We provide the information and guidance you need to obtain UNB credit for what you already know.
In some circumstances, UNB students or students in the process of applying to a UNB program may have attained university-level learning through means other than formal university or college courses.
If you have learned a skill or gained knowledge through work, life, or volunteer experience you can apply to have your knowledge assessed. If you qualify, you may be granted credit toward your program.
What is PLA?
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) refers to the systematic evaluation of learning that an individual has achieved through work, life and informal educational experiences. Individuals seeking credit are required to provide learning analysis and evidence that matches their learning to the expected learning outcomes of courses and programs in which they are enrolled at UNB. PLA is not the granting of credit for experience but rather for demonstrated learning acquired through experience.
UNB has a progressive Prior
Learning Assessment policy whereby a student's previous learning can be
evaluated and may be credited toward a specific UNB program of study.
An information brochure on PLA at UNB is available through UNB College of Extended Learning.
Credits obtained through
Reduce the amount of time required to earn a degree
incentive for you to begin a university program, which you might otherwise not
Reduce duplication of learning and increase motivation for
learning through appropriate student placement and exposure to new and
UNB values the learning that you
bring with you and we want to ensure that appropriate learning is credited
when you enter a UNB program.
If you are currently admitted, or in the process of admission to a UNB
degree program, contact CEL (506) 458-7976 or
email to set up an appointment with the Coordinator of PLA Services.
Bring a detailed resume that outlines:
Your educational background, both formal (e.g., institution-based
courses/programs) and non-formal (e.g., work-based seminars, workshops, and
Your work experiences detailing responsibilities for each
Any other personal/professional information that may be relevant for PLA
Non-formal training, and non-formal education i.e. certificates/diplomas,
professional workshops (include a brief description of your learning/ dates of
training/ and length (in hours)). At some point, content of the
training will be needed as part of your final assessment application.
After an initial meeting, the coordinator will be able to give you an
indication of how to proceed (i.e., whether your situation will be taken to the
next level, and what you will need to provide as documentation for that stage)
In order to make an assessment of your learning as it
relates to the program you wish to enter (or in which you are admitted), a
Faculty-based assessment committee will need to understand the following. It is your responsibility to provide documentation outlining your prior knowledge/skills and the relevance of your learning related to the desired outcomes of the
program/course(s) for which the Prior Learning Assessment credit is being
Analysis and evidence of your learning is presented and assessed through one
or more of the following methods (determined by the faculty):
Portfolio of learning experiences
Interview with content specialist
Product or skill demonstration
Each case is treated individually and assessments are completed in a variety
of ways to suit individual situations.
The coordinator of PLA Services can help you prepare this
Complete the process
Once you feel confident that your PLA submission addresses the assessment
criteria, complete the Application Form for PLAR credit, pay the fee and submit your documents
to the PLA Coordinator.
The Faculty-based Prior Learning Assessment Committee will then assess your
submission for possible credit.
The coordinator of PLA Services will provide a response and make
recommendations to you regarding your Prior Learning Assessment application.
If credit is granted for specific course(s), it will appear on your UNB transcript as credit for the course. In some instances there may be an award of unassigned credit towards your program (e.g., for elective courses); this will appear as unassigned credit on your transcript.
Awarding partial credit for a course is also an option (partial credit does
not appear on the student's transcript). When partial credit is awarded for a
course, you will be asked to perform additional work to complete the course
requirements and receive full credit for the course. Additional work to be
completed will be specified in writing by the committee.
Note: The PLA process can take a significant amount of
time; it is, therefore, advisable to contact the coordinator of PLA Services
well in advance of when an assessment decision is needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between PLA and Transfer of Credit?
PLA is different from Transfer of Credit in that PLA
evaluates learning you have gained from life and work experience, and
Transfer of Credit provides credit for previous formal course work. Transfer
credit can be granted for Ontario Academic Credits (OAC), CEGEP, or work done
at other universities or colleges as well as courses successfully completed at UNB.
What is university-level learning?
University students, as they journey through their
undergraduate degree programs are expected to:
Develop a broad
perspective of the important concepts, principles, or theories in their
field of study, including how to apply these abstract concepts in
practice, use these concepts to reflect on their practical experiences,
and form connections between related discipline areas.
understanding of how knowledge is created in their field of study,
including how to critically analyze information, construct a valid
argument, read and analyze research findings, and use research
Develop an ability
to use the formal language of a field or discipline, including how to
use the ways of communication (oral and written) accepted by academics
and professionals in their field; write reports or essays and give oral
presentations in the style appropriate for the discipline area.
understandings of knowledge and themselves as learners, including:
perceiving and accepting a range of possible views on a particular
issue, making interpretations of reality and documenting their changed
understanding of particular issues. (Wong, Angelina. (1996) Prior
Learning Assessment: A Guide for University Faculty and Administrators. Saskatoon:
University Extension Press, University
In what ways might I have acquired university-level
Adult learners may acquire university-level knowledge and
skills by engaging in, for example, independent study, paid or voluntary
work, travel, military courses/training and/or work-based courses and
Do I need to be a specific age to qualify for application
to the PLA process?
No. There is no minimum or maximum age requirement to
qualify for application to the PLA process. PLA credits will show on the
student's transcript only after registration is completed.
How many course credits can I get through PLA?
With few exceptions, in order to earn a degree from UNB, a minimum of 50% of your course load must be taken at UNB. Some programs have specific requirements, so it is important to check with an academic
advisor when starting the PLA process. It is possible to achieve
a maximum of 50% of the university credits required for a UNB degree through
transfer credit and the PLA process. The number of credits
that a PLA candidate obtains depends upon the nature and extent of their
learning, and how well their learning matches the program requirements for
which application of PLA has been made on average is 9 credit
hours are given for PLA.
Do I have to be accepted or registered in a university
program to be eligible for PLA?
Yes, you must either be registered in a university program
or be in the process of applying for registration into a university program.
I have already taken a few courses at UNB. Can I still
apply for PLA?
Yes. In some cases, you may need some experience in your
UNB program to identify courses for which you might seek PLA.
Is there a fee for PLA?
Yes. There is a non-refundable service fee of
$400.00 per application. The PLA fee is for the assessment process and is not
related to the amount of credit sought or awarded. Once you have met with the
PLA coordinator and finalized your PLA submission, you will then complete the application form and pay the fee. At this point your learning will be assessed
for academic credit.
Where do I begin, if I want to receive credit for my prior
You should begin by contacting:
The PLA coordinator to set up an appointment
Telephone: (506-) 458-7976
Fax: (506) 453-3572 E-mail
The PLA coordinator will provide academic advice and information,
determine your eligibility, and assist you through the processes of PLA.