- Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition is a process of evaluating the college level learning, knowledge and skills of adults acquired through life experience such as self-directed study, paid employment, voluntary work, professional development, travel and other learning experiences. For this learning to be credited, it must be described or demonstrated; assessed as to its nature, extent, and depth; and deemed equivalent and current when compared to course or program learning outcomes.
- PLAR is to be distinguished from the transfer of academic credit process, in that PLAR focuses on the evaluation of experiential learning rather than on the determination of equivalency of formal educational courses and/or programs. In PLAR, a letter grade or course credit (CR) is granted; whereas in the transfer of academic credit process an exemption (EX) is granted.
- PLAR is available to persons interested in pursuing a College credential, who, through work and life experience, have acquired learning that is equivalent to the course learning outcomes of one or more College courses.
- To be eligible for PLAR, candidates must be 19 years of age or older, or have a Secondary School Diploma or equivalent
- Students who have failed a course previously or have been unsuccessful in a PLAR challenge within the past year (12 months) will not be permitted a PLAR challenge in the same course.
- Following formal acceptance as a PLAR candidate, the candidate’s prior learning is assessed by academic staff who have subject matter expertise in the area. If the prior learning is deemed equivalent to College course learning requirements, a letter grade or credit (CR) is granted (as applicable). Unsuccessful PLAR attempts are not recorded on the student’s transcript.
- PLAR candidates will be bound by the College’s residency policy which states that, for any credential, a minimum of twenty-five percent (25%) of the hours of the program of study must be taken and successfully completed at the College. Programs may require a residency immediately prior to graduation.
- PLAR candidates in an advanced certificate program may be awarded no more than fifty percent (50%) of the total number of hours of the program of study based on prior learning assessment and recognition.
- Normally, College courses will be available for candidates to earn credit through PLAR. In some exceptional cases, such as capstone courses or courses that are subject to external standards, programs may designate a course as one that is not eligible for PLAR.
- Students can only challenge a co-op or work placement course with their prior related work experience. Work experience acquired concurrently with the co-op or work placement semester can not be used to challenge the same.
- An application and remittance of fees for PLAR credit consideration must normally be submitted prior to the course start date and no later than the last date for registrants to withdraw without academic penalty. The Director of Learning and Teaching may approve timeline modifications only under exceptional circumstances.
- Students who wish to challenge a course should not be enrolled in the course. If they have already enrolled in the course, they may only challenge the course after withdrawing from that course. Students must confirm their PLAR eligibility with the PLAR Office before starting the withdrawal process.
- Candidates who receive credit for courses through PLAR must go through the regular admission process, to gain entrance into a College program.
- PLAR procedures and processes will respect current federal and provincial or territorial standards for PLAR.
- The general requirements for successfully challenging a course through PLAR are established by each program and published in the course outlines. Course outlines are available to PLAR candidates.
- Challenges are prepared by instructors with subject matter expertise consistent with course learning requirements.
- Challenge procedures may include written, oral, or performance assessment, the development of products, or combinations of any of these. The type of challenge assessment is determined by the nature of the learning being evaluated. Normally, challenge assessments are made available within four weeks after receipt of a PLAR application. Completed challenge assessments are retained by the College.
- Assessments for block challenge of a program are based on the program level or vocational learning outcomes.
- Candidates with extensive related experience may apply for block challenge of a program. Efforts will be made by the office of the Director of Learning and Teaching to assess the prior learning against program level outcomes as opposed to specific courses learning requirements to enable candidates to earn credit for multiple courses. However, a block challenge may not be available in all programs. Students who block challenge a program are still required to meet the residency requirements of that program.
- PLAR candidates must fulfill assessment requirements within three (3) months of PLAR application.
- Candidates have the right to appeal the PLAR assessment.
