Academic Operational Policies

Subject: Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition, Transfer Credit/Advanced Standing, Articulation Agreements and Exemption Number:  AOP 221
Issued by:  Vice-President Academic Date Issued:  April 2009
Supersedes:   Page:  1 of 5
Links:

Evaluation of Student Performance – AOP 224

Post-Secondary Admissions, Registration and Graduation – AOP 225

Academic Appeal Process – AOP 231

Prior Learning Assessment: Portfolio/Challenge Evaluation Form

Transfer Credit Exemption Rubric

Transfer Credit/Course Exemption/PLAR Request Form

PLAR Guide approved April 2015

Revision
Date:
January 2017

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition, Transfer Credit/Advanced Standing, Articulation Agreements and Exemption

Definitions

PLAR

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process that involves the identification, documentation, assessment and recognition of learning acquired through informal means, such as workplace training, military service, volunteering, travel, hobbies, or family experiences. A PLAR candidate does not need to be enrolled in a program to initiate the process however enrollment would be required for the results of the challenge to be recorded on a transcript.

The School Dean or designate will make the final decision on the material provided and specific program requirements. The assessment will result in a mark that will be entered on the student’s transcript. PLAR does not normally recognize work completed as part of a program of study and is therefore not a mechanism to upgrade marks previously received.

Transfer Credit/Advanced Standing

TC (Transfer Credit) (Request Form is available online) 

A TC is awarded in recognition of credits earned at an external institution. Students must make application to the Pathways Coordinator for the transfer credit(s). Advanced Standing is granted to students who receive enough transfer credits for admission directly into an upper semester (second semester or higher) of a program. 

Students must make application to the Pathways Coordinator for transfer credit(s) within the first 10 school days of the start of the academic semester. The student bears full responsibility to acquire and supply all supporting documents (official transcripts, course descriptions, etc.) needed for the process. Courses approved for transfer credit are listed on the academic transcript but are not computed in the program weighted average. Normally, a transfer credit will not be granted if the initial credit was obtained more than seven (7) years prior to the request.

The School Dean or designate will make the final decision based on the material provided and specific program requirements. The signed Transfer Credit/Course Exemption/PLAR Request Form (available online) is sent to Enrolment Services. Transfer Credits will not be added to the student’s record until the student has registered at the College. A fee will be charged per course for assessment of transfer credits (please refer to current College fee structure). Students may not receive transfer credit for more than 75% of program requirements.

Articulation Agreements

Formal articulation agreements indicate specific transfer arrangements between two (bilateral) or more (multilateral) post-secondary institutions, often in a particular area of study.

A ‘TC’ will be entered on the student’s transcript for each course cited in the articulation agreement.

Exemption

EX (Exemption) (Request Form is available online) 

An EX is assigned in recognition of academic credit deemed by the College to be sufficiently similar to program curriculum to warrant an exemption. Exemptions may also be available in certain courses through a standard, established in-class assessment.

Students must make application to the Pathways Coordinator for exemption(s) within the first 10 school days of the start of the academic semester. The student bears full responsibility for acquiring and supplying all supporting documents (official transcripts, course descriptions, etc.) as required for the purposes of evaluating a request for exemption. Courses approved for exemption are not computed in the semester weighted average. Normally an exemption will not be granted if the initial credit was obtained more than seven (7) years prior to the request. 

The School Dean or designate will make the final decision based on the material provided and specific program requirements. The signed Transfer Credit/Course Exemption/PLAR Request Form is sent to Enrolment Services. Exemptions will not be added to the student’s record until the student has registered at the College. A fee will be charged per course for assessment of exemptions (please refer to current College fee structure). Students may not exempt more than 75% of program requirements.

Residency Requirement

For a Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) certificate, diploma, advanced-diploma, or graduate certificate program offered by Loyalist College, a minimum of 25% of the program credits or courses (whichever is greater) must be earned at Loyalist College.

Assessment Options

Skills Demonstration (OSCE) there may be fees attached. Please see individual programs for associated costs.

A student may be asked to perform a hands-on activity either pre-recorded or in person, created by the College, to determine credit for prior learning. An interview with one or more assessors may also be required either to set up the parameters of the skills demonstration, to explore more fully the student’s performance in the demonstration, or as a feedback mechanism after review.

Challenge Exam – Written

A student may be asked to complete a written challenge exam, created by the College, to determine credit for prior learning.  An interview with one or more assessors may also be required either to set up the parameters of the written challenge exam, to explore more fully student responses on the exam, or as a feedback mechanism after review.

Challenge Exam – Oral

A student may be asked to complete an oral challenge exam, created by the College, to determine credit for prior learning.  An interview with one or more assessors may also be required either to set up the parameters of the oral challenge exam, to explore more fully student responses during the exam, or as a feedback mechanism after review.

Portfolio

A portfolio is an organized set of documents that provide “evidence of learning” in relation to specific outcomes identified in a course outline, or outlines, for which they are seeking credit. An interview with one or more assessors may also be required either to set up the parameters of the portfolio, to explore more fully the evidence presented in the portfolio, or as a feedback mechanism after review.

Policy

Loyalist College acknowledges that prior learning which has occurred either inside or outside of the formal classroom environment is valid learning which can be assessed and recognized to provide students and prospective students with credit for established course and program learning outcomes across all College programs.

