ArtsX FAQs

How is ArtsX different from the regular college system?
Why would I want to take ArtsX?
What do you mean by collaborative teaching and learning?
What is “beyond-the-classroom” learning?
How is ArtsX self-directed?
What do you mean when you say ArtsX is a cohort?
How is the grading different?
Is the program meant to be easier or harder than the regular system?
How do I apply for ArtsX?
Which courses will I take in ArtsX?
Do I get to choose my courses?
How do I register for ArtsX courses?
What credential will I graduate with upon completion of ArtsX?
Can I be in a diploma program at OC (such as Environmental Studies) at the same time as ArtsX?
Can I take ArtsX as a part-time student?
Do I have to register for a full five (5) courses each semester or can I just take the four (4) ArtsX courses and wait to take the remaining four courses required to complete the Associate of Arts Degree later?
Can I take the remaining four (4) courses required to complete the Associate of Arts Degree through Distance Education?
Who teaches ArtsX?
When does ArtsX start and end? On which days are classes held?
Is ArtsX only offered on the Kelowna campus?
Does the program/courses transfer to other institutions?
How can I be sure to meet my second-language BA requirement?
Can I complete required Science and Math courses in ArtsX?
I already know what I want to major in when I transfer to university and I want to complete certain 1st and 2nd year requirements at OC before I transfer. Can I still take ArtsX?
I only want to stay at OC for one year before I transfer. Can I just take the first year of ArtsX and not complete the second year?
What if I fail a class in ArtsX?
Can I be in the Indigenous Scholars program at the same time as ArtsX?
I'm a mature student. Can I take ArtsX?
I'm an International student. Can I take ArtsX?
I’ve already done the first year of the Associate of Arts Degree. Can I start ArtsX in the second year?
I can’t start the program in September. Can I start ArtsX in January or May?
Does ArtsX offer courses in the Summer sessions?
Can I work while taking ArtsX?
What is the tuition for ArtsX?
Is there financial aid available for ArtsX students? Are there scholarships?
I’m a parent and I worry that ArtsX is a bit weird. How can I be sure that my child is getting the best possible education? Can I trust ArtsX?

