Adult Upgrading

Adult Basic Education

student sitting on staircase in the vernon cafeteria

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Sometimes the hardest part of going back to school is taking the first step. At Okanagan College, our upgrading department welcomes all adult students and provides help for each step of the way.

Upgrading is the right choice if you want to:

  • Complete high school graduation requirements
  • Upgrade your high school marks
  • Complete pre-requisites for the College's program or other university courses
  • Develop your reading, writing and math skills
  • Improve your career opportunities

Courses and programs are offered throughout the year, and all College locations offer Adult Upgrading. 

Call us

250-862-5488

Walk in

Come in person to E103, Centre of Learning (Kelowna Campus)

Submit your info to get started

Submit your information into the form below and we will connect with you to get you started.

Why do you want to upgrade?

Tuition free!

Upgrading classes are free, and there is also financial help available to cover extra costs. The Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) is provided by the B.C. Government to cover student fees, partial travel costs, unsubsidized child care and school supplies. The AUG form is awarded based on your income level.  Find the application form and more information at the Financial Aid Office or email upgradinggrants@okanagan.bc.ca

If you are interested in a career in Trades  or Health including: Health Care AssistantTherapist Assistant Certified Dental Assistant, Practical Nursing and Pharmacy TechnicianPathways may be right for you. Explore Pathways in our Upcoming Courses section.

What you need to know

How it works

Delivery method

Adult Upgrading courses are delivered on-campus in Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton. In-person courses have September, January, May or July start dates.  Fall and Winter semester are 16 weeks long, while Summer semesters are 8 weeks long.

There are also a small selection available through online learning.  Although these courses are delivered online, you will need to attend classes on specific days and at the times specified.  Online courses have September and January start dates.  Fall and Winter semesters are 16 weeks long

Skills assessment

Students can complete upgrading skills assessments in-person in 2-3 hours. Check dates and times at a campus near you and try out a practice Math skills assessment before you arrive:

Practice Math skills assessment

Please note that pre-requisites must have been completed in the last 5 years. If this is not the case, you will need to take a skills assessment.

Meet an instructor

Upgrading instructor Amanda Krebs is passionate about ending math phobia for her students.

Meet a student

Dawn Naas started her studies at Okanagan College with a bit of upgrading, and found a lot of support along the way.

Explore program details

Adult Upgrading

  Vernon, Penticton, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Kelowna
  Certificate

Registration form

Click the button below for a printable and fillable PDF of the registration form. Please note: An official high school transcript or assessment must be received by the Registrar’s Office before submitting a registration form.

Skills assessment

Students can complete upgrading skills assessments in-person in 2-3 hours.

Here are some upcoming assessment dates on our campuses:

Penticton: 

  • Tues, Sept 27 at noon (PC120) 
  • Tues, Oct 25 at 12pm (Room TBA)
  • Tues, Nov 22 at 12pm (Room TBA)
  • Tues, Dec 16 at 12pm (Room TBA)

Please contact the coordinator or call 250-492-4305 (ext 3231) for online courses or to schedule an alternate time. 

Kelowna: 

  • Mon, Sept 26, 12pm-3pm (Room B213)
  • Tues, Oct 11, 12pm-3pm (Room B213)
  • Mon, Oct 24, 9am-12pm (Room HS301)
  • Mon, Nov 14, 12pm-3pm (Room HS102)
  • Thurs, Dec 1, 12pm-3pm (Room HS102)
  • Mon, Dec 12, 9am-12pm (Room TBA)
  • Mon, Dec 19, 12pm-3pm (Room TBA)

Please arrive 10 minutes early. If you have any questions, please contact the coordinator by email.

Vernon: 

  • Tues, Oct 11 at 1pm (D221)
  • Tues, Nov 1 at 1pm (D334)
  • Tues, Nov 22 at 1pm (D334)
  • Tues, Dec 6 at 1pm (D334)

Contact the coordinator or call 545-7291 ext 2221 to reserve a space.  Please allow 2 1/2 hours for the assessment.