A nominal fee will be charged for each course challenged, regardless of method or outcome.

Roles and Responsibilities

Pathways Coordinator

The role of the Pathways Coordinator is to: conduct the initial meeting with the candidate, provide the candidate with options in regard to transfer credit, exemption, challenge exam and/or portfolio development and assessment. Coordinate a meeting with the faculty member whose role it is to support the candidate and advise them in regard to portfolio development and make recommendations regarding faculty assessors who do the portfolio review and assessment. The Pathways Coordinator will track the documentation throughout the process.

Faculty PLAR Expert:

The role of the faculty PLAR expert is to advise the candidate in regard to the process of portfolio creation. The faculty PLAR expert will assist the Pathways Coordinator in identifying the appropriate faculty to complete the assessment.

Faculty Assessor

The faculty assessor for PLAR is the content expert, normally the faculty currently teaching the course for which the candidate is seeking credit. As such, they define the parameters through which a candidate may seek credit and assess the level to which the candidate has achieved the outcomes cited in the course outline.

General Education Office

Loyalist College is committed to fair and transparent awarding of credit for general education. If a student has been awarded a credential from a recognized post-secondary institution, then, upon submission of the relevant transcript to Enrolment Services, the student will be granted a transfer credit.

A ‘TC’ will be entered on the student’s transcript beside the applicable course(s).

If a student has fewer than the minimum three (3) general education courses designated clearly as such on their transcript, then the transcript will be proffered to the office of the dean responsible for general education for analysis. If the transcript reveals that courses previously designated as part of a vocational program of study qualify as a general education course, then the student will be awarded the credit.

To qualify, the course must: fit into one (1) of the five (5) themes identified by the province, have no shared vocational outcomes with the program in which the student is currently enrolled, is not skills-based, and is not an essential employability course.

Procedure

PLAR

  1. The PLAR candidate contacts the Pathways Coordinator. The candidate identifies the course(s) they wish to PLAR.
  2. The Pathways Coordinator downloads the appropriate course outline(s) which will identify the method(s) by which the course may be challenged: skills demonstration, challenge exam (written or oral) and/or portfolio.
  3. The candidate confirms intent to proceed with the Pathways Coordinator and pays the current fee. If the candidate is currently enrolled, they must identify intent within the first 10 days of registration.
  4. The Pathways Coordinator completes the Prior Learning Assessment: Portfolio/Challenge Evaluation Form and forwards it to the faculty assessor.
  5. The candidate, with the support of the Pathways Coordinator, contacts the faculty assessor to complete the work required and submits it to the faculty assessor by a specified date.   
  6. Within 10 working days, the faculty assessor assigns a grade and enters it on the Prior Learning Assessment: Portfolio/Challenge Evaluation Form which is submitted to Enrolment Services so that the learner’s transcript can be updated. For transcript purposes, the College makes no distinction between credit awarded through PLAR or by having taken the course.
  7. The Pathways Coordinator will inform the learner as to the status of the challenge and the grade awarded in a timely manner.
  8. Candidates have the option of taking the course at a later date or appealing the grade. These options may result in the inability for the candidate to graduate with their cohort.
  9. The grade awarded may be appealed. For more information about an academic appeal at Loyalist College, please refer to AOP 231 – Academic Appeal Process

Transfer Credit/Advanced Standing

1. The learner contacts Enrolment Services and submits their transcript for analysis.

  1. If the learner is requesting a credit analysis for general education and the existing transcript clearly shows successful completion of general education courses, Enrolment Services amends the current Loyalist transcript to show a ‘TC’ beside the applicable general education course(s). If general education courses are not clearly marked, the transcript will be sent to the office of the dean responsible for general education to analyze if courses previously designated as part of a vocational program of study qualify as a general education course. If yes, then the student will be awarded the transfer credit.
  2. If the learner is requesting a credit analysis for advanced standing, then the Pathways Coordinator will work with the Coordinator of the appropriate program who performs that analysis based on the learner’s transcript and the current course outlines.
    1. The Program Coordinator completes the appropriate form and submits it to Enrolment Services.
    2. The Pathways Coordinator informs the learner of the status of the challenge in a timely manner.
  3. If the learner is requesting the maximum transfer credits (75% of the program), School Dean or designate approval is required.

Articulation Agreements

  1. The learner contacts Enrolment Services to ascertain the details of and processes attached to signed articulation agreements.
  2. If an articulation agreement exists, Enrolment Services amends the current Loyalist transcript to show a ‘TC’ beside the applicable course(s) as required.

Exemption (Internal course – Outcome Based)

1. The learner contacts Enrolment Services and submits their Loyalist transcript for analysis.

  1. If the existing transcript clearly shows successful completion of general education courses, Enrolment Services amends the current Loyalist transcript to show an ‘EX’ beside the applicable general education course(s).
  2. If the learner is requesting a credit analysis for advanced standing, then the learner will be directed to the Pathways Coordinator who will work with the appropriate Program Coordinator who performs that analysis based on the transcript and current course outlines.

2. The Program Coordinator completes the appropriate form and submits it to Enrolment Services.

3. The Pathways Coordinator informs the learner of the status of the request in a timely manner.

Exemption (Established in-class assessment) 

The learner will be advised of standard process, if available, by the Pathways Coordinator.