Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

We believe that many people acquire college-level learning and skills through many means. Candidates may be granted Niagara College credits based on an assessment of their prior learning.

What is PLAR?

  • Individuals might have achieved college-level learning and skills through: work experience, community work, non-credit courses, self-directed study, travel or military service.
  • Applicants must be at least 19 years of age, or have earned their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
  • PLAR is intended for students who are  resuming their education, rather than those continuing directly from high school.
  • Adults who have successfully challenged a given course or courses, by demonstrating or documenting that they have achieved the course objectives, will be granted college credits.
  • Applicants are not required to enrol in their program of choice before requesting PLAR, but may wish to, particularly if the program is a very popular one.

Important: Current Students

Receiving course credits through the PLAR process may adversely affect course load and eligibility for OSAP and other sponsorships.

If you are applying for assessment for a course in which you are currently enrolled in you will be withdrawn from that course.

How can I gain credits through PLAR?

  1. Read the PLAR application process for detailed steps and determine if you feel PLAR may be suitable for you.
  2. Your next step is to contact the Pathways Advisor to discuss your educational plans. They will help you with the PLAR process. Email [email protected], or call 905-735-2211 ext. 7500.
  3. Visit the Cost and Forms page to complete the Online PLAR application, and to review the PLAR fees.

How many credits can I receive?

  • You are allowed to gain up to 75% of the credits required for a certificate or diploma program through prior learning. You must complete the remaining 25% of the program requirements by enrolling in classes at Niagara College.
  • Upon successful completion of your PLAR request, a percentage grade or a designation of “S” will be recorded on your transcript.

Domestic Transfer Options at Niagara College

In additional to Prior Learning Assessment, Niagara College offers other methods of credit transfer.

Transfer Credits
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Transfer credits are the assessment of course credits earned at another institution being used to earn Niagara College credit(s).

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Equivalencies are the assessment of Niagara College course credits being used to earn credit in a different Niagara College course.

Advanced Standing
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Advanced Standing means you receive enough transfer credits to start beyond level 1 (1st term) in a Niagara College program.

Are you an International student with transfer credits?

Please note that PLAR is available to international students. Contact our team at [email protected] for more information. Additionally, we welcome you to visit the International website for specific information about how to apply for transfer credits, equivalencies and advanced standing.

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