6.0 RECOGNITION of PREVIOUS LEARNING

Humber’s strives to support the development of pathways for students and maximize student mobility. The primary purpose of recognizing previous post-secondary learning is to increase student access to post-secondary education at Humber by facilitating mobility within and between other recognized institutions and Humber. When possible, Humber will maximize a student’s ability to satisfy program requirements through transfer credit.

Humber’s Transfer Credit Policy is aligned with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) student mobility strategic plan, which supports a transparent and consistent transfer credit framework that will ensure student mobility success

Once the applicant has been approved for admission, the applicant may apply to have Humber assess previous postsecondary credentials for possible credential recognition, transfer of credit, and block transfer credit into a program (see Section 6.1 Definitions). The student may also apply to have previous formal or informal learning recognized through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) processes. All requests for Transfer Credit, Block Transfer Credit and PLAR require the proper application form(s) and documentation and payment of any applicable fees, where appropriate.

Graduates from the same MCU-approved programs will be awarded equal block transfer credit regardless of the originating institution. If a student has attended postsecondary institutions outside of the province of Ontario, the student’s transfer credit will be assessed on an individual basis.

In all transfer credit arrangements the academic integrity of Humber’s courses and programs will be protected and preserved.

Articulation: The process of assessing courses or programs offered at other institutions to determine whether to grant credit towards the earning of a Humber post-secondary credential. Articulation is therefore the process, while Block Transfer Credit or Transfer Credit is the end result.

Articulation Agreement: A formally recognized agreement between Humber and a sending or receiving institution that specifies the terms and conditions enabling students to transfer between specific programs.

Block Transfer: The granting of a block of credit for the completion of a group of courses, typically based on the completion of an approved credential or program, from Humber or another institution.

Grouped Credit: The credit awarded when two or more courses must be combined in order to obtain Transfer Credit.

Transfer Credit: The granting of credit for coursework undertaken at another recognized institution

Humber considers the following as “recognized” for the purposes of evaluating transfer credit and awarding block transfer credit:

  1. Member institutions of the Ontario Council on Admission and Transfer (ONCAT)
  2. Canadian public post-secondary institutions
  3. Universities Canada member institutions
  4. International institutions considered accredited or recognized in their country, as determined by the Office of the Registrar and/or the International Centre through accreditation reference materials or the Ministries of Education of that country
  5. All other institutions are considered unrecognized. This would include but is not limited to private institutions that do not meet any of the criteria listed above
  6. Any educational institution or other organization that is not a post-secondary institution (e.g., secondary schools, professional organizations).

The Office of the Senior Vice President, Academic, may approve credits obtained from any institution or organization that does not meet the above criteria upon consultation with the Registrar and at the request of the appropriate Senior Dean.

General Guidelines

  1. Transfer credit decisions are normally precedent‐setting and will be recorded in Humber’s transfer credit database.
  2. Transfer credit decisions remain active in Humber’s transfer credit database for a maximum of five years for post‐secondary credit courses.
  3. Transfer credit will be awarded for approved courses with a minimum grade of 60% or equivalent except in the case of transfer from diploma-level to degree-level programs where a minimum of 65% is required. Some exceptions by program may be required at the direction of regulatory bodies.
  4. Transfer credit will normally be assessed for course work completed within 5 years of the term of admission for core courses and 10 years of the term of admission for general education, breadth, English and Mathematics courses.
  5. Applicants or students seeking transfer credit must provide an official transcript from each institution at which the course(s) being considered for transfer credit were taken.
  6. If an articulation agreement does not already exist for the course(s) or program, it is the student’s responsibility to provide a detailed course outline(s) for each course being considered for transfer credit. For documents that are not in English, a translation by a certified translator is required. For documents from a country other than Canada a WES or ICAS course-by-course evaluation is required.
  7. The grade for transferable courses will be recorded on the student’s academic record as “TRC”, and will indicate the number of credits at Humber for which transfer credit is granted. The grade from the sending institution will not be used in the calculation of any Humber GPA.
  8. Transfer credit decisions are recognized by Humber regardless of a student’s program, but the application of transfer credit for any particular course is determined by the department responsible for the course or the appropriate Academic Faculty.
  9. When course information is reviewed and transfer credit is denied, appropriate reasons shall be provided and made available.
  10. Transfer credit decisions are normally considered final. Requests for an additional review will only be considered if the student submits additional relevant information along with a written request and rationale for a second review.
  11. Admission to Humber programs as a result of the awarding of transfer credit is based on availability in the program. Meeting minimum eligibility does not guarantee admission.

