Academic and Career Preparation Programs
Adult Basic Education
High–School Equivalency Program
Program Fees: Domestic Students, International Students
Offered at the Nanaimo, Cowichan, Parksville-Qualicum, and Powell River campuses
Apply for Admission: Application Form
Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses are for adults who want to:
- complete prerequisite courses needed for further study;
- obtain a graduation certificate;
- prepare for employment;
- refresh their skills and confidence for work or further studies;
- reach a personal goal.
ABE instructors understand the challenges students face when returning to school as adults, and provide support to students to make their experience a success.
Adult Basic Education (ABE) offers:
- A supportive adult-centred learning environment.
- Small class sizes.
- Free tutorial assistance.
- Advising, counseling, and student support services.
- Assistance with course planning to meet your goals.
- Daytime and evening classes.
- A variety of options, from instructor-led classes to self-paced, flexible-schedule classes.
Courses are available up to the Grade 12 level in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Studies, English, History, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Science, Education and Career Planning, and Reading and Writing. Note: Not all courses or levels may be available in every semester or location.
BC Adult Graduation Diploma
The BC Adult Graduation Diploma (BCAGD) is a diploma that is equivalent to a BC Grade 12 diploma. To be eligible to graduate from this program students must complete five ABE courses. Normally, at least three of these courses would be taken at VIU (or another post-secondary institution), and at least one of these courses MUST be taken at VIU in order for students to be eligible for the BCAGD offered through VIU. Prior Learning Assessments may be used to meet any of the requirements for the BCAGD. Check the BC Adult Graduation Diploma program matrix for further details.
- Minimum 17 years of age and out of school for one year
- High school graduation
- Enrolled in a VIU academic or trades/vocational program.
Note: An assessment may be required for placement purposes if prerequisites were completed more than 5 years prior to admission.
Financial support may be available to students in ABE programs through the Adult Basic Education Student Assistance Program (ABESAP), Human Resources and Social Development Canada, the Ministry of Human Resources, Native Bands, and other organizations. Check with the agencies concerned or ask about financial aid at your local campus, or centre.
ABE Learning Centres
Learning Centres are available to assist students with:
- help while studying ABE courses
- preparing for assessments for admission to ABE or other VIU programs
- materials to prepare for assessments and other tests
- support for distance and online courses
Call your campus to find out more about Learning Centre services and hours.
GEDGeneral Educational Development Exam
Many adults, who did not graduate from secondary school, may have acquired skills through work and study at, or above, secondary school level. The GED test provides an opportunity to earn an official document from the B.C. Ministry of Education, which may be recognized by some institutions and employers. It may assist students in qualifying for a better job, or they may want to take it for personal satisfaction.
The GED examination consists of five tests in Writing Skills (Grammar), Social Studies, Science, Reading Skills, and Mathematics. All five tests plus a short essay must be completed. Testing is scheduled on a Saturday. Students should contact the Assessment Department at 250-740-6416, or their local campus or centre, for test dates, location and fees.
Vancouver Island University will consider the GED as the equivalent of a minimum high school graduation, provided that the student has attained at least 500 on each of the component tests. The GED does not provide equivalencies for English 12, Mathematics 11, or any other specific high school course.
For More Information
Contact Vancouver Island University in your community for information on course availability, schedules, and registration information:
- in Nanaimo, call 250-740-6425, or attend a free Information Session held every Monday at 2:30 pm in Building 205.
- in ParksvilleQualicum, call 250-248-2096.
- in Cowichan, call 250-746-3500.
- in Powell River, call (604) 485-2878.
Updated September 24, 2012