How is ArtsX different from the regular college system?
ArtsX is different from the regular system in just about every way. Inspired by the progressive educational models of Quest University, Stanford University, and Brown University, ArtsX offers cutting-edge, innovative education right here at OC (Kelowna campus). ArtsX is for students looking to change the system and to challenge themselves.
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Why would I want to take ArtsX?
Because you’ve longed to study, create, and make connections in a dynamic, innovative learning community. We think ArtsX is an ideal program for those students who boast a bona fide appetite to read, make, research, converse, collaborate, reflect, share, learn, unlearn, act, listen, fail, fail again, and fail better… If you are inspired by experiment and collaboration and self-direction, then we believe that ArtsX will prove to be a whole lot of “heck yeah.”
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What do you mean by collaborative teaching and learning?
By “collaborative teaching and learning” we refer to two fundamental components of ArtsX: 1) as a multidisciplinary program (four diverse courses being taught concurrently) students will be able to see direct, living connections between diverse academic disciplines; and 2) under the cohort-model, students will learn in a meaningful, supportive intellectual community.
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What is “beyond-the-classroom” learning?
“Beyond-the-classroom” learning means that we do not consider the college campus the only site in which rich, edifying, enduring knowledge can be attained. In fact, we are excited to think about all of the possibilities and examples and opportunities and inspirations that await us outside the classroom walls. For example, perhaps we will visit a pottery studio to better understand Marxian concepts of alienated labour; perhaps we will go on weekly walks to study plants and rock formations; perhaps we will host community poetry readings at off-campus locations etc.
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How is ArtsX self-directed?
While ArtsX believes that learning should be collaborative (please see above) we also believe that each ArtsX student needs to be equipped with a humming individual desire to study and create and search. ArtsX is a highly rigorous program precisely because it demands that students participate actively in their own education. ArtsX students will be required, for instance, to contribute to course design and direction. This means that, from the very beginning, ArtsX students are active agents (creating the syllabus/participating directly in grading/assisting in organizing events) in their own education.
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What do you mean when you say ArtsX is a cohort?
ArtsX will admit no more than a group of 30 students. Together, these students will take the four (4) ArtsX courses offered each semester as a group (a cohort). These students will leave the group to take their elective courses in the regular system but otherwise, the cohort will work through the program together. Cohort systems have been shown to be helpful for students in that the cohort creates a supportive and collaborative environment in which to learn.
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How is the grading different?
Like in courses in the regular system, ArtsX students will receive a final grade for each course taken in the program. However, unlike the regular system, grades in ArtsX will be given to students in innovative ways. Students will receive one-on-one and narrative feedback from their professors at regular points in the semester and as a group the cohort will engage in discussions about assessment for various assignments. We call this approach collaborative grading.
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Is the program meant to be easier or harder than the regular system?
The short answer is that ArtsX will be… both easier and harder than the regular system! What we mean is that, because of the flexibility of our model, we believe that ArtsX will make it easier for all of us to demonstrate and share knowledge together in various sites (both on- and off-campus) and through non-standard means (dialogues instead of lectures; “collaborative grades” instead of “marks”; participatory syllabus-building instead of set-in-stone course outlines). However, because of the innovative, explorative manner of ArtsX, it truly demands serious commitment from both students and faculty. ArtsX is “harder” than the regular system, then, only in the sense that it endeavours to treat students as mature, creative, feeling, and dedicated human beings.
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How do I apply for ArtsX?
You don’t apply for ArtsX specifically. Instead, you apply to the Associate of Arts Degree. Once you have been accepted into the Associate of Arts Degree, you will receive an email asking you if you would like to take the degree in the ArtsX cohort. If you’re interested, we’ll contact you to provide additional information. If you decide you’d like to join our cohort, we’ll make arrangements for you.
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Which courses will I take in ArtsX?
The courses offered in ArtsX will vary from year to year. Students in the program will take four (4) courses each semester in the cohort (for a total of 16 courses over two years). In addition, students will have a total of four (4) courses over the two years to take outside of the cohort as electives (see below for more information on elective courses). The courses will be chosen, in part, to meet the requirements of the Associate of Arts Degree and, in part, to provide students with an introduction to a wide range of disciplines.

In the Arts program at OC, we have several different disciplines and courses from many of these disciplines will be offered in ArtsX. These include Anthropology, Communications, Earth and Environmental Science, Economics, English, Geography, History, Indigenous Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s Studies.

Follow the “Courses” link on our website for more details about the courses on offer in the upcoming year.
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Do I get to choose my courses?
Completion of the Associate of Arts Degree requires completion of 20 courses in total. In ArtsX, students will take 16 of these courses in the cohort and four (4) of these courses as electives. Of the 16 courses taken in the cohort, the first eight (8) of them (the courses scheduled for the first year of the program) will be chosen for students. The remaining eight (8) courses (those that will be scheduled for the second year of the program) will be chosen by the cohort. As a group, we will work together to make the best choices of available courses.

In addition, the cohort will determine a “theme” for each semester. The chosen theme—say “Tradition” or “Beauty” or “Failure” or “Terror”—will shape the content of the courses in that semester. This is a defining component of ArtsX and is meant to both inform and transform the courses students take in the program.

The four (4) elective courses are chosen by each individual student.
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How do I register for ArtsX courses?
ArtsX students will not register themselves for the four (4) ArtsX courses offered each semester. Instead, to ensure you’re registered in the correct classes, you will be registered by OC staff. You will, however, have to register yourself in the elective courses you choose for yourself.
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What credential will I graduate with upon completion of ArtsX?
Assuming you complete the course requirements, you will graduate with an Associate of Arts Degree. This credential will allow you, if you choose, to transfer the full 60 credits (20 courses) of work you do at OC to any university in BC.