- The fee schedule for PLAR services will cover:
- delivery of assessment
- evaluation of assessment(s)
- evaluation of a portfolio and oral interview, if required
- support for an independent learning contract, as required
|1||Orientation, Advising and Acceptance to PLAR||Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning|
|1.1||When seeking prior learning assessment, contact the PLAR team via email: director@https://https://my.ped-edp.com||Candidate|
|1.2||Assess the preliminary eligibility of the candidate based on resume and introduction letter to challenge a course(s) using PLAR.||PLAR team|
|1.3||Assess the final eligibility of the candidate, based on resume and introduction letter (and additional documentation if required), to challenge a course(s) using PLAR and recommend proceeding with PLAR challenge.||Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning|
|1.4||Provide candidate with course outline to allow candidate to gain access to current course outline(s) for review.||PLAR team|
|1.5||If the candidate is eligible to use PLAR to challenge a course(s):||PLAR team|
|a. orient the candidate to PLAR policies and procedures|
|b. assist with relevant application/registration procedure(s)|
|c. contact the appropriate instructional group to arrange specific assessment process|
|1.6||Pay fee for a PLAR assessment to Registrations so that assessment can proceed. Fee should be remitted prior to the course start date and by no later than the date to withdraw without academic penalty, unless an exception to this timeline has been approved by the Director of Learning and Teaching.||Candidate|
|1.7||If the candidate is using PLAR to challenge program level outcomes:||Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning|
|a. meet with candidate to assess life experiences against desired credential|
|b. develop an educational plan and advise candidate regarding PLAR challenge and recommended pathway to achieve credential|
|1.8||If requesting credits for a program level, present extensive relevant experience and learning, which normally includes a combination of:||Candidate|
|o a portfolio|
|o an interview with a panel of subject matter experts|
|o performance assessment(s)|
|2||Demonstration and Documentation of Prior Learning|
|2.1||Provide challenge assessment(s) to the PLAR team within four (4) weeks after having been notified of a PLAR application.||Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning|
|2.2||Administer challenge assessment(s) at the candidate's convenience, but no later than six (6) weeks after having received the PLAR application.||PLAR team|
|2.3||If a portfolio is used for PLAR, address the requirements identified in the Portfolio Guidelines, available from the PLAR Office.||Candidate|
|3||Assessment and Evaluation of Prior Learning|
|3.1||Appoint an instructor, who is supported by the PLAR team, as assessor to conduct the PLAR assessment.||Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning|
|3.2||Complete the initial PLAR assessment within two (2) weeks of receiving the completed test, portfolio or other evidence of learning.||Instructor|
|3.3||Transcribe the successful PLAR credits with either a letter grade or a "CR" (credit) designation.||Instructor|
|3.5||Notify the applicant and the Registrations of the PLAR results.||PLAR team|
|3.6||Keep a formal record of the assessment process and the results for five (5) years. These are made available to the candidate upon request.||Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning|
|3.7||If a PLAR candidate is not successful, at his/her discretion, ask the candidate to complete additional assessments to meet the learning requirements.||Instructor|
|4.1||Request an appeal of the PLAR assessment results in writing to the PLAR Office within ten (10) working days of the mailing of the assessment results. The candidate will outline the reasons why an appeal is warranted. A PLAR Appeal fee will be applied, which will be refunded, if the decision is changed in the applicant's favour.||Candidate|
|4.2||Upon receiving a written request for an appeal, within five (5) working days, convene an PLAR Appeal Committee, consisting of:||Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning|
|o Office of the Director of Learning and Teaching|
|o an instructor who has not been the applicant's advisor or assessor and who is knowledgeable of the relevant program/course|
|o a person with knowledge of PLAR processes|
|o a student representative|
|4.3||Schedule a PLAR Appeal Committee meeting within ten (10) working days of receiving the request of an appeal and notify the applicant and the assessor(s).||Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning|
|4.4||Invite the applicant and the assessor(s) to attend the Appeal Committee meeting and present their views in turn. The deliberations of the Committee will take place in-camera.||Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning|
|4.5||Render decisions in writing to the applicant within ten (10) working days of the Appeal Committee meeting. The results of the Appeal are final and binding on all parties and will be noted in the student's file.||Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning|