by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
Course credit may be earned in each of the subject examinations by scoring at or above a specific score level; course credit varies in the general examinations. Information explaining the procedures and passing test scores can be obtained in the Registrar’s Office, 211 Warde Hall.
Any Mount Mercy student or prospective student is eligible to earn up to a maximum of 60 semester hours through CLEP exams*. In those cases where CLEP scores are 10 years old or older, students must petition the Provost's Office. CLEP scores over 10 years old will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please see CLEP guidelines available in the Registrar’s Office for passing scores, credit awards and fees.
*CLEP credits do not count against the 63 hour maximum transferable from a 2-year college.
Please be sure to identify your military service in 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 to learn more about having your transcripts sent.
It is important to have your military transcripts reviewed by the Registrar during your initial review prior to admission. The number of hours that you are able to pursue through Mount Mercy's partner institutions may be affected by the number of hours transferring from your military education. Some military education credits transfer as two-year institutional credits.
More information on Veteran's Affairs can be found here.
Online students are expected to take all courses in the Online program. Accelerated courses are open to online students for registration in consultation with an advisor; however online students are not allowed to take more than 50% of their yearly coursework in the accelerated delivery format according to Federal Financial Aid regulations. Students should contact their advisor for assistance switching programs if they wish to take a majority of courses in the accelerated format.
Online students must submit a petition to the Provost’s Office in order to take a traditional course. An approved petition must be on file in the Registrar’s Office before registration permission will be granted. The petition form can be obtained in the Registrar’s Office.
Online students are not allowed to take more than 50% of their yearly coursework in the traditional delivery format according to Federal Financial Aid regulations. Students should contact their advisor for assistance switching programs if they wish to take a majority of courses in the traditional format. An application to the traditional program is required.
Second Baccalaureate Degree Declaration
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 accelerated 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 his or her 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 in to Mount Mercy. If the student repeats a course previously taken at Mount Mercy, both grades stay on the permanent record, but 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 a course from another institution prior to repeating the course at Mount Mercy, both grades stay on the permanent record, but 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 repeats a Mount Mercy course with a course from another institution, transferred into Mount Mercy after the course was taken at Mount Mercy, both grades stay on the permanent record and the grades of the two courses are averaged for the purpose of the cumulative grade point average. Approval for this action must be given by the Registrar.
Students who wish to use the second grade option must complete a form in 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.
A student may only use the second grade option ONCE per course. 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.
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 six blocks in the accelerated format. The application is available on the Registrar's Office website.
Students must satisfy the following requirements prior to graduation from Mount Mercy:
- A minimum of 123 semester hours of credit earned toward the degree.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average 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 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, 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.