Adult Graduation Program

Date came into force or revised

Revised December 4, 2014



Policy statement

Adults who have not graduated (non-graduated adults) may take courses leading to the British Columbia Certificate of Graduation (the Dogwood) or leading to the Adult Graduation Diploma (the Adult Dogwood).

Adults who have graduated (graduated adults) may take specific courses tuition-free under certain conditions.

Rationale or purpose of policy

This policy sets out the requirements by which adults who have not graduated may take courses leading to BC graduation.

It also sets out the conditions under which adults who have graduated may take Literacy Foundations courses tuition-free.


School Act (PDF), section 168 (2) (b) and (5) and section 75(8):

168 (2) The minister may make orders for the purpose of carrying out any of the minister's powers, duties or functions under this Act and, without restriction, may make orders

(b) subject to subsection (5) determining the general requirements for graduation from an educational program.

(5) The minister may, with the minister responsible for public post-secondary institutions, establish the requirements for obtaining the British Columbia Adult Graduation Diploma.

75 (8) A board may, in accordance with any terms and conditions specified by the board, permit a person who is older than school age
(a) to attend an educational program, or
(b) to enrol and receive instruction in an educational program sufficient to meet the general requirements for graduation.
The requirements for the British Columbia Certificate of Graduation (the Dogwood) are defined in Ministerial Order 302/04, Graduation Program Order (PDF) (2004 Graduation Program).

The requirements for the British Columbia Adult Graduation Diploma are defined in Ministerial Order 320/04, British Columbia Adult Graduation Requirements Order (PDF).

Policy in full

Students are eligible to enter the adult graduation program at 18 years of age. School staff should encourage students to work toward a graduation diploma, ensure that they understand the requirements for graduation, and provide them with guidance in planning and course selection.

Procedures related to policy

Adults eligible to take tuition-free courses must meet a number of conditions.  They must be:

  • ordinarily resident in B.C
  • enrolled in the school district
  • taking the courses— under the supervision of, assessed and evaluated by an employee of the Board of Education who is certified by the Teacher Regulation Branch.

See Adult Funding Policy for specific requirements pertaining to the funding eligibility of adults.
Schools must report credits earned by students to the Ministry for entry on student transcripts, and to incorporate the calculation of graduation eligibility for non-graduated adults.

Non-Graduated Adults

An adult who has not graduated may take eligible courses that lead to the British Columbia Certificate of Graduation (the Dogwood) or that lead to the Adult Graduation Diploma (the Adult Dogwood).

To earn the Adult Graduation Diploma, an adult student must, either through enrolment or assigned credit through prior learning assessment, complete or obtain at least 3 courses after being admitted in an adult program.

Students working toward the Adult Dogwood may carry over two eligible courses taken before they began the adult program. They may take courses from either colleges or school districts, or they can use qualifying courses from both systems and combine the attained credits to satisfy the Adult Graduation Program requirements.

Graduated Adults

Effective December 4, 2014 , adult students who have graduated may take tuition-free Literacy Foundations courses.  These tuition-free courses may be taken at continuing education centres, K-12 schools or through distributed learning. For information on reporting requirements and procedures see Adult Funding Policy.  For eligible tuition free courses see the list of Tuition Free Foundation Courses.

For graduated adults

  • The board of education must pass a motion that it intends to provide tuition-free education to adult students who have graduated.  These courses can be offered in Continuing Education and/or K-12 schools, including distributed learning.  The board must notify the Ministry when it has passed the motion.