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Students in the Comox Valley have a unique opportunity to learn a language spoken by more people as a native language than any other in the world.

The following Mandarin course is designed for beginning learners:

  • Introduction to Chinese 2: Winter 2016
    Learn Chinese expressions and grammar, write longer paragraphs and engage in Chinese language conversations. This course will take place from Jan 4 - Apr 8, 2016 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1pm - 2:30pm at Tyee Hall, Room 205.

This course can transfer to UVic and several other universities across BC. It also compliments the Spanish and French language programming opportunities already available at NIC. 

Questions? Contact us through Student Services and Registration. Call 1-800-715-0914 or email


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Microsoft and North Island College are offering Microsoft Office to every Student and Employee of North Island College free of charge for use on their own personal computing devices.

This means you will be able to download and install the latest version of the full Office productivity suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and more! For as long as you're a student or employee at NIC and this program continues, you'll be able to use Office software for free installed on up to five compatible PCs and Macs.

To get your Office follow these simple steps for PC & Mac:

  • You will need an or email account.
  • Visit
  • Choose Student or Teachers (for all employees of NIC) and click on "Find out if you are eligible."
  • You will be asked to provide your NIC email address.
  • A confirmation email will be sent to your NIC email address, click on "Complete Office 365 Education signup."
  • You will be asked to create a Microsoft password.
  • Once complete, you will be forwarded to the installation page, click on "Install Now" to download your copy of Microsoft Office!

Thereafter you can access this website by going to

If you have trouble installing Office, this guide may resolve your issue:

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Students can download the Blackboard Learn Mobile App, FREE for IOS and Android. Click on the links, or search for it under "Blackboard Mobile Learn" in the app store.

Blackboard is used for most courses across our NIC campuses, and gives students a quick, unique and convenient access to class communications. Stay up to date on course information, get updates from instructors, submit papers, and more through Blackboard Learn.

Students have direct access their My Blackboard Learn Classes via their MyNIC account, if you have not yet registered for a MyNIC account, visit our login page.





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Port Alberni Psychology instructor Dr. Michael Catchpole is heading to an RCMP commanding officers' conference in Vancouver to speak about PTSD. He is a well regarded expert on anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and trauma- and stress-related disorders.

He also loves sharing his knowledge with students at NIC, where he's been teaching first and second year psychology for over three decades.

"When I walked into class this September, I had the same buzz I did 37 years ago," Dr. Catchpole said. "As instructors we get to share our passion and professional knowledge with students and it makes teaching that much more exciting."

Dr. Catchpole earned a PhD in psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1977 and has been a full time member of the Department of Psychology at North Island College since 1978. He first began disseminating psychological knowledge via television in 1980 when he piloted the British Columbia Institute of Technology Anik-B satellite project delivering live Introductory and Child Psychology televised courses into several communities around British Columbia and the Yukon.

From 1982-1992 he produced and taught live televised psychology courses to students and the public across Western Canada via the Knowledge Network television service. Starting in 1992 Dr. Catchpole began piloting the use of videoconferencing in educational delivery and continues to offer psychology courses via this medium.

Dr. Catchpole also teaches online disability management courses for Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences. He has delivered over 100 workshops on psychology-related topics for various school, parent and police groups both nationally and internationally.

Throughout his career he has received a number of awards, and in 2014, the Washington DC-based Instructional Technology Council, an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges, awarded Dr. Catchpole its Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is given each year at the ITC’s E-Learning conference to an exemplary leader who has made a lifetime contribution to innovation within the field of distance learning.

Read more about Dr. Catchpole in our Associate of Arts Degree  faculty profiles.

For more information on availability in his Winter Term Psychology courses (PSY-131 in PA & available by distance, PSY-235 in PA/PH/CV & CR, and PSY-251 in PA) click here.



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Share ItThe federal election is right around the corner, and as part of our campaign to encourage NIC students, staff and faculty to vote on Oct. 19, we are sharing our pledges to participate on social media.

NIC Votes for Canada stickers are being distributed to all our campuses, so make sure to pick one up and let people know you are a voter.

Stickers can be picked up at the following locations:

  • NISU Representatives
  • NIC Bookstores
  • Student Services (registration) offices

Encourage others to also take part and vote in the upcoming federal election. Share your photo with the hashtag #NICVotesForCanada on Facebook (please mark your photo as public so we can see it), Twitter or Instagram. We may repost leave site your photo!

North Island College has 4400 students and employs more than 480 people throughout the region. Our actions as a group can be tremendous. Thank-you for your participation, we look forward to seeing your pictures online.