When courses have been articulated for precedent‐setting transfer to Humber, credential evaluation staff will grant transfer credit. When precedent‐setting transfer has not been established, the following guidelines will be used:

Institutions Not Recognized by Humber: The decision to award transfer credit for courses from institutions not recognized by Humber requires approval of the Office of the Senior Vice President, Academic.

Noncredit Courses and Non-credit Programs: Transfer credit is not normally given for non‐credit courses or non-credit programs taken at any institution, except when, upon review of detailed course and/or program material, transfer credit is recommended by the appropriate Senior Dean, and the transfer credit is approved by the Office of the Senior Vice President, Academic.

Special Types of Programs and Courses: Clinical, practice, field study courses, internships, and cooperative education courses will be given transfer credit according to any existing agreements. When no agreements exist, transfer credit is not automatically assigned; however, the appropriate Senior Dean may approve transfer credit for courses from recognized institutions that are comparable to Humber courses as per the guidelines above.

Assigning of Credit: In order to receive transfer credit, it is expected that a course be comparable in breadth and depth in its essential features. Not all elements of the curriculum need be identical. When a course from another recognized institution is deemed equivalent to a Humber course, credit will normally be assigned as follows:

  1. Courses completed at recognized institutions will normally be given transfer credit for credits comparable, but not necessarily identical in number to the number of credits given at the originating institution.
  2. Courses with equivalent learning outcomes will normally be awarded an equivalent number of credits as the Humber course.
  3. If a student is awarded transfer credit for a course AND takes the equivalent course at Humber, both courses will become part of the student’s academic record. If the Humber course is a passing grade, it will be used in the calculation of the student’s GPA. If the Humber course is a failing grade, the transfer credit will be used to meet graduation eligibility and the Humber course will not be used in the calculation of the student’s GPA.

The following guidelines are used to establish block credit:

  1. The amount of block credit assigned will be determined by the academic faculty together with the department of Program Planning, Development and Renewal and the Office of the Registrar. Transfer agreements require the approval of the Office of the Senior Vice President, Academic, and must be accompanied by an approved Schedule of Study which follows consultation between the appropriate Academic Senior Dean, Dean of Program Planning, Development and Renewal and Registrar.
  2. A student granted block credit will be assigned credit based on the equivalent number of semesters or courses determined in the approved Schedule of Study. Individual courses will not be listed on the student’s record but will be recorded as “Block” credit.
  3. Credit gained through “Block” credit cannot be used for additional transfer credit in a second credential.

Credit for groups of courses is given where equivalencies to Humber coursework can be established.  Individual courses must still meet the minimum GPA required in each course.  No averaging of grades is permitted.

Residency Requirement- Transfer of credit for courses, including those obtained through Letter of Permission and Block Transfer Credit, will not exceed 75% of the credits contained in the certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or degree program. Student must take at least 25% of their credits for the program at the appropriate credential level at Humber in order to satisfy Humber’s residency requirement.

Duplicate Transfer Credit will not be awarded- When a student has completed courses at multiple institutions and the courses are equivalent to the same Humber course, Humber will only grant transfer credit once.

Applicants for assessment of credit are responsible for submitting official documents. A transcript is considered to be official only when it is sent directly to Humber through ontariocolleges.ca, from the originating institution or issuing body. Hard copies must be received in the original sealed envelope signed by the institution or bearing an official stamp or seal or they will be deemed unofficial. Exceptions may be made when it is not possible for a transcript to be sent directly to Humber, provided the Office of the Registrar can reasonably determine the document’s authenticity.

Documents submitted to Humber become the property of Humber and are normally not returned to the student. In cases where documents are irreplaceable, the documents will be returned to the student provided the student requests return of the documents upon submission. Electronic images of documents will be retained by Humber.

In cases where a course has not yet been recorded in the Transfer Credit Database, the applicant will be asked to provide detailed course outlines.

If the issuing institution is not able to provide an official document in English, the student must arrange to have the document translated by an Ontario-certified translator. In this instance the documents should be sent directly from the issuing institution and Humber will provide the student with a copy for translation. Cost of translation will be the responsibility of the student.

