University of Guelph 1999-2000 Undergraduate Calendar

VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (P.L.A.) is a mechanism whereby students who have acquired substantial experience in a non-traditional environment have an opportunity to challenge whether such learning is equivalent to a course(s) offered at the University. Note: P.L.A. will only be available to a student if sufficient evidence is provided that the course material was acquired outside a degree program at a University. A request to challenge a course that has already been attempted at university will not normally be granted.

P.L.A. is not open to students who simply wish to challenge a course. Students will be required to sign a contract stating that the learning occurred other than in a university course. Not all courses are appropriate for challenge. Each departments has the responsibility of determining which of its courses may be subject to a P.L.A. challenge. The challenge process could include one or more assessment methods, including standardized tests, written and/or oral examinations, performance evaluations, interviews, and portfolio assessment. All these assessments require that the individual demonstrate, to a qualified faculty member, that pre-determined knowledge and skills have been acquired.

The maximum number of credits a student can challenge is 5.00 for degree programs, or 30% of the certificate requirement for open learners. Credits acquired through P.L.A. will be assigned credit status (CRD) and will be on the official transcript.

Students wishing to challenge a course(s) must submit a request for P.L.A. to the appropriate Academic Review Sub-Committee which includes a clear statement as to the course(s) you wish to challenge, an explanation of how you gained the knowledge necessary for the course, and any relevant supporting documentation to validate the claim. If the Sub-Committee determines that there is no basis for the request the request will be denied; if approved, it will forward the request to the appropriate department(s) for evaluation. The request will be reviewed by the Department and a decision submitted to the Academic Review Sub-Committee. Upon receipt of the response from all the departments, the Academic Review Committee will inform the student which, if any, courses have been approved for challenge.

If a challenge has been granted, the student will be required to contact the department to determine the nature of the assessment and the deadline by which time the work must be complete. Upon completion of the assigned task, the Department will inform the Office of Registrarial Services as to the student's success or failure of the challenge.

Those students (a) whose application for a challenge is reviewed by the faculty members of the department concerned, and who are subsequently denied the opportunity to challenge, or (b) who fail a challenge examination, may appeal the decision first to the chair of the department, and subsequently, if necessary, to the dean of the college.

1999-2000 Undergraduate Calendar
VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures

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Last revised: January 1999.