Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

The Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process offers you the opportunity to have your learning and work experience assessed and appropriate credit granted.

At UCFV, there are several methods of documenting and demonstrating that your prior learning is equivalent to that which normally would be acquired through formal study in the public post-secondary system. Credits obtained through prior learning do not meet UCFV program residency requirements.

Currently, the following two PLAR options for gaining credit for prior learning are available. For more details about each of these two options, contact Assessment Services at 604-557-4006.

1) Course challenge

A course challenge is a method of obtaining credits through a specifically arranged process, by which you demonstrate mastery of the objectives of a course without actually taking the course. UCFV uses a wide range of challenge methods. The choice of method will depend on the course you challenge. For example, you may be asked to demonstrate your mastery by written exam, written assignment(s), project, oral interview, samples of your work, or other means. Not all UCFV courses can be challenged. Regulations related to course challenge are outlined in the Registration  section of this calendar. The fee for a course challenge is 75% of the regular tuition fee.

2) Portfolio assessment

In the portfolio method of prior learning assessment and recognition, you identify, articulate, and document your learning in a portfolio format. The portfolio you prepare must include a short autobiography, a paper outlining your educational and career goals, a description of your specific learning outcomes, and documentation that provides evidence of your learning in the subject area in which you want to be assessed. Your completed portfolio is submitted to the appropriate faculty member for assessment.

To help you prepare a portfolio which is acceptable for assessment, UCFV also offers a credit course (ADED 200) in which you develop your portfolio.

The UCFV official transcript will indicate the number of credits derived through the portfolio assessment process. Credits awarded through portfolio assessment will not necessarily be transferable to other programs or institutions.

Normally, no more than 25 percent of the credits required in a program will be awarded for learning which is demonstrated and documented in a portfolio.

This PLAR option presently is available for some, but not all, UCFV courses and programs. The fee for this method is 75% of the regular tuition fees up to 12 credits. A lower rate may be used for more than 12 credits.

Contact Assessment Services at 604-557-4006 for more information and how to start the process.

Transfer credit

Many credit courses offered at recognized post-secondary institutions have been evaluated for equivalency by UCFV. The UCFV Admissions and Records office maintains a list of transfer credit arrangements.

The official UCFV transcript will list all transferable courses, including grades, and their equivalents at UCFV.

Only transferable courses with a grade of P (D) or better can be applied towards the requirements of any UCFV credential, but failed courses are usually counted in admission grade point average calculations. Normally, transfer credit cannot by used for more than 50% of the credits necessary to complete the requirements for a degree, diploma, or certificate. This limit may be increased to 75% for a program.

Transfer credit granted for previous work at another institution may or may not be applicable to a student’s program, and does not necessarily excuse the student from meeting the prerequisites or other requirements for entry into a course or program.

Recognition by UCFV of studies completed elsewhere does not imply, or in any way guarantee, that the transfer credits will be recognized by another institution.

Transfer credit process

Official transcripts will be reviewed routinely for all degree applicants and students, and upon receipt from enrolled UCFV students in undergraduate programs. Other applicants and students must request transfer credit.

To request transfer credit a student should submit a Request for Transfer Credit to the Admissions and Records office, available at , or at the Admissions and Records office, and arrange for an official transcript to be sent to UCFV Admissions.

A minimum of six to eight weeks is required for evaluation. Detailed course outlines may be required if no articulation agreement exists. If you intend to use credits from another institution towards a UCFV credential, apply for transfer credit at least three to four months prior to application for graduation.

Transcripts are considered official when they are bearing the institution’s seal or authorized signature, and are in the original sealed envelope from the institution.

A certified translation is required for documents in a language other than English (some exceptions may be possible for documents in French).

Transfer credit arrangements for first and second year courses in B.C. institutions are published in the B.C. Transfer Guide, available at

Documents submitted become the property of UCFV. Only documents that are considered by UCFV to be irreplaceable will be returned to the student on request.

Advanced standing

For some UCFV courses, a student may demonstrate mastery of a subject area and be admitted directly to a higher-level course without completing prerequisite or corequisite courses. Advanced standing does not give the student credit for courses bypassed, nor does it preclude the necessity of obtaining credit for courses required by other institutions.

Advanced Placement program

Transfer credit and/or advanced standing will be granted to students who complete certain Advanced Placement Program examinations with grades of 4 or 5. These examinations are administered by the College Entrance Examination Board.

