Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
What is PLAR?
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a systematic credit granting process that recognizes and accredits previous or prior learning. The process involves the identification, documentation, assessment, verification, and recognition of relevant knowledge and skills acquired through your formal and informal study, work, and life experiences. The relevant learning is assessed and evaluated relative to the learning outcomes of a particular course or program. PLAR is to be distinguished from the transfer of academic credit process, in that PLAR focuses on the evaluation of experiential learning.
PLAR is different from receiving transfer credits. Transfer credits may be granted to a learner who has taken a similar or equivalent course at another formal educational institution. A transfer credit is granted on the strength of a transcript from the institution, which verifies that the learning has been formally acquired and evaluated.
Benefits of PLAR
- You will be on a "fast track" towards your diploma
- You won't have to repeat your learning
- You may save time and money
- You will clarify your educational plans and goals
- You will grow and develop as a life-long learner
Who is Eligible for PLAR?
In accordance with the College admission policy, applicants must be at least 19 years of age or have earned an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants are not required to enrol in a program before requesting PLAR. However, candidates who receive credit for courses through PLAR must go through the regular admission process in order to gain entrance into a College program.
IS there a cost to PLAR?
The PLAR fee is approximately $150 per course and must be paid prior to initiating an assessment. This fee is non-refundable.
- Who Should I contact to discuss PLARs?
The Registrar's Office is your first point of contact for enquiries regarding the PLAR process. The PLAR Facilitator in the Registrar's Office will:
- explain the PLAR procedures to you
- provide guidance regarding application procedure(s) and fees
- refer the student to the appropriate academic school (subject or program coordinator) to arrange specific assessment processes
- How do I demonstrate Prior Learning?
You can demonstrate your learning in a variety of ways including interviews, demonstrations, simulations, product assessment, challenge exams, and portfolio-assisted assessments. You are responsible for providing documentation that demonstrates the validity of your learning, or to participate in an assessment methodology deemed appropriate to the course, the content, and the learning being measured. The assessment method may vary depending upon the nature of the course or program and takes into consideration that different methods of assessment are available. Your faculty assessor will assist you regarding which method is best for the subject you are trying to obtain credit for through PLAR.
Two of the most popular methods of demonstrating learning are the challenge test or exam and the portfolio-assisted challenge.
The tests or exams are developed by college faculty and used to measure your knowledge and skills in a particular subject area. These tests may include case studies and there is often an interview component. The learning outcomes in the course outline are used as the basis for the assessment process.
The portfolio is a collection of information, which you create, that helps organize and document your life experiences as well as your learning, skills and abilities. Most portfolios include an autobiography, your educational goals, a resume, your learning experiences, a description of knowledge obtained from all sources, documents of support, along with the specific courses for which college credit is requested. It can be used as a tool for career planning, as well as a tool for assessment. The portfolio may be particularly useful for adults who feel that they meet the requirements of several courses within a Fleming program.
When Can I PLAR
In order to ensure appropriate lead time for assessments, students are strongly encouraged to apply for PLAR in the semester preceding delivery of the course(s).
Students currently enrolled in a course who wish to apply for PLAR, must do so by the tenth (10th) day of class. Students who wish to challenge a course they have previously failed will be required to wait a period of one calendar year prior to being eligible for PLAR.
These procedures align with the Academic Regulations for the College (Policy #2-201), including residency requirements.