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Prior Learning and Assessment (PLAR) Procedures

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
  1. Purpose
    1. The purpose of this procedure is to identify the accountabilities and processes associated with Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) and to ensure that any student being awarded college credit has met all NSCC requirements for a particular course.
  1. Procedure
    1. Advising and Application for PLAR
      Action Table Header
      a. Students and applicants are encouraged to review PLAR related College resources including those listed in section 4.0. Student/PLAR Candidate
      b. Students and applicants are encouraged to request initial advising to help them decide if PLAR is a sound educational decision to pursue. During this advising, students and applicants will be informed that PLAR credits may reduce their student course load and their ability to qualify for student loans, financial aid, awards and bursaries. Students will also be advised that a fee* may be applied to their account.
      *For the 23/24 academic year, PLAR fees have been waived for all students
      Student Services Staff, Academic Chair/Faculty Advisor, Student/Applicant.
      c. Students and applicants proceeding with PLAR will submit the online PLAR Application Form. Student/Applicant
      d. The Assistant Registrar will advise Finance to apply the PLAR fee* to the student account and advise the student that the fee has been applied. Finance will apply the PLAR fee.
      *For the 23/24 academic year, PLAR fees have been waived for all students
      Assistant Registrar, Finance Department
      e. PLAR candidates must contact the Business Office to pay the PLAR fee* prior to assessment.
      *For the 23/24 academic year, PLAR fees have been waived for all students
      PLAR Candidate (Student), Finance Department
      f. The Assistant Registrar will redirect the application to the appropriate Academic Chair for the initiation of the PLAR assessment. Assistant Registrar
      g. PLAR candidates will continue to receive advising throughout the assessment process. Student Services Staff, Academic Chair/Faculty Advisor
    2. PLAR Assessment
      Action Responsibility
      a. The Academic Chair will review the application and assign a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to facilitate the PLAR assessment. Academic Chair
      b. The SME will initiate contact with the PLAR candidate to work towards developing a plan outlining how the candidate will be assessed and evaluated. College SME, PLAR Candidate (Student)
      c. A documented copy of the plan will be shared with the PLAR candidate.
      College SME, PLAR Candidate (Student)
      d. PLAR candidates will prepare for and participate in the assessment which may include submitting or demonstrating evidence of equivalent or experiential learning. PLAR Candidate (Student)
      e. SMEs will schedule, prepare for and complete the assessment of a candidate’s prior learning to verify the learning is relevant, sufficient, authentic, and current and can be measured reliably against course learning outcomes for the awarding of college credit. College SME
      f. The SME may initiate a learning contract if a PLAR assessment indicates that additional evidence of learning is necessary. Approval of the Academic Chair is required. College SME, PLAR Candidate (Student), Academic Chair
      g. The SME will provide the results of the assessment to the Academic Chair for review. College SME, Academic Chair
      h. The Academic Chair will send the results of the assessment to the Assistant Registrar for final review and approval. Academic Chair
      i. College credit will be granted when the Assistant Registrar reviews and approves the application. The Assistant Registrar will review the documentation to ensure that the learning is equivalent to the standards and criteria for the level required by the course in which the credit is sought is achieved. Assistant Registrar
      j. The Assistant Registrar provides the results of the assessment to the PLAR candidate. Assistant Registrar
    3. Official Transcripts and Academic Histories
      Action Responsibility
      a. Successful PLAR assessments will be recorded on Official Transcripts with a 'P'. Assistant Registrar
      b. Unsuccessful attempts will not be recorded on a student’s Official Transcript. Assistant Registrar
  1. Procedure Supports

Related Policies & Procedures
25.01 Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Policy
22.01 Evaluation Policy
23.01 Program Progression Policy
24.11 Academic Performance Policy
31.01 Academic Integrity Policy
32.01 Student Appeals Policy

Additional Resources
Request for PLAR/Challenge Credit Form
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Plan (PLAR Plan)
The College Collaborative Advising Program Guide, April 2018.
RPL Framework