Mature Students & PLAR

Mature Student Evaluation

In order to apply for a Mature Student Evaluation, you must be at least 18 years of age and able to document a full year out of school.

Also, you must have completed a credit at St. Nicholas Adult High School, or be in the process of completing a credit at St. Nicholas and be recommended for a Mature Student Evaluation by your subject teacher. Application forms are available from Student Services at either campus location.

Equivalency credits

Complete this application form and attach proof of any credits you have earned in the Ontario high school system, or proof of any credits you have earned in other provinces of Canada, or submit proof of any high school education you have had from another country.

In addition provide documents of any learning outside of a high school classroom for which you have not received a diploma or certificate. This, for example, could be apprenticeship training, first aid training or computer training.

Maturity credits

You can also apply for maturity credits. For this, you should submit proof of employment, family commitments and amount of time out of school. The information you provide will be reviewed carefully.

You may be asked to meet with one of the counselors to provide additional information an/or to discuss your time out of school and your training. As a result of this evaluation, the Principal of St. Nicholas Adult High School may grant you one or more maturity or equivalency credits. You will be notified in writing.

Who is a mature student?

A mature student is a student who is:

  • at least 18 years old on or before December 31 of the school year
  • is enrolled in a secondary school credit program for the purpose of obtaining an OSSD
  • has been out of school for a period of at least one year before returning as an adult

Credit acquisition for mature students

Did you know that if you are 18 years and older and have had at least a year out of secondary school, and you have gained knowledge or skills from other training or the workplace, you may be eligible to enter a process whereby you may be granted additional credit(s)? If you entered the Ontario high school system before September 1999, you are following the requirements for the OSIS diploma. You may be eligible to apply for ‘maturity’ or ‘equivalency’ credits. If you entered high school after 1999, please refer to the information on PLAR.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) for mature students

Have you been out of school for at least 1 year? Are you interested in earning your High School Diploma? Do you want to earn credits based on Life Experience or other training or education you have completed?

The PLAR process will allow you to be granted high school credits based on these experiences. 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.


Who is eligible for PLAR?

PLAR is for mature students (18 years or older) enrolled at St. Nicholas Adult High School, who began high school in Ontario in 1999 or later, and:

  • have been out of secondary school (in Ontario) for at least 10 consecutive months
  • are from another province
  • are from another country

(Students who started high school in Ontario before 1999 may be eligible for a Mature Student Evaluation. Contact Student Services for more information.)


How does PLAR work?

PLAR has two different procedures, depending on what you need:

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


Grade 9 & 10 Credits

Individual Assessment & Equivalency Process PLAR eligible adult students can earn or be granted grade 9/10 credits through:

A. Transcripts: Credits earned in another province or country may have equivalency credits in Ontario. A review of a student’s transcript may result in up to 16 grade 9/10 credits being granted.

B. Individual Assessment: Students with fewer than 16 grade 9/10 credits or those without a transcript can be assessed in English, Math, Science, History and/or Geography to earn up to 16 grade 9/10 credits.

The goal is for all students to achieve 16 credits at the grade 9/10 level using a combination of A & B above.


Grade 11 & 12 Credits
Equivalency Process

Students enrolled at St. Nicholas can be granted grade 11/12 credits by having their skills and experience evaluated against specific courses in the Ontario Curriculum. For example, skills may have been acquired:

  • from credits earned in a high school from another Province or Country.
  • from courses taken at the post-secondary level (college, university, private colleges, etc).
  • from life experience.

Note: To begin the process for Grade 11/12 PLAR credits, a student must first earn one credit at St. Nicholas.

Please Note: To graduate, all mature students must earn their final 4 senior level credits (Gr. 11 & 12 credits). A grade 12 English credit is required for high school graduation. Students must also complete 40 hours of community service and meet the grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test requirement.

“PLAR allowed me to complete the credits I needed in a timely manner. I am off to university in the fall.”

“I was afraid to go back to school, but the PLAR process made it manageable.”

“I have a college education in my home country, but I wanted my Ontario High School Diploma. With PLAR, I was able to focus on my English skills and complete my diploma at the same time. Now I can apply to college like any other Ontario student.”

“The PLAR process recognized all the training I have been doing at my job. It validated my hard work!”

“I thought it would take a long time to finish high school. PLAR helped me finish really fast. I got 12 credits by doing some assessments!”