  1. Transfer credits are assessed by a designate of the academic school responsible for the delivery of the course at Humber.
  2. The Office of the Registrar has the responsibility to maintain a record of precedent‐setting decisions within the Transfer Credit Database.
  3. The Office of the Registrar has the authority and responsibility to equate the students’ grades to Humber’s grading system, and to record all transfer credit decisions and appropriate grades in each student’s permanent student record.

In order to facilitate students’ admission, registration and program planning, Humber endeavors to ensure timely evaluation of transfer credit. Normally, the following time limits apply:

  1. Up to four weeks to assess courses that are not recorded in the Transfer Credit Database.
  2. Students should refer to their Academic Progress in MyHumber and may consult with student advisors and/or the Program Coordinator to determine if and how transferred courses apply toward satisfying graduation requirements.
  3. Requests for transfer credit should be submitted as early as possible for efficiency and to maximize potential transfer credit. Requests for transfer credit should be received prior to the last date for withdrawal without academic penalty in the student’s final semester of their current program.

If a Humber student transfers from one program to another program within the same credential level at Humber, the student will be subject to a course equivalency policy and process.

Course equivalency for individual courses is awarded when a student is granted credit for Humber credit work completed previous to their current program. That Humber credit work must be equivalent in content to credit work covered in the course/unit in question. No other course needs to be substituted.

A student may apply for course equivalency after having been admitted into a program. The student must initiate the course equivalency process by submitting a completed Course Equivalency Form to the Office of the Registrar.

Upon request, the applicant may be required to submit institutionally issued course outlines for the courses appearing on her/his transcripts.

The Registrar, on the recommendation of the appropriate Associate Dean or designate, will grant students course equivalency. To earn a course equivalency, students must have earned a minimum passing grade of 50% in the completed course. The amount of credit granted will depend on the academic content of the applicant’s previous studies, the grades received, and the requirements of the program to which the applicant has been admitted.

6.11.a Definitions

Recognition of Prior Learning ( RPL):The process that allows individuals to identify, document, have assessed, and gain recognition for prior post-secondary and non-formal/experiential learning

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR): The process of evaluating the knowledge and skills gained through experiential and/or non-formal learning for the purpose of obtaining academic credit.

Portfolio: A collection of material that identifies an individual’s achievements, documents their experiences, and analyzes and organizes the knowledge and skills acquired. It is developed by a learner and can be used for college credit recognition; workplace learning recognition; career mobility; or job search.

Challenge Assessment: A method of assessment other than portfolio, developed and evaluated by faculty subject matter experts to measure an individual’s learning achievements against subject learning outcomes.

6.11.b PLAR for Academic Credit

Applicants, who can demonstrate knowledge and skills gained outside a formal education environment through work, volunteer, or other life experiences, may apply for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) if that knowledge and skill corresponds to a specific Humber course or program.

Failed courses are not eligible for PLAR.  Students must be out of the course for one year and be able to show new knowledge and skills acquired through non-formal, informal or other formal training in order to PLAR a failed course in the future.

Granting of credit for prior learning does not guarantee entry into a program of study. You must follow the normal admission procedure to gain admission into Humber College.

Assessment and Awarding of Credit

To receive credit for prior learning, an applicant will need to:

  • analyze prior learning and achievements
  • compare prior knowledge and skills to specific learning outcomes for specific Humber courses or programs
  • demonstrate knowledge, skills, and learning acquired, as opposed to experience gained

Requirements will vary from program to program and course to course. Generally, applicants and students will be required to demonstrate skills and knowledge in one or more of the following ways:

  • development of a portfolio (a collection of materials that documents skills and knowledge
  • demonstration of skills through role-playing or simulations
  • written tests, oral exams, and/or structured interviews; and/or
  • completion of assignment(s) or development of product(s) designed to demonstrate specific knowledge and skills in action
  • challenge exam

Humber reserves the right to determine the PLAR assessment method for a particular course.

PLAR as Part of the Academic Record

Depending on the method used to demonstrate and assess the skills and knowledge the applicant has acquired, credits earned through PLAR will be recorded on the student’s transcript either as a percentage grade or as a SAT (Satisfactory) grade. Unsuccessful PLAR attempts will not be recorded on the student’s transcript.

PLAR grades that were obtained through a challenge exam will be calculated into the student’s weighted cumulative program grade point average (CPGPA). PLAR grades that were obtained through a portfolio review (SAT) will not be calculated into the student’s weighted cumulative program grade point average (CPGPA). 

