Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition

Mohawk College recognizes that college-level learning can take place in a variety of settings both inside and outside the traditional classroom. Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) focuses on the evaluation of prior learning rather than the formal educational courses used in the academic transfer of credits or course exemptions.

PLAR evaluates knowledge and skill on an individual basis. The assessment process is determined by the academic area. Credit is granted when learning level and content match the objectives of a specific course. The assessor may require a challenge exam and/or portfolio assessment. Additional demonstration of learning may be requested at the assessor's discretion.

Prior learning is assessed by a combination of methods including, but not limited to a:

  • Challenge Exam Assessment - Assessors develop a variety of written and non-written evaluations to measure an individual's knowledge based on course learning outcomes
  • Portfolio Assessment - Assessors evaluate an organized collection of materials, submitted by the student, to demonstrate knowledge related to course learning outcomes. Requirements vary by course and may include:
    • A description of learning experiences
    • Identification of knowledge, skills, and abilities related to course learning outcomes
    • Supporting documentation to verify learning claimed.

For a comprehensive look into PLAR, please view the PLAR Policy (opens PDF, 820kb).

Additional PLAR Requirements

A candidate must earn a minimum of 25% of their credits as a registered student at Mohawk College. Credits are granted on a course-by-course basis with a maximum of 75% of credits earned through PLAR. The granting of credits through PLAR does not guarantee entry into a Program of Study. Candidates must follow established admission procedures.

When Prior Learning and Course Objectives Match

When prior learning matches the objectives of a specific course, the course assessor will assign a grade for that course. A college certificate or diploma program may be completed by combining PLAR with the new knowledge gained in a specific program. To challenge a course in your Program of Studies you must contact the Program Coordinator/Program Manager to confirm you are eligible.

Registering for PLAR

The 2018-2019 non-refundable PLAR registration fee is $161.21 per course.

PLAR cannot be used to make up failed courses. Students who have failed credit courses do not qualify for PLAR assessment unless one year has lapsed and evidence is provided to demonstrate additional learning.

PLAR assessments are offered in the fall, winter, and/or spring terms and make take approximately 6-8 weeks to process. This timeline should be kept in mind when submitting a Registration Form. Currently we are accepting registration forms for the winter semester, which runs from January 1, 2019 until March 31, 2019. The last day to register for a winter semester PLAR challenge is March 1, 2019.

PLAR processes are regularly monitored, evaluated, and revised to reflect changes in the needs of students and faculty.

Before you apply:

  • Ensure you understand the PLAR assessment and requirements mentioned above
  • Contact your Academic Area to request approval

Start your PLAR in 3 Simple Steps!

1. Contact your Program Coordinator/Program Manager, Post-Secondary or Continuing Education department for information & approval for your PLAR.

2. Submit the PLAR Registration Form:

  • In person to PLAR mailbox at The Square, C102 FF or
  • Fax to 905-575-2348

3. Check your email for updates and next steps.

How to Contact PLAR

  • plar [at] mohawkcollege.ca (Email Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition)
  • Phone: 905-575-2395 (Hamilton)