Adult Upgrading

Adult Basic Education

student sitting on staircase in the vernon cafeteria

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. 

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

Getting started

Our staff support students like you to succeed every day, and want to make the school process simple. Education Advising has information on the courses you need and how to register.

What you need to know

How it works

Delivery method

We are back to on campus learning for Fall 2021.  Adult Upgrading courses will be delivered on-campus in Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton.  Courses will have a September, January, May or July start dates.  Fall and Winter semester are 16 weeks long, while summer semesters are 8 weeks long.

There will also be 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.  Courses will have a September and January start dates.  Fall and Winter semesters are 16 weeks long

Skills assessment

Students can complete upgrading skills assessments online or 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.

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

Skills assessment

Students can complete upgrading skills assessments online or in-person in 2-3 hours. Here are some upcoming assessment dates:

  • Penticton: No appointment necessary on Tues, Nov 23 at noon & Mon, Dec 20 at 9am. Location provided on arrival. Please contact the coordinator or call 250-492-4305 (ext 3231) for online courses or to schedule an alternate time. 
  • Kelowna: No appointment is necessary. Please arrive 10 minutes early.  Upcoming dates: Nov 22 at 1pm in A125; Dec 7 at 5pm in E302; and, Dec 20 at 1pm in TBA. 
  • Vernon: Tues, Nov 23, Dec 7, & Dec 14 at 1pm in Room E103. Contact the coordinator or call 545-7291 ext 2221 to reserve a space. Evening bookings available upon request.
  • Salmon Arm and Revelstoke: Please contact the coordinator to schedule an individual online assessment.

View the practice Math skills assessment before your assessment.

Upcoming courses

English courses available in Winter 2022

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.

Science courses available in Winter 2022

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 Winter 2022

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:

Instructor-led courses:

Elective courses available in Winter 2022

Online options available in Winter 2022

Please note that these online courses will run as paced, virtual classes. Student must be able to attend class during the scheduled times. 

Click on a course name for a course description and the skill level requirements or prerequisites.

Prerequisites for courses must be completed within the five years prior to the start date.  Any student not meeting this requirement will be required to write the Adult Upgrading Skills Assessment. An interview may also be conducted to help determine the appropriate level.

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.

Tutoring

Okanagan College offers FREE tutoring services for community members looking for one-to-one help with basic reading, writing or mathematics skills.

Volunteer Adult Literacy Tutor Program

This program covers basic reading, writing and math skills. It is free for all learners in the community and can be started at any time between September and May. Please contact the centre nearest to you to start:

  • Oliver, Osoyoos, and Okanagan Falls (CALP): 250-492-4305 ext 3244 or email CALPSouthOkanagan@okanagan.bc.ca
  • Penticton: 250-492-4305 ext 3331
  • Kelowna: 250-545 7291 ext 4244
  • Vernon: 250-545-7291 ext 2311
  • Revelstoke (VALT): 250-837-4235 ext 6504

Take a look at a Global News feature on this program here

English as a Second Language Settlement Assistance Program

New Canadians can improve their English language skills to help enjoy life. Adult immigrants learn through one-on-one lessons. Students get matched with volunteer tutors who build lessons to reach their goals.

This program is free and confidential. It runs from September to May. English practice groups are available. A family friendly group with childcare is available. Field trips, social events and a special ESL resource library help students learn.

To get started, phone:

  • Salmon Arm campus: 250-832-2126 ext 8237
  • Revelstoke centre: 250-837-4235 ext 6504

Experience

Join an info session or become a student for a day. 

Ask

Have your questions answered by an advisor or recruiter. 

Apply

Take the next step and enrol in a program or course at OC.