Salmon Arm and Revelstoke:

Please contact the coordinator to set up a skills assessment time and date.

View the practice Math skills assessment before your assessment.

Upcoming courses

English courses available in Fall 2022/Winter 2023

Students must have completed the prerequisites for English courses within the five years prior to the start date for the ABE English course in which they wish to register. Any student not meeting this requirement will be required to write the AU English skills assessment. An interview may also be conducted to help determine the appropriate level.

Click on a course name for more information.

Fundamental

Intermediate

Advanced

Provincial

Science courses available in Fall 2022/Winter 2023

Students must have completed the prerequisites for English and Math courses within the five years prior to the start date for the ABE Science course in which they wish to register. Any student not meeting this requirement will be required to write the AU English and Math skills assessment.

Click on a course name for more information.

Math courses available in Fall 2022/Winter 2023

Students must have completed the prerequisites for Math courses within the five years prior to the start date for the ABE mathematics course in which they wish to register. Any student not meeting this requirement will be required to write a mathematics skills assessment to determine their readiness to enter their desired course.

Click on a course name for more information.

Self-paced courses:

Fundamental

Intermediate/Developmental

Instructor-led courses:

Developmental (equivalent to Math 080 - Instructor led)

Advanced

Provincial

Elective courses available in Fall 2022/Winter 2023

When can I start courses?

Start dates vary depending on where you would like to study. 

  • Penticton: September, January and May
  • Kelowna: September, January, May and July
  • Vernon: September, January and May
  • Salmon Arm: September, January and May
  • Revelstoke: September and January

Note: some English and Math classes have continuous intakes, so you can register at any time.

Certificates/Diploma

Fundamental Level Certificate

This level is for students wishing to improve their basic skills or to prepare for the Intermediate Level program.

Intermediate Level Certificate

This level prepares students for the Advanced Level program or for entry into post-secondary programs that have an admission requirement of Grade 10 or equivalent.

Advanced Level Certificate

This level prepares students for the Provincial Level and, with completion of English 012, for entry into many post-secondary programs that have an admission requirement of Grade 12 or equivalent.

Provincial Level Diploma

This is the highest level of the Adult Basic Education program and requires rigorous study. The Provincial Level prepares students for admission to post-secondary programs. The student who completes this level is eligible for a British Columbia Adult Graduation Diploma. Students should consult an Educational Advisor and carefully select their courses if they plan further study at the post-secondary level.

Pathways

Please contact Jessica Morcom jmorcom@okanagan.bc.ca  if you are interested.

See below for Adult Upgrading prerequisites required for each Pathway.

Pathway to Trades:

Math 005  -  Trades Entrance Assessment Preparation Course   OR   Math 070

 

Pathways to Health: 

Health Pathway

Admission Requirements (Adult Upgrading Courses)

Certified Dental Assistant

English 012 (minimum 60%), Biology 012 ( minimum 60%), One of: Chemistry 011, Chemistry 012, Physics 011 or Physics 012

Early Childhood Education for EL           (English Language)

EAPS 030

Health Care Assistant

English 070 (English 10 equivalent), A science 011 is recommended

Practical Nursing

English 012 (minimum 70%), Biology 012 (minimum 67%), Math 011 or Math 080 or IALG 011 (minimum 67%)

Pharmacy Technician

English 012 (minimum 60%), Biology 011 or Biology 012 (BC students) (minimum 60%), Math 011 (minimum 60%)

Therapist Assistant

English 012 (minimum 60%), Biology 012, Chemistry 011

Tutoring

Okanagan College offers FREE tutoring services for community members looking for one-to-one help with basic reading, writing or mathematics skills. This program helps adults develop their basic reading, writing, oral language, and math skills. It is a free program offered to anyone 19 years of age or older. Students can join the program anytime between September and May. Students work one-to-one with a volunteer tutor, focusing on their goals and learning at their own pace. 

Get started

Experience

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Have your questions answered by an advisor or recruiter. 

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