NVIT recognizes that students may acquire from their life and work experiences learning that is equivalent to learning acquired from formal post-secondary education. Through PLAR, NVIT will grant credits towards a certificate or diploma for informal learning that fulfils program requirements.
There are several methods of documenting and demonstrating prior learning. The PLAR Advisor can provide information about the various methods of assessment including challenge exams, portfolios, demonstrations, and work site assessments.
The following methods of assessment may be used, independently or in combination, to determine if the PLA candidate has met the requirements for the course. The assessment method should be appropriate for the subject or skill area, targeted to the learning objectives (competencies, skills or outcomes), and reflective of the level of achievement expected of any student.
Challenge Exams: A written or oral exam designed to measure the candidate’s prior learning experience against the offered course requirements. This may be the same exam given to the students who are formally attending the class but will usually be based on the learning outcome of the course rather than the additional information an enrolled student would have gained.
Portfolio: Documents or objects that have been produced by the candidate; such as reports, videos, or projects that represent a body of work from a professional work site.
Demonstration: Simulation or actual presentation of the candidate’s abilities, which may be live, recorded or videotaped. The assessment may include such activities as oral presentations, role playing a situation, creating a document on a computer, operating equipment or interviewing a client.
Work Site Assessment: Similar to a demonstration. The candidate is observed performing tasks as part of normal work routine. The assessment is usually made by faculty assigned to a candidate, but may also be made by a work supervisor or field expert.
NOTE: Fees for PLAR are the same as tuition for regular classroom registration, however, as PLAR is a recognition assessment tool it will not be considered part of a full time course load as set out in the criteria for a BC student loan. Students who are considering PLAR should take this into consideration when applying for funding.
Inquiries about prior learning should be directed to Academic Advisory. Before applying for PLAR, a student must meet with the PLAR Advisor for detailed information regarding requirements and process. The Advisor will also provide assistance with preparation. Qualified faculty provides assessments in accordance with the learning objectives, outcomes or competencies of the course or program. Expected levels of achievement will be the same as those required by any student regardless of how the credits are earned.
NVIT accepts PLAR credit awarded at other public post-secondary institutions in the same manner as transfer credit.