Mature PLAR Opportunity
In February 2004, the Ontario Ministry of Education initiated a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process. One component of Mature PLAR is the grade 9/10 equivalency process designed to provide mature students with an opportunity to capture 16 grade 9 and 10 credits upon successful completion of an assessment/test. Principals have the discretion to use documentation presented for consideration and/or the successful completion of a test in awarding up to 16 credits normally associated with successful completion of grade ten, including 14 of the 18 compulsory credits required for graduation. The student also qualifies for the Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC).
The test consists of four components; English, mathematics, science and social science. Successful completion of each component qualifies the eligible student for up to 4 credits. If satisfactory standing has previously been achieved on any of the components of the test, the principal may limit the test requirements to those elements not yet successfully achieved. Test preparation materials to assist eligible students to prepare for success on each component are available from Seven Generations Secondary School.
According to the Ministry, “A mature student is a student who is at least eighteen years of age (i.e. an adult student) on or before December 31 of the school year in which he or she returns to school, who was not enrolled in a day school program for a period of at least one year, and who is enrolled in a secondary school program.” Based on this definition, an adult student from a jurisdiction outside of Ontario who is new to the Ontario secondary school system or a young adult who left an Ontario secondary school prematurely and meets the stated criteria are both equally eligible for this opportunity.
- In Ontario, a PLAR opportunity exists to provide eligible students with an opportunity to capture up to 16 grade nine and ten credits by successfully completing a test and/or upon submission of documented evidence that the equivalent level of academic achievement has previously been attained
- Mature students are students who have been absent from day school in Ontario for at least one year, who are enrolled in a secondary school program and who are or will be at least 18 years of age by December of the school year in which they are enrolled
- The test consists of four components: English, mathematics, science and social science
- The Seven Generation Secondary School provides study material and support to prepare eligible students for successful completion of the test
The Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition for Mature Students:
What is “PLAR for Mature Students”?
- PLAR is the formal evaluation and credit-granting process whereby mature students may obtain credits for prior learning – the knowledge and skills that mature students have acquired, in both formal and informal ways, outside secondary school.
- Mature students may have their knowledge and skills evaluated against the expectations outlined in provincial curriculum documents in order to be granted credits towards the secondary school diploma. Students may review the Ontario curriculum expectations on the Internet at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/. (For Grade 9 and 10 courses specifically, go to http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/grades.html.)
- The PLAR process for mature students involves three processes: “individual assessment/equivalency” for Grade 9 and 10; “equivalency” for Grade 11 and 12; and “challenge” for Grade 11 and 12. Each process is described on a separate Fact Sheet.Who is a “Mature Student”?A Mature Student is a student who:
- is at least 18 years old on or before December 31st of the school year;
- is enrolled in a secondary school credit program for the purpose of obtaining an OSSD;
- was not enrolled as a regular day school student for a period of at least one school yearimmediately preceding his or her registration in a secondary program.What is the Grade 9 and 10 Individual Assessment/Equivalency Process?• This is an individual assessment/equivalency process for the purpose of granting up to 16 Grade 9 and 10 credits through (a) review and analysis of transcripts, or (b) review and analysis of transcripts and completion of individual assessments, or (c) completion of individual assessments.Who begins the process?• The mature student, who is enrolled in a secondary school course, begins the process by submitting the application form, available from ………………What does the application process involve?
• The completion of an application form, including
- a) a request for a review and analysis of a transcript showing up to two years of secondary schooling comparable to the Ontario Grade 9 and 10 program (for up to 16 equivalent credits);
- b) the attachment of a transcript, where applicable (the transcript must be translated into English or French); and/or
- c) in the absence of a transcript, or in the event that fewer than 16 equivalent credits are granted or earned, a request for a statement from the principal regarding how the credits required to reach a total of 16 may be obtained.
How is the individual assessment process done?
- Mature students, who have completed all or part of the first two years of secondary school in an educational system comparable to that in Ontario and have appropriate transcripts, are granted equivalent credits by the principal based on an examination of the transcript. The principal will grant the equivalent credits if the curriculum expectations and standards of achievement are similar to the curriculum expectations and standards where credits are granted to students who have taken the course.
- If mature students do not have transcripts or have not completed the first two years of secondary school, they may be required to successfully complete an Individual Assessment in some or all of Grade 9 and 10 Canadian Geography/History, English, Mathematics and Science.
- The Individual Assessment may involve a written component and may also include an oral component.
- The Individual Assessment is a “pass/fail” assessment.How many credits can be granted in the Grade 9 and 10 individual assessment/equivalency process?
• A maximum of 16 Grade 9 and 10 equivalent credits can be granted through this process.How is the record keeping done?• Entries on the student’s Cumulative Tracking Record will show the equivalent credits granted for Grades 9 and 10, entered as one total for each subject area (e.g., English, 4).• Entries on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript will show the equivalent credits granted for Grades 9 and 10, entered as one total.Is there a fee?• No.
When can I complete the individual assessment/equivalency process?
- Dates and times are available from …………Can I participate again in an assessment if I am unsuccessful the first time I try?• Students who fail an assessment may retake it as often as necessary for them to complete it successfully. Your principal and/or teacher/counsellor will speak to you about this, should you be unsuccessful in an individual assessment.
- This is 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.
- These credentials and documents must show evidence of learning that relates directly to the Ontario curriculum expectations for specific courses.
Who begins the process?
- The mature student, who is enrolled in a secondary school course at a Learning Centre, begins the process by requesting an application form, available from your campus Lead Teacher/counselor.
What does the application process involve?
- The mature student submits secondary school transcripts and/or other documentation of education, training, work experience, and volunteer experience that indicate completion of learning similar to the expectations of specific courses in the Ontario Grade 11 and 12 programs. These documents must be translated and validated as true translations if written in a language other than English or French.
The following types of credentials and other documentation may be submitted:
- Formal transcripts issued by recognized educational or training institutions within or outside Ontario
- Certificates of Apprenticeship and Certificates of Qualification for apprenticeships granted by or recognized by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
- Other appropriate documentation of learning gained from other programs, courses, or work experience
- An application for the review of the submitted credentials and documentation for assessment through the equivalency process
How is the equivalency process done?
- The completed application form is submitted as directed on the form.
- A determination will be made by the principal about equivalent credits based on the direct relationship between the credentials and other documentation presented by the student and the Ontario curriculum expectations for specific Grade 11 and/or 12 courses.
- A meeting to discuss the need for more details may be required.
How many credits can be granted in the Grades 11 and 12 equivalency process?
- Students may obtain no more than 10 Grade 11 and 12 credits through the equivalency and challenge processes combined.
How is the record keeping done?
- Entries on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript (OST) will show the appropriate course codes for equivalent credits granted for all Grade 11 and 12 courses through the equivalency process. EQV will be recorded under the Percentage Grade column.
How many times may I participate in the Grade 11 and 12 equivalency process?
- There is no limit to the number of times that you may apply for equivalent credits. However, there may be a limit to the number of times you may apply in a particular school year. Please speak to your campus Lead Teacher/counselor for more details.