Students are granted only one opportunity to PLAR a course.

Note: A reduction of course load as a result of earning credits through PLAR may affect a students’ eligibility for financial assistance through OSAP.

Residency Requirement

Credit for courses obtained through PLAR may normally replace no more than 50% of the course credits required for any degree program and 75% required for any diploma or certificate program.

Application Process and Required Documentation

Applicants who wish to apply for PLAR should meet with their Program Coordinator to assess eligibility.  Once you have reviewed the course/program learning outcomes and are able to demonstrate your learning, you must submit a PLAR Application Form with the required documentation and assessment fees to the Office of the Registrar.

https://humber.ca/admissions/assets/files/pdfs/PLARApplication.pdf

Authority and Responsibilities

  • PLAR challenges are assessed by the designate of the academic school responsible for the delivery of the course at Humber.
  • The Office of the Registrar has the responsibility to maintain a record of the PLAR application and grade.

Timelines and Evaluation Process

In order to facilitate student’s recognition of prior learning, Humber endeavours to ensure timely evaluation of PLAR applications.  Normally, the following time limits apply;

  • Students who are enrolled in the course for which they are seeking PLAR should continue to attend class until they receive their results in order to ensure the course requirement is met.
  • PLAR results will be assessed within four to six weeks of the application being submitted to the Office of the Registrar. 
  • Processing may be longer depending on portfolio submission time and scheduling of challenge exam
  • PLAR requests should be submitted as soon as possible, preferably 6-8 weeks prior to the start of the semester for which the PLAR is being challenges. Student’s should be aware of the academic calendar add/drop deadline dates for refunds and withdrawl without academic penalty and apply accordingly.

Grade Review Process

An applicant who disputes the results of a Prior Learning Assessment may appeal that decision under the Grade Review and Academic Appeal process (see Section 18.0).

 

6.11.c PLAR from Work Experience or Previous Work Placement

Applicants who can demonstrate knowledge and skills gained through previous postsecondary placements or work experience may apply for PLAR. The knowledge and skills must correspond to a specific Humber program and the Academic Faculty responsible for the program must have available a mechanism for assessing work experience credit.  Students may receive no more than 50% of the work placement requirements (paid or unpaid experiences) once registered in a program.

It may be possible to receive credit for prior learning for a work term.  Applicants will need to:

a) analyze their prior learning and achievement gained through previous placement and/or work experience; 

b) compare the learning value of the previous placements/work experience to the specific program level work placement standards.

Credit will be awarded only for demonstrated learning value and not simply life/work experience.  Specific requirements will vary from program to program but normally, applicants will be required to demonstrate skills and knowledge through the development of a portfolio (a collection of materials that document skills and knowledge against the degree level work placement qualifications standard.)  The amount of credit given will be determined by the assessment of the portfolio and the quality of the evidence provided.

Applicants who wish to apply for PLAR must submit a PLAR Application along with the required documentation and assessment fees.

PLAR work equivalent hours will be kept on file in the Academic Faculty and combined with any remaining degree work placement credits before the completion of the work experience is documented on the student transcript as SAT (Satisfactory).

Note: Degree students who do not complete a work term, including any PLAR work credits, prior to the final academic semester of study will be required to defer the final academic semester requirement until the work term requirement is successfully completed.

Humber is committed to recognizing learning common across curricula while ensuring that each credential earned recognises new learning by the student. The intent is not to allow a student to earn multiple credentials for studying the same subject areas and completing the same evaluation methods.

A student who has completed one credential at the College and wants to apply credits and courses toward a second credential, in a related or unrelated area of study, must meet the admission requirements for the second program and complete all outstanding credits.

A student must meet all the current standards and credential requirements of a program in order to be awarded a Humber College credential as outlined in the Academic Regulations, section 13.2 Graduation Requirements.  Students must complete a volume of new learning for each subsequent credential. The volume of new work must be 25% to 40% unique for the subsequent credential. These courses must be completed at Humber in order to satisfy Humber’s residency requirement.

Courses considered for transfer to a second credential will be considered automatically for transfer if they have been completed within five years for core courses and 10 years for elective/breadth courses. Completed courses which exceed this time limit will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students who have completed the highest level of a credential in a field of study do not qualify to receive credentials at a subordinate level.

Students who already received a credential for a given program that repeat the same program in whole or in part, are not eligible to receive a second credential for the same program. 

Humber Admission Requirements and Academic Regulations