Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) Program (PDF)

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is the nationally recognized method of awarding course and program credits for learning that adults gain through work and life experiences. By recognizing skills and competencies developed through experiential learning, PLAR helps remove barriers to higher education for adult learners.

Informal education may include:

  • Volunteer activities
  • Household responsibilities
  • Hobbies
  • Sports
  • Job training
  • Skills learned ‘on-the-job’
  • Career development
  • Personal development

Assessment of prior learning can be proven by:

  • Portfolio
  • Case study
  • Skill demonstration
  • Challenge exams
  • Standardized tests
  • Submission of other materials that document experiential learning


Programs open to PLAR

  1. Adult Basic Education
  2. Academic Upgrading
  3. University and College Entrance Preparation Program
  4. Micro Computer Office Professional Program
  5. Management Studies Diploma Program
  6. Health Care Aide
  7. Information Technology

Admission Policy: Open

Adult learners are not required to be registered in a program before applying to gain course credit through PLAR, but all applicants must:

  1. Be 18 years of age, on or before September 1, 2015
  2. Fill out a PLAR application
  3. Complete a career investigation
  4. Pay application fee (new students only)
  5. Meet with Jocelyn Verreault the PLAR coordinator


  • Application Fee $75
  • Challenge Exam: $200 per assessment
  • Skill demonstration: $200 per assessment
  • Per credit of course weight: $170 per credit


Withdrawals and appeals will follow Yellowhead Tribal College policy; see page 13 of the calendar.

Career Portfolio

Adult learners may take a Career Portfolio workshop or course as part of their program, if they are enrolled in: Adult Basic Education, Academic Upgrading or University and College Entrance Preparation Program. The Career Portfolio focuses on the Essential Skills necessary for employment and the future career goals of an adult learner. It documents the skills and knowledge adults learners have attained through their life and job experiences. The Career portfolio also acts as a plan for future career and educational goals. In order to enroll in the Career Portfolio course, students must be enrolled in fulltime studies and have the consent of their program coordinator.

Interdisciplinary Studies 100: Developing a Learning Portfolio

This course is intended to aid students in the development of their own personal narrative and pin point areas of significant learning. The education model used is the First Nations Learning Model, where song, story-telling and traditional practices will be used. The result will be the development of a master portfolio, in which the student may use portions to apply for academic credit.

Course Goals

The Learning Portfolio Course is rooted in the First Nation’s model of education. It can be broken up into 3 major parts:

  • The past (13 hours)
  • The present (13 hours)
  • The future (13 hours)

The first part of the course involves the history of First Nations people. It is the beginning or creation of life and where we come from. The basis for this section is to develop an understanding of how we are tied to creation, the earth and ultimately to each other. It represents a holistic and complete introduction into our existence and way of life. It will provide a foundation for personal recognition of past learning events. Looking at our collective past allows us to reflect on our experience and describe our lives through retrospection without judgement and self-criticism.

The present is how we relate to today’s world and where we see ourselves in relation to present reality. It is the present experience and view that we will transform to meet our future and the future our family.

The future is the incorporation of our past and present into a vision for the future. It is our life learning, traditional and understanding tied together to move forward with direction and purpose. Without the past and present, there is no future. There will be recognition of each component and how each plays an important role in our reality and future goals.

At the completion of the Learning Portfolio Course, students will receive 3 credits towards any YTC program.

Upon completion of the Learning Portfolio course, adult learners will have the option to submit their learning portfolio for PLAR assessment. In order to receive academic credit, adult learners must:

  • Apply to have learning assessed
  • Pay appropriate fees
  • Submit completed portfolio for assessment

Grades will be submitted to the Registrar’s office within 10 business days, after final assessment and/or interview. Portfolios must be submitted within six months of Learning Portfolio course completion, to be assessed for credit.

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