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Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) Resources

We welcome ideas or information about Websites and other resources that may be helpful to all of us. Contact us with additions.

PLAR Glossary of terms

ACADEMIC CREDIT

Academic credit is equivalent to work normally taught in courses that are open for PLAR. You will receive a final grade once the assessment process is complete.

FIELD OR PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

In some fields such as Early Childhood Education an individual must acquire a licence before seeking employment in the field. This is one example where a PLAR submission would be assessed against field or professional standards created independent of the College. Assessment decisions would be made by field content experts, who may not be college faculty, but who are trained in the principles and practices of PLAR.

FORMAL ADMISSION TO DOUGLAS COLLEGE OR A PROGRAM

To learn how to make formal application please connect to our Admissions page.

PRIOR LEARNING ASSESSMENT AND RECOGNITION AT DOUGLAS COLLEGE

Faculty members assess prior learning assessment submissions against the outcomes, standards and criteria for a particular course or program. PLAR candidates are fully aware of the assessment standards when they are preparing their PLAR submission. Please see Programs and Course Catalogue.
At Douglas College, PLAR falls into several categories and each one is explained on our website at Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) Options.
Learners applying for PLAR assessment may apply to have up to 75 percent of the graduation requirements of a particular credential assessed for formal recognition. Not all courses and faculties are open for prior learning assessment. These decisions are at the discretion of individual Faculties and Departments.
When a PLAR assessment results in the awarding of academic credits, a grade is awarded and is notated with PLAR. To learn more about the grading system, please refer to the our website Grading information.
Please note that PLAR for courses and credits are not eligible for Student Loans.

PLAR, PLA

PLAR is also known as PLA in British Columbia. It is a system of assessment that permits learners to identify, document, and when possible demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities that have been learned over many years. Many mature learners applying for PLAR have had no formal academic post-secondary training.

RELEVANT LEARNING

While all learning is valid, in PLAR only learning that is relevant to a field of study can be assessed. In addition, the learning must be at the standard that is specified by the institution awarding academic credit or by the field or professional association awarding recognition.

SELF-ASSESSMENT

Self-assessment permits the individual to assess his/her own knowledge, skills and abilities against a standard set of criteria. By using self-assessment the individual can determine if his/her knowledge, skills and abilities are above or below a certain level.

TOTAL TIME FOR PLAR PROCESS

Most learners using the self-directed approach to identifying and documenting evidence of their learning find that the timeline for each PLARed course is equal to a regular course semester. It is up to the PLAR candidate to decide their own pace to complete their evidence and submit it for formal assessment.
Please note that being accepted into the PLAR process is not the same as applying to the Registrar's Office to make formal application to become a Douglas College student. In some instances candidates will be advised to seek acceptance into a particular program of study before proceeding with identifying and documenting evidence. This is because some programs have very specific academic, personal, health and safety requirements. Also note that there are waiting lists for admission to some programs.

WORK IN PROGRESS

Refers to documentation that you begin to develop in order to provide evidence of your knowledge, skills and abilities. Until you submit your work for formal assessment, it is referred to as work in progress.