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.


About 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.

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.

Interested in gaining 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 call or email the Pathways Advisor to discuss your educational plans. They will help you with the PLAR process.
  3. Visit the Cost and Forms page to download the forms that you need, and to review the PLAR fees.

Attention Current Students – Important:

  • 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 you are currently enrolled in, you must continue to attend classes until the challenge process has been successfully completed.