For full campaign details, as well as information on how and where to vote, please visit our NIC Votes For Canada page.


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Explore writing from the North Island with NIC’s Write Here Readers Series and discover a region rich in stories and storytellers. The public is welcome to attend.

Write Here Readers SeriesOct 13, 7pm @ Tyee Hall Lounge of NIC in Courtenay: Join Broadview Press founder and Nanaimo-based author Don LePan as he reads from his recent novel Rising Stories: A Novel and discusses the place of tall buildings in our world.

Rising Stories is a sometimes wrenching, sometimes amusing, always thought-provoking novel.

Find out more about these acclaimed authors and a full list of readers across NIC campuses, visit our Write Here Readers Series page.

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When: Thursday, October 15 from 7:00 PM to Oct 15 8:30 PM
Where: Port Alberni
Cost: Free

Discover “The Truth About Writing YA (Young Adult) Fiction” with award-winning Canadian author Monique Polak in this hands-on workshop for both beginner or practiced writers.

Learn the many steps that go into writing a YA novel — from generating ideas and doing research to getting a manuscript ready for publication. In addition to reading excerpts from her work, Monique will share loads of practical tips.

She will also do a short writing exercise designed to help participants find the stories they most need to tell. Read more about the author and find details about the event on our Write Here Readers Series page.

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Register online for SCR-101 or SCR-012, or in-person. For more information call Continuing Education & Training at 250-334-5005.


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Disney International Academic Exchange ProgramDisney reps will be coming to the NIC Comox Valley campus' Stan Hagen Theatre on Oct. 19 from 11:30am-12:30pm. They will host an info session about study abroad opportunities for NIC students with Disney International.

This is an event that is open to all community members, high school students and NIC students who are curious about Disney International’s Academic Exchange program, a partnership between NIC and the University of California, Riverside.

“My co-op experience at Disney was phenomenal. I would go back in a second,” said NIC student Brianna Faucher, who attended Disney in 2014. “I knew I was going to experience a lot of culture but I didn’t know how profoundly it was going to impact me. It changed the direction of my life.”

NIC is one of only a small group of post secondary institutions across the country that is offering this unique and exciting program. It is one that is designed for those pursuing careers in international tourism, hospitality management and business. As part of the program, students can earn an international tourism credential from a California university and applied skills at Disney International.

Learn more about the Tourism and Hospitality Management Diploma, or contact Student Services with further questions at: 1-800-715-0914 or email:

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When: Tuesday, October 20 from Noon to Oct 20 12:45 PM
Where: Comox Valley campus, Stan Hagen Theatre
Cost: Free

North Island College and Emily Carr University Artist Talk Series Fall 2015 presents Judith M Williams.

Judith Margaret Williams is an artist, author and freelance curator living on Cortes Island, BC., Canada. As a visual and textual artist she explores various mediums: installation, paint, drawing, video and book media. 

The artist offers insight to her creative practice:

My work comes from observation, drawing representationally and intuitively and from the process of painting with aqueous media on paper and canvas. My installation work grew from travelling through the waterways of the north

coast of North America and the arising questions about the naming and claiming of this area from the period of early exploration to the re-claiming of traditionally used sites by First Nations. I have focused my attention latterly on the Desolation Sound area where I have had a home for 45 years and the sequence of amazing inlets that are the main engines of the coastal waters. I use whatever media suitable to manifest my ideas in visual and narrative form. 

Williams has exhibited extensively throughout British Columbia. Her work is currently featured in the exhibition Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia at The Walker Art Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. She has attained grants from the BC Arts Council and the Canadian Arts Council for Visual Arts and Creative Writing. Williams taught for the Fine Arts Department at UBC for over twenty years; she is an Assistant Professor Emeritus, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, University of British Columbia.

Admission is free and lectures are open to the public. Any questions regarding the NIC/ECU Artist Talk Series, contact Sara Vipond:

For more information about Fine Arts & Design at NIC visit our program page.  

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It's going to be an exciting afternoon at the Mount Waddington campus in Port Hardy during Orientation Day on Oct. 21. From 4-6 pm students can enjoy food, games, prizes, and special guest speaker Robert Duncan.

Learn more about NIC resources, and get to know fellow students as well as instructors in a welcoming and informal atmosphere.  

Each year, NIC Orientation Day events are a highlight that students will remember for years to come, and have become a staple for local community groups on Vancouver Island. We welcome all incoming and returning Port Hardy students, and look forward to seeing you there!

