Important points about the RPL process
Before we examine the RPL process at NSCC and how it can work for you, you should consider these important points:
- RPL is your process. In order for NSCC to recognize your prior learning, you need to drive the process. This includes contacting your campus Student Success office, identifying your goals, completing appropriate forms, contacting your former institution(s) if a transcript is required, and providing evidence of your learning.
- Credit is awarded for learning, not experience. With the exception of the transfer of course credit from one institution to NSCC, each RPL method requires you to demonstrate what you have learned.
- The learning must be at a post-secondary level. Your demonstrated learning needs to meet the learning outcomes of the course or courses for which you want to get credit.
- The maximum credit for prior learning is 67% of an academic program. This includes any combination of transfer credit and challenge.
- RPL cannot be used to upgrade a recognized NSCC grade.
- RPL cannot be used to obtain a pass in a failed NSCC course.
- NSCC records on your transcript successful RPL course(s) as a "P" and a transfer credit from a recognized institution as "CR".
- You have the right to appeal an RPL decision (see NSCC Academic Policies and Procedures).
- RPL is not appropriate for all NSCC programs
What is my role in RPL?
The student is responsible for:
- Initiating contact with NSCC to begin RPL process
- If in a program, continuing to attend classes until challenge is successful and credit granted
- Ensuring receipt of all relevant information (RPL policy, RPL brochures, course and/or program learning outcomes and outlines, etc.)
- Collecting and organizing all relevant documentation
- Preparing for challenge using assessment methodology(ies) agreed upon
- Participating in challenge process
How will my learning be assessed?
Your prior learning may be assessed through one or more of the following methods:
- Demonstration (the student performs tasks, procedures in a clinical setting, uses computers and other equipment properly and safely to perform specific tasks, etc.)
- Written tests/exams (including essays, short answer exams, objective tests such as multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank)
- Oral presentation (the student presents concepts, ideas, etc. to demonstrate learning and competency)
- Interview (the student responds to assessor questions in a formal frame by responding to set questions, or informally in a more informal dialogue with the assessor
- Product or project assessment (the student produces a product or project and responds to assessor questions
- Simulation (the student engages in role play or case study to show competency used in real life situations)
How does NSCC award RPL?
The following are ways we give students credit for the demonstrated learning they come to us with.
This process gives learners the opportunity to get credit for an NSCC course whose learning outcomes the student has met in an equivalent course at another post-secondary institution. It involves the exchange of student transcript information from the post-secondary institution attended to NSCC.
- The learner has his or her transcript sent to the Registrar at the NSCC campus where the student is registered. For online learners, the request for credit transfer is sent to the Campus Registrar nearest the home address of the applicant. For out of province online business learners the request is sent to the Registrar at Shelburne campus. For online library Information Technology learners the request is sent to the Registrar at Institute of Technology campus.
- If the course has been pre-approved by NSCC credit is awarded and the Registrar informs the learner.
- If the course has not been pre-approved, the Registrar contacts the appropriate Academic Chair who assigns the assessment to the appropriate subject matter expert (usually NSCC faculty)
- The subject matter expert, having received all pertinent documentation, assesses the course for equivalency.
- The subject matter expert sends the result of the assessment through the Academic Chair to the campus Registrar.
- The Registrar informs the learner of the result of the credit transfer assessment.
Challenge for credit
This process gives learners the opportunity to get credit for an NSCC course whose learning outcomes the learner has met through learning they've gained from training, work, courses, life experiences and personal study or any combination of the above.
- The learner contacts the Student Success office of the campus you'll be attending. For online learners, the request for credit transfer is sent to the Campus Registrar nearest the home address of the applicant. For out of province online business learners the request is sent to the Registrar at Shelburne campus. For online Library Information Technology learners the request is sent to the Registrar at Institute of Technology campus.
- The Student Success office staff will direct you to the office of the Academic Chair responsible for your program.
- Here you will receive the course(s) outlines and learning outcomes.
- With this material you prepare to demonstrate and document how your learning matches the stated course learning outcomes.
This process gives learners the opportunity to enter the second year of a two year program, or the second semester of an academic year once they have demonstrated they have met the program learning outcomes for the first year, or semester.
- The learner requests advanced standing and sends in documentation with their NSCC application form.
- The Admissions Office then sends each individual request to the Registrar at the campus the applicant will attend. For online learners, the request for advanced standing is sent to the Campus Registrar nearest the home address of the learner. For out of province online business learners the request is sent to the Registrar at Shelburne campus. For online Library Information Technology learners the request is sent to the Registrar at Shelburne Campus.
- The Registrar contacts the appropriate Academic Chair who assigns the assessment to the relevant content expert.
- The result of the assessment goes back through the Academic Chair and Registrar to the Admissions Office.
- The Admissions Office informs the learner of the results