Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start?  What do I need?

Obtain all your latest education records, proof of Canadian citizenship or Landed Immigration status, picture ID and make an appointment to see an Academic Advisor.  Appointments are available at any Education Centre. 

What do I need to graduate?

You can graduate by completing any missing courses from the Adult graduation program or regular high school graduation (2004) program.

Should I see an Academic Advisor?

  • if you are a student and are new to the education system, and require an individual Student Learning Plan (SLP). These plans are signed and dated every school year by the student as their personal plan.
  • if you are a returning student and wish to alter or update your individual Student Learning Plan.
  • Yes, if your are unsure if you should follow the Adult or the regular (2004) graduation program.
  • if you are a day school student and have a letter of permission.
  • if you are a returning student and have a current Student Learning Plan, and are successfully completing your courses.

Do I need an English/Math assessment? Where do I go for an assessment?

Depending on your educational history, you may be asked to take an English/Math assessment so an appropriate Individual Student Learning Plan can be developed for you.  You may phone any of the Education Centres to arrange for an appointment.  A fee of $20.00 will be charged for this assessment.

How long will it take to complete my graduation program?

The length of time you need to graduate will depend on: a.    how many courses you have to complete
b.    how much time you have to attend classes, or an education or learning centre
c.    what commitments you have (family, work, etc.)
Your graduation plan must include an anticipated completion date and must be signed by you.

What options do I have?

Adults have the option of:
a.    attending structured classes
b.    attending a self-paced/individualized program
c.    or taking a combination of any of the above.

Who is eligible to attend Adult Education classes tuition free?

These courses may be tuition free. Funding for these courses is provided through the Ministry of Education and the Vancouver Board of Education to encourage residents of BC to complete their high school graduation. You may be eligible to attend class tuition free if you:
    • are a Canadian Citizen or landed immigrant and
    •  have not complete secondary school graduation requirements and
    •  are completing academic credit courses in order to satisfy graduation requirements
    • are a high school graduate under 19 years, or
    • qualify as an “Adult Graduate”


How much will it cost?

A non-refundable material fee of $20 per course is payable at registration for those who quality for tuition free academic courses.  All textbook deposits are 80% refundable at the centre you attended. Textbooks must be returned within two calendar weeks of term end.  Course transfer fee is $20.00. 

Am I able to register online?

No, you must register in person with your individualized Student Learning Plan. However, you can register at any centre for any structured adult education course.

What is the difference between regular and adult grad? Is adult grad as highly recognized as regular grad? Is adult grad accepted at universities?

The regular (2004) and the adult graduation diplomas are both ‘dogwood’ diplomas. They are accepted equally by employers, colleges, universities, and other post secondary institutions. It is your responsibility to ensure that your course choices and marks meet the requirements of your chosen institution.

Which courses are offered?

See list of courses and descriptions on the South Hill Education Centre and Gathering Place websites.

Are courses recognized in the same way as high school courses?

All our courses follow prescribed BC Ministry curriculum and carry the same credit as high school courses.

Do I have to write the provincial exam?

If you are on a regular high school graduation program (2004) you must write the provincial exam for certain courses. For more information go to www.bced.gov.bc.ca/exams.  If you are on the adult program, you may choose whether or not to write the provincial exam. However, keep in mind that even though you are on the adult graduation program, your chosen post secondary institution might still require the exam and you should check with them beforehand.

What is the difference between Communications and English courses?

In order to graduate, you must pass either Communications 12 or English 12.  English 12 is required for entry to many college, technical, and university programs.  It is considered to be the more ‘academic’ course.  Communications 12 is offered as a practical alternative to English 12 for students who have some difficulty with English courses.  It is your responsibility to check with your chosen post secondary institution regarding requirements.

Do Centres offer TOEFL and LPI preparation courses?

Not at this time.

Do Centres offer writing improvement courses?

Yes we do.  These courses are self-paced. Contact individual centres for more information.

Which courses are the easiest?

Students will all experience courses differently depending on interest and academic preparedness. If your English and math competencies are at the grade 11 or 12 level, you should be able to handle our grade 11 or 12 courses.

Will there be many high school-aged students in the class?

Some high school students receive permission to attend our classes, but space priority is given first to adults.

Will I get a certificate proving I completed a course?

You will receive a report card with a final letter grade. We send your mark to the Ministry of Education.

How do I get a transcript of my marks?

The Ministry of Education updates and mails transcripts to you around the beginning of August each year.

Are Secondary Day School Students able to attend?

Secondary Day School Students are required to present an original Letter of Permission from their day school Principal, and a copy of their current day school timetable at the time they register with adult education. Students must register in person.

Is smoking allowed at school?

By law, smoking is not permitted anywhere on any school property in the province of British Columbia.

Are fees tax deductable?

Contact Canada Revenue Agency for specific rulings, as regulations change without notice. Under most circumstances, the answer is “no”. Do not lose your receipt – a replacement fee will be charged.

Are parents able to check student progress?

Students over 18 are legally adults and are protected by Freedom if Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. As a result, information regarding student progress cannot be released directly to parents.

International Students:

Call the International Education department of the Vancouver Board of Education, 604 -713-4534, for information.

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