Transferability of Advanced Placement courses is listed in the B.C. Transfer Guide at under "other transfer guides".

In addition, UCFV will grant unassigned credit for other AP courses with a grade of 4 or 5 that are accepted at other B.C. public universities or university colleges. See the transfer guide at

To obtain transfer credit, official AP score results from the College Board should be submitted to the Admissions and Records office with an Application for Transfer Credit.

International Baccalaureate program

Transfer credit and/or advanced standing will be granted to students who complete higher level International Baccalaureate courses with a grade of 5 or better.

Transferability of International Baccalaureate courses is listed in the B.C. Transfer Guide at under "other transfer guides".

In addition, UCFV will grant unassigned credit for other higher level IB courses with a grade of 5 or better that are accepted at other B.C. public universities or university colleges. See the transfer guide at

To obtain transfer credits, official IB certificates or diplomas should be submitted to the Admissions and Records office with an Application for Transfer Credit.

Letters of Permission

Students currently enrolled in a UCFV certificate, diploma, or degree program who plan to take academic work at another institution to count toward their programs should request a Letter of Permission. The Letter of Permission request should be submitted to Admissions and Records well before registration for the course in question. Forms are available from or from the UCFV Admissions and Records office.

Letters of Permission will be issued only to students in good academic standing (students must meet the minimum GPA required for their program, or maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher if the program does not specify a minimum). Students must ensure that any outstanding fees are paid, and any library holds are cleared.

Visiting students

Students from other post-secondary institutions who plan to attend UCFV as visiting students should contact their home institution for permission. Visiting students to UCFV must submit a UCFV application form, the application fee, and the Letter of Permission (if applicable) from the home institution. A recent transcript and Request for Transfer Credit form is also required if you have taken a prerequisite course at another institution.

Transfer to other institutions

You can begin your university studies at UCFV and then transfer to many different arts, science, and professional degrees at other universities. In order to do so, you must choose courses that are fully transferable to the receiving institution. Obtain calendars from the university to which you wish to transfer, and consult with a UCFV educational advisor in Student Services to assist with course planning.

If you plan to take UCFV courses with the intention of transferring later, you should apply for one of the following (whichever suits your goals most closely):

•   General Arts
•   General Science
•   General Studies
•   Associate of Science degree
•   Engineering Transfer

In many arts, science and applied subjects you can complete a four-year bachelor’s degree at UCFV; for others you can complete one or two years at UCFV and then transfer to finish the degree elsewhere.

The transferability of UCFV lower-level courses to B.C. universities and university-colleges is listed in the B.C. Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT) online transfer guide at BCCAT also publishes a booklet, “Tips for Transfer” available online or from Student Services. This booklet includes a transfer planning checklist, answers questions about transfer, and provides many useful hints for transfer students. .

For transfer of upper-level courses, or transfer of courses outside B.C., consult the institution you wish to attend.

In order to do your UCFV course planning, you must be familiar with the degree program at the university to which you wish to transfer. A UCFV educational advisor can assist you in understanding the university calendars, and planning your UCFV courses.

University regulations vary with respect to transfer, but the following guidelines generally apply:

• Students usually complete a full first year (30 credits/10 courses) before transferring.
• Grades less than C are not assured of transfer credit.
• A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 (C average) is required.
• Some universities impose quotas on the number of students admitted to certain programs. In such cases, grade point averages well above the minimum will be required.
• Students may not normally transfer more than 60 credits towards a four-year degree (residency requirement)
• Transfer credit is always evaluated by the post-secondary institution from which the credential is to be obtained. Therefore, if you have credit from a previous post-secondary institution, plan to take additional credits at UCFV and then transfer to another university to obtain a credential there, the course work at the first post-secondary institution is not evaluated by UCFV.
• Some institutions may recalculate your grade point average, including all attempts of any repeated courses.
• Universities only give credit for upper-division courses (300- and 400-level) on a case by case basis. These courses are not generally included in formal transfer guides.

Professional program preparation

You can begin your studies toward a career in teaching, law, medicine, veterinary medicine, dental hygiene, etc., at UCFV. If you require assistance planning your program, make an appointment with an educational advisor in student services to discuss your program plan.

Contact Student Services:

Abbotsford: 604-854-4528
Chilliwack: 604-795-2808

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