What is PLAR?

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process that helps adult learners to identify, articulate and demonstrate relevant learning acquired through life and work experiences and translate this learning into college credit. Algonquin College recognizes that, as a mature learner, you bring a wealth of knowledge to your learning.

The credit received through the PLAR process must be relevant as it relates to the credentials that you are seeking at Algonquin College.

Benefits of PLAR:

  • Accelerate program of study completion.
  • Save time by taking fewer classes.
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem from having your previous accomplishments recognized.
  • Strengthen the links between your formal studies and your work and life experience.
  • May decrease time to graduation.
  • May reduce the cost of education.
  • Offers a reflective learning experience for future success.

PLAR vs. Credit Transfer

PLAR is different from Transfer of Academic Credits (Exemptions).

  • PLAR evaluates learning you have gained from life and work experience.
  • Transfer of Academic Credits (Exemptions) provides recognition of previously acquired courses taken at Algonquin College or at other educational institutions in the previous 5 years.
  • Transfer of Academic Credits are processed through the Registrar’s Office.

Types of Assessment

At Algonquin College there are three types of PLAR:

  1. Course PLAR
  2.  General Education Theme PLAR
  3.  Program PLAR

It is essential that you choose the appropriate PLAR type based on program of study.

Course PLAR

Course PLAR is the traditional method of evaluating prior learning. Your prior learning is assessed based on the individual course learning requirements. The assessments can include a variety of options including portfolio evaluations, demonstration, exams and others.

General Education Theme PLAR

The General Education Theme PLAR is unique in that your prior learning will be assessed based on a theme, not an individual course. Check your program of study requirements to ensure that the theme you want to PLAR is eligible.

Other than in formal classroom situations, learning can be gained through:

In-formal learning

Non-formal learning

Employment experience Seminars
Military training or service Corporate Training
Volunteer work or community service Personal and professional development (which has not led to a credit degree, certificate, or diploma)
Life, culture, and heritage experience Independent study or non-college courses
Travel and residency Skills training
Teaching in foreign countries Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC’s)
Hobbies Workshops

Depending on the length of your program, there are one or two general education online electives. General Education courses cover areas of general interest and are divided into five themes.

Program PLAR

A Program PLAR, allows you to acquire up to 75% of credits towards your chosen program of study. Please contact PLAR administrator, if you believe you are a candidate for a program PLAR.

How much does it cost?

You may obtain a PLAR application form or at the PLAR office and pay your assessment fee of: $97.85 – $122.57 at the PLAR office.

After the application form has been processed you may submit your PLAR materials to the PLAR office or proceed with your scheduled challenge examination.

  • $97.85 – $122.57 for course PLAR and Gen Ed PLAR depending on the assessment method.
  • $686.25 for Program PLAR

Note: Please note fees are non-refundable

Residency Policy

  • For most programs, a minimum of 25% of the required courses must be completed at Algonquin College. The remainder may be put in place through Transfer of Academic Credit and/or PLAR. Admission to a Program
  • PLAR candidates in a bachelor’s degree may be awarded no more than fifty percent (50%) of the total number of hours of their program of study through prior learning assessment and recognition.
  • The granting of prior learning credits does not guarantee entry into a Program of Study. You must follow the normal admission procedure to gain entrance into a College Program.
  • Assessment fees are established by the Ministry of Education and Training.
  • The assessment fee will cover such costs as the delivery of test(s), the evaluation of test(s), the evaluation of a portfolio, an oral interview if required, and academic support and administrative activities.