Academic Support

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process that allows a person to demonstrate prior learning to possibly receive credit towards a post-secondary course.

Prior learning is learning that occurs outside a post-secondary classroom and does not result in a credit for courses completed at any recognized post-secondary institution. Increasingly, non-credit learning is gaining acceptance as valid college-level learning. Educators recognize that people gain knowledge and skills in a variety of informal ways such as conferences, seminars, workshops, work experience, community/volunteer activities, independent reading or projects.

Prior learning can be assessed through a number of methods. The most common methods used to assess prior learning are challenge examinations, challenge essays, development of a portfolio, performance evaluation (on-the job assessment), simulations, interviews, or producing documents. In most cases, a combination of two or more methods are used to accurately assess prior learning.

To access PLAR you must be enrolled in a college program, and your prior learning must be applicable to the course you are challenging.