Building Employment Skills and Training

This advanced level of Adult Special Education prepares students for additional education and careers.

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A SAME Program student studies with assistance from support worker


  • Kelowna
  • Vernon
  • Penticton
  • Salmon Arm
View schedule and campus details
  • Full program offered
  • Partial program offered



Delivery options


Tuition and fees

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Program details

This certificate program supports students to achieve their own, educational, vocational, and personal development goals. The educational focus is on developing student success skills and work readiness skills. Employment awareness and the development of appropriate workplace attitudes, values and behaviours are a focus of this program as well. All students will benefit in personal development through participation in course work which develops communication, assertiveness, stress management, and conflict resolution skills. Students will also participate in employment exploration and work experience in the community, facilitated by the ASE liaison. BEST is a 10-month program.

Program can not be retaken unless permission is given by the AFP Dean.

BEST replaces the former PACE program. PACE graduates cannot take the BEST program.

Campus Start date Schedule
Kelowna Sep. 2023
Penticton Sep. 2023
Vernon Sep. 2023
Salmon Arm Sep. 2023

Admission requirements

Age Requirement:

  • Applicants must be at least 19 years of age, or be at least 18 years of age and have been out of the secondary school system for at least 12 months, or have a school leaving certificate. Any applicant not meeting the age requirements must be recommended for admission by a secondary school principal or counselor and be interviewed by the ASE Admissions Committee. The recommendation and interview information of the underage applicant will be referred to the Dean. The applicant will be admitted only if approved by the Dean and space is available. In cases of underage admission, continued registration and attendance is dependent on the achievement of specific educational and behavioural standards outlined in an individual performance contract.

General Requirements:

  • All students must participate in an intake interview with the ASE Admissions Committee.

BEST students must:

  • Have demonstrated the ability to learn and participate in a group setting.
  • Have demonstrated emotional stability - have no behavioral or emotional problems that would significantly interfere with the learning or safety of self or others.
  • Provide documentation of an identified learning difficulty.
  • Have demonstrated the ability to make routine decisions independently.
  • Have demonstrated the ability to make their own appointments and schedules.
  • Have demonstrated basic literacy skills (Grade four reading and/or listening comprehension).
  • Have demonstrated the ability to use public transportation or other independent means of accessing transportation.
  • Have the desire to explore vocational options.
  • Have motivation to participate in this program.
  • Must be able to participate in activities outside classroom time as planned by the ASE liaison.
  • Must be able to maintain admission requirements throughout the program in order to continue participating

Eligibility for admission will be based on evidence of the above requirements being demonstrated in the assessment interview and must include at least two of the following (students must provide documentation at their own effort and expense):

  • Psycho-educational assessment,
  • Records of previous participation in special or supported programs in a public institution or school (ex: IEP or school transcript),
  • Documentation of a learning difficulty from a physician or medical specialist,
  • Referral from Community Living BC (CLBC), Recommendation from an instructor in Okanagan College Adult Upgrading Department, ASE Department, another college, or high school,
  • Referral from a community agency.
In addition, BEST applicants must have one letter of reference commenting on the student’s suitability for the BEST Program from a work related, or volunteer source such as an employment counsellor, a work experience coordinator or teacher, or an employer.

Special Circumstances:
  • Students who lack appropriate documentation may be admitted conditionally at the discretion of the Dean in consultation with the department chair and/or instructor. In cases of conditional admission, continued registration and attendance is dependent on the student’s achievement of specific educational and behavioral standards outlined in an individual performance contract.

Program outline

Semester 1

BEST 101 - Communication and Personal Awareness
BEST 102 - Workplace Skills

Semester 2

BEST 103 - Employment and Interpersonal Skills
BEST 104 - Job Search and Customer Service Skills


Within the above courses there are learning outcomes that students are also required to participate in, for example tours of workplaces, mock interviews, job shadows and job placements throughout the year. These activities will take place out of classroom time arranged by the ASE liaison. Each student’s experience in these activities will be unique and tailored to their individual career interests. Students are required to participate in at least 2 tours, 2 mock interviews, 2 job shadows of at least 3 hours each, and 1 job placement of at least 3 weeks of at least 4 hour shifts 3 times a week.

Minimum of 50% per course with an overall average of 70%.

Additional information

View the official Calendar details and policies
Learn more about the department
View the Tuition and fees page


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