In light of the system-wide review of education currently taking place in B.C. and the high probability that the external credential process will see significant changes and expansion, no new external credentials will be considered until this review is complete.
In the meantime, the program is still active and all existing external credentials are available to students.
Students can earn external credentials by taking courses, programs or activities that fall outside the normal B.C. school curriculum. An example might be graduation credits for Grades 10, 11 or 12 given to students who have completed B.C. Conservatory of Music training.
Because these courses are developed and offered outside the B.C. school system, they must meet specific criteria in order to be authorized as an external credential course – this includes the same (or greater) level of depth, breadth, and rigour as would be found in Ministry-developed Grade 10, 11 or 12 courses, as well as an evaluation component that assesses the intended learning outcomes. Organizations offering these kinds of courses must also:
- Be governed by a provincial, national or international body
- Have certified instructors
- Be non-discriminatory and offer credentials that are available to a significant number of students throughout B.C.
Some courses may count for credit towards required courses under the Graduation Program (e.g. Fine Arts or Applied Skills), while others may count as credit towards elective courses. External credentials may also count toward credit for the Adult Graduation Diploma provided they are 4-credit courses at the Grade 12 level.