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OSSD

Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

What is PLAR
Who Participates In PLAR?
Who is a Mature Student?
Grade 9 and 10 Individual Assessment/Equivalency Process
Grade 11 and 12 Equivalency Process
Individual Assessment/Equivalency Process Application Forms
Challenge a Grade 11 or 12 Course
Challenge Process Forms
What courses cannot be challenged?
Can students challenge a course again if they are not successful the first time?

Portfolio Information and PLAR application

What is PLAR?
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is the formal evaluation and credit-granting process through which mature students may obtain credits for prior learning – the knowledge and skills that adults have acquired, in both formal and informal ways, outside secondary school. The PLAR process for mature students involves three procedures: "individual assessment/equivalency" (Gr. 9/10), "equivalency" (Gr. 11/12), and "challenge" (Gr. 11/12).

Who is a Mature Student?
A mature student is a student who is:
- at least 18 years old on or before December 31 of the school year;
- is enrolled in a secondary school credit program for the purpose of obtaining an OSSD;
- has been out of school for a period of at least oneyear before returning as an adult.

Who Participates In PLAR?
Mature students who are new to the Ontario secondary school system as of February 1, 2004, and who are working towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) under OSS diploma requirements.


Grade 9 and 10 Individual Assessment/Equivalency Process

What is it?
An individual mature student assessment/equivalency process for the purpose of granting up to 16 Grade 9 and 10 credits through (a) transcripts, or (b) transcripts and completion of individual assessments, or (c) completion of individual assessments.

What is the individual assessment process?
Students without appropriate transcripts for all or part of the first two years of secondary school will be required to complete an individual assessment in some or all of Grade 9 and 10 English, Mathematics, Science, and Canadian Geography/History.

How do individual assessments result in credits?
Successful completion of the individual assessment process will result in up to four credits in each of the four subject areas. These Grade 9 and 10 credits will meet the diploma requirements that would usually be met through successful completion of the Grade 9 and 10 programs.

If the student earns fewer than four credits in each subject area, the principal will determine how the student can obtain the remaining credits.

The principal may defer assessment on Grade 9 and 10 Canadian Geography/History until a student has sufficient time to develop the required language skills or becomes more familiar with Canadian culture.

Does this process earn a certificate?
The principal may grant the OSSC (Ontario Secondary School Certificate) to a mature student following successful completion of the individual assessments.

Is there a cost?
Yes, there is a fee of $99.00 to process your portfolio application. Please allow 1-2 weeks for processing.


Grade 11 and 12 Equivalency Process

What is it?
The process for obtaining credits that involves an evaluation of a mature student's education and/or training credentials and/or other appropriate documentation of learning gained from other programs, courses, or work experiences.

What is the process?
Applicants who wish to participate in the Grade 11 and 12 PLAR equivalency process must:

  • be enrolled in a secondary school course
  • carefully review the curriculum expectations for each course in which they wish to be granted credits
  • complete the PLAR Portfolio and Application forms
  • present credentials/documents that show evidence of learning that relates directly to the Ontario curriculum expectations for specific courses

Points to remember:

  • Mature students must earn a minimum of four Grade 11 and 12 credits including Grade 12 English.
  • Students may obtain no more than ten Grade 11/12 credits through the equivalency and challenge processes combined.
  • Principals may grant half-credits only for specific half-credit courses.
  • The Principal will grant the equivalent credit when the student completes a credit.

Is there a cost?
Yes, there is a fee of $99.00 to process your application. Please allow 1-2 weeks for processing.


Challenge a Grade 11 or 12 Course

What is the challenge process?
The challenge process is an assessment process. Unlike the Grade 11 and 12 equivalency process, a student who successfully challenges a credit receives an actual percentage grade recorded on the transcript.

Mature students may challenge for credit for up to ten Grade 11 and 12 courses. However, they may obtain no more than ten Grade 11 and 12 credits through the challenge and equivalency processes combined. There is no maximum on the number of credits that may be obtained in any one discipline.

Mature students may challenge a course for credit if they can provide reasonable evidence to the principal that they are likely to be successful in the challenge process.

Applicants who wish to participate in the Grade 11 and 12 challenge process must:

Mature students may include certificates or other records of accomplishment earned outside of school as reasonable evidence that they will likely be successful in a challenge for credit for a related course. However, students with Ministry of Education recognized music certificates that are accepted for credits in OSS are not required to challenge for credit for the appropriate music courses. Credits are granted for these certificates.

Each portfolio application must be reviewed and approved prior to the student’s participation in the Challenge Assessment Process. There is an Administration fee of $99.00 to process your application. Upon approval, the student is required to purchase within 30 days, the "Challenged Course" plus textbook if required.

What courses cannot be challenged?
A student cannot be granted credits through the Grade 11 and 12 PLAR CHALLENGE PROCESS for the following courses:

  • a course previously failed
  • a course for which the student has already earned a credit, in order to improve the mark
  • a course in any subject if a credit has already been granted for a course in that subject in a later grade
  • a course for which there is significant overlap with a course for which credit has been granted
  • a transfer course
  • a locally developed course
  • a Cooperative Education course
  • the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) or the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC)
  • a course in English as a Second Language (ESL), English Literacy Development (ELD), or Anglais pour débutants (APD), if the student has one or more credits in English
  • a course in French as a Second Language (FSL), Actualisation linguistique en français (ALF), or Perfectionnement du français (PDF), if the student has one or more credits in Français

Can students challenge again if not successful the first time?
A student will be permitted to challenge for credit for a specific course a second time after an appropriate interval, if the student can provide reasonable evidence that he or she is likely to be successful after having benefited from additional study and experience.


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