Board/Authority Authorized Courses

Date came into force or revised

Issued and in effect January 2004

Revised June 2018, and in effect July 1st, 2021

Status

Current

Policy statement

Board/Authority Authorized Courses (BAA courses) and First Nation Authorized Courses (FNA Courses) respond to the local needs of the schools and their communities while providing choice and flexibility for students. BAA Courses are authorized by Boards/Authorities according to requirements set by the Ministry of Education. FNA Courses are authorized by First Nation Approving Bodies according to requirements set out in the First Nation Authorized Courses (FNAC) Process.

Rationale

The Ministry of Education encourages boards of education, independent school authorities, and offshore school authorities to offer locally relevant courses to meet the needs and interests of students. The Ministry also recognizes the interest of First Nations in offering locally relevant courses in First Nation schools. 

Authority

Boards of Education:

The School Act (PDF), sections 85 (2) (i) and 168 (2) (b):

85 (2) … A board may, subject to this Act and the regulations, do all or any of the following…

(i) develop and offer local programs for use in schools in the school district

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) … determining the general requirements for graduation from an educational program

See also, Ministerial Order 302/04, the Graduation Program Order (PDF) and Ministerial Order 285/04, the Board Authorized Course Order (PDF).

Independent School Authorities:

Section 5 of Ministerial Order 41/91, the Educational Standards Order (PDF) provides for the application of certain provisions of the Graduation Program Order and the Board Authorized Course Order to Independent School Authorities.

Offshore School Authorities:

The requirements for the development of BAA courses by offshore school authorities are set out in Schedule B of the Certification Agreement (PDF) between the Province and the offshore school authority.

First Nation Approving Bodies:

Section 168(6)(c) of the School Act authorizes the Minister to issue the Dogwood to students who:

  • Complete Grade 12 at First Nations schools, and
  • Achieve learning outcomes substantially similar to the learning outcomes necessary to meet the general requirements for graduation established by order of the Minister.

First Nations develop locally relevant courses for use in their schools under their own authority, which are approved in accordance with the FNAC Process.

Policy in full

Students may earn elective credits toward graduation by successfully completing BAA or FNA Courses. There is no limit to the number of BAA or FNA Courses which may be used to satisfy the 28 credits of electives required for graduation.  In some cases, at the Grade 11 level only, BAA or FNA Courses may be used to satisfy the Arts Education and/or Applied Design, Skills and Technologies (ADST) requirement towards graduation. Grade 12-level BAA Courses and FNA Courses may count towards the 16 Grade 12-level credits required for graduation.

Boards of Education, Independent School Authorities, and Offshore School Authorities:

Boards of education and independent school authorities must authorize each BAA Course and ensure that it meets the BAA Course requirements set out in the current Board/Authority Authorized Courses: Requirements and Procedures (PDF) document before delivering it to students. In the case of offshore school authorities, the principal of the offshore school verifies that a BAA course meets these requirements, and the Ministry of Education authorizes the course. A board or independent school authority must submit a signed BAA Course Form to the Ministry verifying the course satisfies current requirements. Learn more about BAA's.

Boards of education, independent school authorities, and offshore school authorities must retain copies of all BAA Course Frameworks.

If the Ministry informs a board or authority that a BAA Course does not meet the BAA Course requirements set out in the current Board/Authority Authorized Courses: Requirements and Procedures (PDF), the board or authority must not offer that course for credit in the following semester or school year onward.

The board may revise a disallowed course in order to meet the BAA Course requirements set out in the current Board/Authority Authorized Courses: Requirements and Procedures (PDF).

BAA Courses do not include modified or remedial courses. BAA courses must not have a significant overlap of expected learning outcomes with Ministry of Education authorized courses. The exception to this is for Art Education or Applied Design, Skills and Technologies  courses only when they are developed using the 2018 curriculum standards, as found on the Ministry Fine Arts and Applied Skills Requirements in the Graduation Program.  

First Nation Approving Bodies:

After approving an FNA Course in accordance with the FNAC Process, First Nation Approving Bodies will need to submit a completed FNA Course Form to the Ministry to ensure the course is eligible to satisfy graduation requirements. For more information see: First Nation Authorized Course Process: Overview, available from the First Nations Education Steering Committee (www.fnesc.ca).

Procedures related to policy

Boards of Education, Independent School Authorities, and Offshore School Authorities:

Boards of education and independent and offshore school authorities are required to submit a BAA Course Form for new courses electronically to the Ministry at  EDUC.GradStandards@gov.bc.ca. Boards and school authorities must retain the full BAA Framework for review by the Ministry when requested. Independent school authorities and offshore school authorities must retain the full Framework for review during inspections and for review by other Ministry staff when requested.

Course developers may use the Board or Authority Authorized Course Framework Template in the Board/Authority Authorized Courses: Requirements and Procedures (PDF) or the district format or template, provided that it meets the BAA Requirements and Procedures.

Course codes for new courses will be selected from a list of Core Course Categories.

In cooperation with Focused Education (formerly Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium [ERAC]), a searchable BAA Sharing Platform has been created. Boards/Authorities and First Nations can volunteer to share BAA or FNA Course Frameworks on the platform. Districts or schools accessing BAA or FNA Courses on this platform will need to seek approval from their Board/Authority or First Nation Approving Body, as the case may be, to deliver the courses locally, as per BAA and FNAC policies.

First Nation Approving Bodies:

In order for an FNA Course to be eligible to meet the provincial graduation requirements, First Nation Approving Bodies will need to submit a FNA Course Form for new courses electronically to the Ministry at EDUC.GradStandards@gov.bc.ca.

As with BAA courses, codes for new courses will be selected from a list of Core Course Categories. However, course codes associated with FNA courses are restricted to FNA courses only.