ArtsX courses will be chosen with the Associate of Arts Degree requirements in mind and students will be carefully advised as necessary to ensure their elective course choices are also considered in the same way.
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Can I be in a diploma program at OC (such as Environmental Studies) at the same time as ArtsX?
No, it’s not possible to meet the requirements of the various diploma programs at OC as an ArtsX student. The diploma programs focus on specific fields of study and their course requirements are too narrow within those fields of study for ArtsX.
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Can I take ArtsX as a part-time student?
At this point, students in the ArtsX cohort cannot study part-time. Students must take four (4) courses per semester.
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Do I have to register for a full five (5) courses each semester or can I just take the four (4) ArtsX courses and wait to take the remaining four courses required to complete the Associate of Arts Degree later?
Yes! While you can’t study part-time, you don’t have to take more than the four (4) ArtsX courses in a semester. You can take your elective courses at a later date, if you wish. You could, for example, take your electives in an additional semester after you’ve completed the ArtsX courses or in one of the two Summer semesters which run at OC each year.

It’s important to know that not all courses are offered every semester (especially in the Summer) so those courses students might need to meet the requirements of the Associate of Arts Degree might not always be available. However, ArtsX students will be carefully advised in this regard in order to ensure their degree is completed in a timely fashion.
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Can I take the remaining four (4) courses required to complete the Associate of Arts Degree through Distance Education?
Yes, you might be able to take your elective courses through Distance Education, even while taking the four (4) ArtsX courses each semester.

However, not all courses are offered through Distance Ed so the courses you need to meet the requirements of the Associate of Arts Degree might not be available through Distance Ed. Students will be carefully advised in their elective choices.
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Who teaches ArtsX?
Cool people.

Okay, more seriously, the ArtsX faculty roster is an ever-changing list because we offer four (4) new courses each semester. However, ArtsX professors are chosen from across the departments here at the college and these folks tend to be those wonderful types dedicated to progressive teaching practices and to cutting-edge scholarship. ArtsX profs, we have found, do play well with others but they are also fiercely individual—sort of like the many cool student people who might be interested in applying for ArtsX…
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When does ArtsX start and end? On which days are classes held?
ArtsX follows the same start- and end-dates of the regular system: the Fall semester runs September to December; the Winter semester runs January to April. However, ArtsX will take a flexible approach to the scheduling of class time. To explain:

In the regular system each class runs for three (3) hours per week and always at a normally scheduled time. As such, students taking four (4) to five (5) classes are in class for a total of 12-15 hours per week x 13 weeks per semester. In ArtsX, we will spend the same total number of hours per semester in class, but we will set our schedule according to what we’re doing in the classes each week. Some weeks we might spend more time in one class because what we’re working on requires more attention and so we will spend less time in this class later in the term. Other weeks we might meet for a field-trip off-campus on a day that we don’t normally meet and so we won’t meet on the normal meeting day at all. The point overall is that our learning needs and experiences will determine the time we spend in a class rather than an imposed schedule.
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Is ArtsX only offered on the Kelowna campus?
Yes, at this time the program is based on the Kelowna campus.
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Does the program/courses transfer to other institutions?
Yes, all of the courses in the ArtsX program transfer to universities in BC. Students can transfer a full 60 credits (20 courses) from OC to any university in BC.
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How can I be sure to meet my second-language BA requirement?
If you plan to transfer to complete your Bachelor of Arts Degree at a university which requires a second-language (UBCO, for example), you must choose appropriate language courses as part of your four (4) elective course choices. Students will be carefully advised of these requirements.
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Can I complete required Science and Math courses in ArtsX?
As much as possible, the required Science and Math courses will be offered as part of the four (4) courses ArtsX students will take in the cohort. However, if we’re not able to offer these courses, students must choose them as part of their four (4) elective course choices. Students will be carefully advised of these requirements.
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I already know what I want to major in when I transfer to university and I want to complete certain 1st and 2nd year requirements at OC before I transfer. Can I still take ArtsX?
The simple answer is no. ArtsX aims to provide students with courses from a wide range of disciplines. As such, it’s unlikely that ArtsX would offer the focus in a particular discipline you would need to prepare for a major.

The less simple but more interesting answer is maybe. It’s possible (but not guaranteed) that you could meet the requirements for your major with your four (4) elective course choices. Or, if that’s not possible, you could take a course or two extra (over the summer or via Distance Ed) to cover off the requirements.

