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Continuing Education

Mature Student PLAR Process

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picture of two students celebrating at graduation

PLAR is the formal evaluation and credit granting process whereby mature students may obtain credits for prior learning. This includes knowledge and skills that mature students have acquired in both formal and informal ways, outside of secondary school.

For more information call the HWDSB Welcome Centre at 905-521-2554.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (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 two procedures:

  1. Individual Assessment/Equivalency (Grade 9/10 credits)
  2. Equivalency (Grade 11/12 credits)

Who is a Mature Student?

A mature student is a student who is:

  1. At least 18 years old on or before December 31 of the school year
  2. Is NOT enrolled in a secondary school credit program for the purpose of obtaining an  OSSD
  3. Has been out of school for a period of at least one year before returning as an adult

Who Participates In PLAR?

  1. 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.
  2. Mature students who were enrolled in the Ontario secondary school system and were placed in Grade 9 in 1999-2000 or later, Grade 10 in 2000-2001 or later, Grade 11 in 2001-2002 or later, or Grade 12 in 2002-2003 or later; and who return to school as mature students on February 1, 2004 or later to work towards the OSSD under OSS diploma requirements.
  3. Students who started their secondary programs prior to September, 1999 in Ontario and return as mature students after February 1, 2004 may also choose to have their prior learning assessed under PLAR for Mature Students.

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.


Step One:  The first step is to call the Welcome Centre for a CREDIT ASSESSMENT. You will need a transcript which is available (for former HWDSB students) from the Welcome Centre. Call the Welcome Centre at 905-521-2554 to get started.

Step Two:  If needed, students take get support to prepare for Grade 9/10 PLAR assessments through our Academic Upgrading Program at the Hill Park Learning Centre or the City Learning Centre.

Step Three:  Work on PLAR preparation areas needed: Grade 9 & 10 English, Mathematics, Science, Geography/History.  The curriculum for each of the courses is based on the the Ministry curriculum expectations.  Upon finishing the work for each course, a student will be ready to write the Assessment Test and will have learned the concepts needed to enroll in a senior level course at the workplace or applied level.

Is there a cost?

No – both the Credit Assessment process and Academic Upgrading program are offered free of charge.

Next Step… Call 905-561-2190 for more information, or book your Credit Assessment now by calling 905-521-2554!


Updated on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
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