Ways to Earn Credit - General Education and Electives - Adult Professional | Judson University Christian College

Ways to Earn Credit

There are a variety of flexible, convenient options for you to earn general education and elective credit. You'll work with your academic advisor to choose the best solutions.

Liberal Arts Cohort

If you need to complete most of your general education credits or have less than 40 transferable credits, the Liberal Arts Cohort is the perfect program for you. It follows the same convenient model as the major cohorts, and courses have been specifically designed to:

  • meet the interests of adult students
  • avoid duplicating other college credits a student might already have earned
  • fulfill Judson's general education requirements


Individual Evening and Online Courses

You can also earn elective or general education credit by taking individual evening and online courses. Although these are not pre-planned like the cohort model, their convenient format makes it easy for you to pick up the courses as they fit in your schedule.

If you’d like, you can also take a full-time load of courses (at least 12 credits) and be eligible for full financial aid.

Prior Learning Assessments

Do you have life learning experiences that you would like to turn into college credit? At Judson, we understand the value of the knowledge that you’ve already gained through life and work. Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs) are a way toconvert your life learning into credit through portfolios and/or credit-by-examination.

PLA Portfolios

You can earn up to 30 elective credits through PLA portfolio writing. PLA Portfolios provide recognition for prior learning acquired either formally within an institution or through a wide variety of life and work experiences, such as career experience, personal study, and community work.

You’ll begin by attending a free workshop and then developing your first PLA portfolio. Once the first portfolio is completed, you may submit topic portfolios on approved subjects. These will be assessed by an evaluator in the specific field.


Another way to convert your life experience into college credit is through credit-by-examination. If you feel confident in a subject area being offered for testing, it’s as simple as taking the test. A passing grade will grant you credits for either general education or elective requirements.

You can earn up to 30 credits through three types of tests:

  • CLEP (College Level Examination Programs) examinations cover material taught in courses that most students take as requirements in the first two years of college. For more information, visit http://clep.collegeboard.org/.
  • DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) examinations provide an opportunity for people to obtain college credit for what they have learned in non-traditional ways. For more information, visit www.getcollegecredit.com.
  • SAM (Skill Assessment Management) tests demonstrate students’ knowledge of Microsoft Office applications. For more information, visit http://www.cengage.com/samcentral.


Certificates are a way that you can create an additional focus in an area of interest while earning elective credit. Your certificate will be reflected on your official transcript, and helps you to be more marketable.

Learn more about the certificates we offer by going to the certificate section of our site.

Second Majors and Advanced Certificates

If you are interested in having more flexibility in your career, consider completing a Second Major or an Advanced Certificate in another area of study beyond your major. You can earn elective credit while diversifying your educational background.

Traditional Courses

Students may also register for traditional courses at our Elgin campus. These courses are normally held during the day with traditional-age college students.

Judson University, Shaping Lives that Shape the World