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:

Procedure

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:
November 2019

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

1. Introduction and Purpose

Loyalist is committed to acknowledging prior learning which has occurred either inside or outside of the formal classroom environment as valid learning. This policy addresses how students may receive credit for this learning. 

2. Application

This policy applies to all prospective students. 

3. Definitions

  1. PLAR

  2. 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, enrolment 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 (Request Form is available online) ‘TC’ (Transfer Credit) 

    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. The following documentation must be provided with the Transfer Credit Request Form at the time of submission: 

    • an official transcript (including grading rubric if available); 
    • an official course description (for each course); and, 
    • an international credential evaluation for all non-Canadian courses. 

    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 AgreementsFormal articulation agreements indicate specific transfer arrangements between two (2) (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 (Request Form is available online) ‘EX’ (Exemption) 

    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 assignment. 

    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 source for assessment of exemptions (please refer to current College fee structure). Students may not exempt more than 75% of program requirements. 

    Residency Requirements

  3. For a Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) certificate, diploma, advanced-diploma, or graduate certificate offered by Loyalist College, a minimum of 25% of the program credits or courses (whichever is greater) must be earned at Loyalist College. 

4. PLAR Assessment Options

  1. 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 

    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. 

    Courses from accredited Canadian colleges and universities are considered for transfer credit when successfully completed with a final grade of 50% or greater. Certain programs may require courses to have a final grade greater than 60% to be considered for transfer credit. Certain programs, such as Paralegal, are not eligible to receive Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) but could be eligible to receive transfer credits for courses taken at other post-secondary institutions. 

    Transfer credit applications must be received by Enrolment Services prior to the 10th day of classes in any given semester. It is recommended that students submit a transfer credit application, and supporting documentation upon receiving an offer of admission. Transfer credit applications received after the 10th day of classes in a semester will result in transfer credits not being assessed. 

    Normally, a transfer credit or exemption will not be granted if the initial credit was obtained more than seven (7) years prior to the request. Courses that are technology based or courses required for programs that have an accreditation process may have a transfer credit life of less than seven (7) years due to changing technology or accreditation requirements. 

    Students that change programs must apply for course exemptions if they believe that previous courses successfully completed may have the same content and learning outcomes as the course(s) in their new program. 

    Courses for which transfer credits or exemptions are assigned are not included in the GPA calculation. 

    Loyalist College reserves the right to grant or deny transfer credits, exemptions and/or PLAR. 

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

5. References

N/A