Adult Upgrading

Effective Sept. 1, 2017, Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning programs for domestic students are tuition free at 18 public post-secondary institutions and all schools districts in British Columbia. Contact the public post-secondary institution or school district you wish to apply to in order to find out more.

Read the news release here.

Taking high school courses can help with various educational paths – working towards high school graduation, upgrading for work or for entrance into a post-secondary program.

Be sure to check with an academic advisor before starting an upgrading program – they will help confirm the courses and credits you need in order to reach your learning goals.

Find Flexible Options

Find the upgrading program that suits you best by researching the institutions and programs to make the best selection. There are several options that differ in location, cost, length and format. For example, you may choose an institution or program that offers:

  •     Day or evening courses
  •     Courses that are self-paced or teacher-directed
  •     Learning online or in a classroom

Here’s an overview of upgrading options to get you started:

Adult Basic Education 

Post-secondary institutions (colleges and universities) offer high school-level courses through the Adult Basic Education program (ABE). Each institution sets their own fee schedule and delivery method for these courses, so it’s best to check with them directly to learn more. Credits for ABE courses may be transferred between participating institutions.

The Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) is a non-repayable grant available to eligible low-income ABE students to help pay for tuition, books, supplies and other costs.

Public institutions that offer ABE programs:

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)
Camosun College
Capilano University
College of New Caledonia
College of the Rockies
Douglas College
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Langara College
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
North Island College
Northern Lights College
Northwest Community College’s Career Preparation College
Okanagan College
Selkirk College
Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University-Open Learning Agency
University of the Fraser Valley
Vancouver Community College
Vancouver Island University

School districts offer high school courses for adults at secondary schools, adult learning and continuing education centres throughout the province. These locations are tailored specifically to the needs of adult students by using various learning environments and instructional methods that could include face-to-face, self-paced and/or online learning. Course offerings vary between locations.

Get Ready

Start your high school course or skills training program feeling comfortable and prepared – improve your literacy or numeracy skills through a Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP).

Community Adult Literacy Program

Funding is available for partnerships between community literacy organizations and public post-secondary institutions to deliver community adult literacy programs.

The objectives of the Community Adult Literacy Program are to:

  • Increase the level of literacy and numeracy proficiencies among adults - 19 years and older - in order to meet the increasing demands of our labour market.
  • Meet the varying needs of adult learners including Aboriginal peoples, immigrants, and persons with disabilities.
  • Increase literacy awareness among British Columbians.

In 2017/18, 93 CALP grants were funded, supporting approximately 9,000 adult learners in 89 communities across British Columbia.