Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is the process through which candidates can achieve course credit from prior learning. This learning might include formal learning (previous education), informal learning, or experiential learning (previous job/volunteer/community experience or military service).
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 from formal, informal or experiential learning through work, volunteer, or other life experiences, may apply for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) if that knowledge and skill corresponds to course learning outcomes in 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, observations 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 as well as International Work and Study Permits
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.
Authority and Responsibilities
- PLAR challenges are assessed by the designate of the academic faculty 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;
- 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 withdrawal without academic penalty and apply accordingly.
- 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.
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.