Bonnie Kennedy

Past Executive Director


Bonnie Kennedy began her college career as an instructor of adults at night school in the 1970s and later worked as a college faculty member in the day school, teaching Organization Behaviour in the Business Division at Fleming College in Peterborough, ON. She was active in the women’s movement in the areas of affirmative action, health, pay equity, daycare and leadership on boards and commissions. During her many years at Fleming, Bonnie acted as a coordinator in Continuing Education, Women’s Programs and Labour Adjustment and was hired as the college’s prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) coordinator in 1991. As part of that role, Bonnie advocated for and advised adult learners, was responsible for the development and promotion of PLAR through policies, procedures, marketing strategies and training, and facilitated portfolio development courses. She initiated a number of articulation agreements and PLAR pilot projects with local school boards, government and the private sector.

In 1998 Bonnie left the college to accept a position as the lead for PLAR at the Canadian Labour Force Development Board in Ottawa. She was an active Board member of the Canadian Alliance of Education and Training Organizations (CAETO) and participated on the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Sectoral Commission on Education for several years. Later, Bonnie became the Interim National Coordinator for the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada in Toronto.

Bonnie served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA) for 18 years. She has written reports on the state of RPL in Canada and presented extensively in Canada and abroad as a passionate advocate for RPL and its transformative potential to improve access to education and employment for those who have encountered systemic barriers. Bonnie continues to insist that “Everyone in Canada must be given the opportunity to have their knowledge, skills and abilities recognized if we are to be an inclusive learning society.”

Bonnie is an active volunteer and was a founder of the Lindsay Montessori Pre School and the Competency Portfolio Community Alliance in her community. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of Ross Memorial Hospital in the 1980s and is completing her 7th year of a current term this year. She was elected as a public school board trustee for five consecutive terms and has received the YWCA Woman of the Year award and the Governor General of Canada Commemorative Medal. In addition to her non-formal and informal learning, Bonnie holds degrees in political science, sociology and education. She has three adult children, seven grandchildren and lives in rural Ontario with her husband Dale.

Bonnie retired as CAPLA’s Executive Director in 2020 and is currently sitting on the CAPLA Board of Directors as Past ED.

Posted in CAPLA Board.