And finally, the very best answer is yes! Do it! Worry about your major later! This may seem like poor advice, but really it’s the best advice we can give you. We think students are pushed to decide on a major, on a career, on what-they’re-going-to-do-with-their-lives way too early. We believe that the exploratory model of ArtsX will open up many new and exciting opportunities for students and we believe that settling on a major before you even begin shuts down these opportunities. We think students deserve better.
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I only want to stay at OC for one year before I transfer. Can I just take the first year of ArtsX and not complete the second year?
Our guess is that once you’re an ArtsX’r, you won’t want to leave. But while the program really is designed for students who plan to stay for two years and to complete the Associate of Arts Degree, we can’t force you to stay. We just might not talk to you ever again.
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What if I fail a class in ArtsX?
All of the courses within ArtsX—though delivered in radically different ways—are still regulated through the Registrar and so a failing grade will be treated in the same way as it would in the regular system. However, we believe that ArtsX (with its cohort-model, integrated supports, and other teaching innovations) will make so-called failure highly unlikely.
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Can I be in the Indigenous Scholars program at the same time as ArtsX?
Yes!
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I’m a mature student. Can I take ArtsX?
Yes!
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I’m an International student. Can I take ArtsX?
Yes!

ArtsX wants as diverse a student group as possible. If you’re an Associate of Arts student, you can be an ArtsX’r. And if you’re looking for a learning environment that recognizes, respects, and values diversity—in race, gender, age, sexuality, dis/ability, whatever—we are looking for you.
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I've already done the first year of the Associate of Arts Degree. Can I start ArtsX in the second year?

It’s possible that we may have spaces open in our cohort and so could accept a few students starting in the second year. However, because most of the ArtsX courses are chosen for the cohort rather than by individual students themselves, it’s also possible that students may have already completed some of the courses chosen for the second year. Please contact either Sharon or Jake directly: sjosephson@okanagan.bc.ca or jkennedy@okanagan.bc.ca.
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I can’t start the program in September. Can I start ArtsX in January or May?
ArtsX generally begins in September. However, it’s possible that we may have spaces open in our cohort and so could accept a few students in January. Please contact either Sharon or Jake directly: sjosephson@okanagan.bc.ca or jkennedy@okanagan.bc.ca. We do not run courses through the Summer session so starting in May is not possible.
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Does ArtsX offer courses in the Summer sessions?
No, the ArtsX cohort courses only run in the Fall (Sept-Dec) and Winter (Jan-Apr) semesters. However, students may choose to take their four elective courses in the Summer sessions if they wish.
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Can I work while taking ArtsX?
Yes—most students work part-time while they’re in school and ArtsX students are no different. Note, however, that because ArtsX is a full-time program, it’s probably best to limit the number of hours you work. In addition, remember that the ArtsX schedule requires flexibility. Plus, as with any program, you’ll likely need two to three (2-3) hours per class per week for reading and homework (8-15 hours in total).
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What is the tuition for ArtsX?
Completing the Associate of Arts Degree in ArtsX costs the same as it does for the Associate of Arts Degree completed in the regular system. For more information, visit the College Calendar: http://webapps-5.okanagan.bc.ca/ok/calendar/calendar.aspx?page=Fees
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Is there financial aid available for ArtsX students? Are there scholarships?
Yes! Students enrolled in ArtsX are eligible to apply for the same financial aid and scholarships as other students at OC. Visit the college’s Financial Aid and Awards website for more information: http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/financialaid
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I’m a parent and I worry that ArtsX is a bit weird. How can I be sure that my child is getting the best possible education? Can I trust ArtsX?
Although we prefer to call it innovative or progressive, we agree that ArtsX is a bit weird. However, be assured that Okanagan College (a trustworthy, publicly-regulated institution) could not run a program that disadvantaged students in any way. Every aspect of ArtsX—the courses, the transfer, the tuition, the faculty, the credential—has been reviewed and approved by the college.

In addition, ArtsX is inspired by similar programs at elite universities such as Quest University, Stanford University, and Brown University. Tuition at these institutions runs into the thousands (over $30,000 per year at Quest, for example). We believe strongly that the students we meet here at OC are as smart and talented as any. And we believe that such innovation should be affordable and available close to home. ArtsX offers that.
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