Independent Learning Credits (ILCs)
Practical Skills Program
Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR)
You can obtain credits for learning you’ve done before through work, school and/or life experiences. Prior learning assessment & recognition (PLAR) is a process that gives you the opportunity to obtain academic credits to be used towards the achievement of your Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
You will need to demonstrate that you have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge through life experiences. This may include work, training, independent study, volunteering, travel, hobbies and family experiences. You must be 19 years old to qualify for challenging credits under PLAR.
PLAR is done on a course by course basis. If a course covers material you already know, you can ask for an assessment of your knowledge. This is called a “challenge.” For example, if you have done a lot of computer work, you might challenge a computer course. To assess your learning, you will be either:
- tested with written or oral exams, interviews, or case studies OR
- assessed through a portfolio of your work that shows your skills.
Your learning will be evaluated as would happen in a classroom environment and your assessment will be graded. This grade will appear on your transcript.
When you complete a course within a school year or semester, but do not successfully completed the curriculum expectations to a passing level, there are options available. Your Principal and teachers will work with you and your parents to determine how you can best meet the expectations and earn credit for the course. Arrangements can be made so that one or more of the following options is available:
- Where possible, you should be allowed to repeat only the material relating to the overall curricular expectations not achieved. You may choose to achieve these expectations in summer school, through independent study, through an individualized remediation program, or through distance education. Your work will be evaluated to determine whether the expectations have been successfully completed.
- If available, you can enroll in a remedial program designed for a group of students with similar needs.
- You may decide to repeat the entire course
Through Credit Recovery, you will develop learning skills that will support you in the regular classroom setting. Credit Recovery courses focus on overall curriculum expectations, often within the supportive context of a Learning Strategies course. The goal is to ensure that you are able to meet curriculum expectations and prepare to move forward along your chosen program pathway.