Conestoga news

March 4, 2002 12:35 PM

Conestoga Academic Administrator Earns National Recognition for Achievements

Eleanor Conlin, Chair of Academic Research and Educational Services at Conestoga College, is one of only 26 Canadians to earn recognition from Human Resources Development Canada as a recipient of the first-ever Canadian Recognizing Learning Awards.

The honour is for leadership and service in the field of adult education, with particular emphasis on development and implementation of programs associated with prior learning assessment and qualification recognition.

A part of the Ontario higher education scene since 1993, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a means by which mature learners can acquire or add to their postsecondary education by earning credit for their employment and life experiences. PLAR is deemed vital to the growth and development of local, provincial and national economies because it provides a means to make adult education more flexible, accountable and effective. It provides opportunities and pathways to assess and recognize adaptable, transferrable human and employment skills. This is particularly important in meeting changing employment needs in light of rapid economic, social and technological developments. PLAR recognizes the increasing importance of human capital as of enormous influence in keeping Canada a dynamic, competitive player in the global economy.

Conlin, a Kitchener resident who has been at Conestoga for 17 years, has been associated with PLAR since its introduction to the Ontario college system. In addition to developing and leading workshops for PLAR applicants at Conestoga, she has implemented orientation and training programs for faculty at Conestoga and at other southwestern Ontario colleges.

She is a founding member of the Ontario Prior Learning Assessment Network, which is a resource for educators, practitioners, assessors and consultants who deal with research, program development, implementation and evaluation of PLAR-related activities.

She has also shared her experience and expertise through participation in numerous provincial, national and international PLAR conferences, often through the presentation of papers or the facilitation of workshops and seminars. Conlin is also a partner in and contributor to the ongoing Cross-Canada Study on PLAR.

Conestoga has been a successful site for PLAR initiatives. Approximately 130 students per year take part in Conestoga courses that accept PLAR students. Study of the performance of these mature learners indicates that they have been successful in completing their courses at the rate of 93.9 per cent, and their rate of graduation from the College is actually higher than that of traditional, full-time students.

CONTACT: Eleanor Conlin, 519-748-5220, ext. 3762 <>