About Robert Duncan:

Robert is the Quatsino Economic Development LP at the Quatsino First Nation and in that role worked to facilitate the filming of the Alone TV series on Quatsino traditional Territory. His previous titles include Chief Executive Officer for the Hupacasath First Nation and Upnit Power Corporation, a 6.5MW Run-of-River Hydro project located in Port Alberni. Robert also lead the Campbell River Indian Band in the conceptualizing and building of Discovery Harbor Shopping Centre, with its unique contemporary and traditional indigenous designs. As a member of the Da’naxda’xw First Nation, he accepts the privileges and responsibilities of a Bighouse Chief, and actively participates in Kwakiutl culture.

For more information about Orientation Day at Mount Waddington, or about courses available, contact Student Services at 250-949-7912 or by email:

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Is your community or non-profit organization looking for funds to sustain or develop a project or program? Learning the language of grant writing greatly increases the chances of success! NIC's 2-Day Effective Grant Writing Course is taking place on October 22 & 23, 2015 at the Comox Valley campus from 9:00 - 4:00 pm. Cost is $350 plus GST. 

Deadline is October 8, and seats are limited. Register online now, or phone in with credit card payment to 250-334-5005.

Also available for immediate registration with Continuing Education @ NIC:

Building Effective Teams (COM-070) - Research indicates only one out of five teams are high performing. Learning to work effectively as a team or within a team is critical in today's world. In this highly interactive course you will learn the key factors and skills required by anyone leading or working within a team. 
Friday, October 2 from 9-4:30 pm 

Coaching Out Of The Box (GENI-5330) - Imagine if everyone incorporated basic coaching skills into their professional and personal lives. How would that change and enhance the way people work and interact with each other? Utilizing coaching skills lets you get the best of yourself and team, increase staff engagement, improve performance and achieve results. 
Friday, October 23 from 8:30-5:00 pm 

Effective Communication (COM-051) - In today's competitive business world and difficult economy, effective communication is more essential than ever. Developing an engaging and responsive style will lead to positive results for you, your team and your business. This unique, innovative workshop is designed to take your communication skills to the next level. 
Friday, November 6 from 9-4:00 pm 

Strategic Planning: Not-For-Profits (NPM-025) - Geared towards non-profit leaders and board directors wanting to impact change and build a stronger organization. Strategic Planning is an essential process for helping organizations create a blueprint to achieve business objectives. You will acquire practical techniques and insights to facilitate strategic thinking and planning. 
Friday, October 16 from 9-4:30 pm 

Register online or in person. For information visit Continuing Education at NIC or call 250-334-5005

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When: Friday, October 23 to Oct 25
Where: North Island College, Comox Valley Campus

NIC Proudly Presents: Inspire, Advocate, Unleash!
The 2015 Canadian Student Nursing Association Western / Prairie Regional Conference

Join NIC's Bachelor of Science in Nursing students in hosting the nursing students from across Western Canada October 23 to 25, 2015 in the Comox Valley.

The Canadian Nursing Student Association Western Regional conference is the first time NIC nursing students have hosted this regional conference, and several local students have been instrumental to its success.

Conference speakers include inspirational registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing consultants from across Western Canada, including remote First Nations communities.

Students will also have access to a new grad panel and an experiential workshop designed to help nursing students explore the effects of residential schools and Canada's assimilation policies while understanding Aboriginal ways and values.

Register online by July 20, 2015 for early bird pricing. North Island College students can contact Heidi Boettcher for a registration form.

For more information on submitting abstracts, speakers, and where to stay in the Comox Valley, visit


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When: Friday, October 23 from 12:15 PM to Oct 23 1:00 PM
Where: Comox Valley campus, Rm P125
Cost: Free

Save the date! NIC students interested in studying abroad can learn about the existence of funds and the application process for scholarship opportunities during our Oct. 23 workshop.

Available funds for study abroad programs go untouched year to year and we want to ensure NIC students know about the opportunities available, as well as how to access these funds.

For more information visit our Study Abroad program page, or connect with North Island College International at: 1-250-334-5033 and email:

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When: Tuesday, October 27 from 10:00 AM to Oct 27 1:00 PM
Where: Campbell River campus
Cost: $10
Course Code: CREC 1777

Playwright Steve Hill will be in Campbell River for a reading of his play, When I'm 64 on Oct 27 in the NIC theatre of the Campbell River campus. The reading will feature Betty Donaldson, Kate Fairley, Jennifer Gordon, Lynn Hodge, Sharon Pridham, Jeannine Taylor and will be followed by an audience discussion. 

"We will explore the importance of creativity in our elder years and the opportunities in community theatre to learn new skills and make new friends." - Steve Hill

This event is offered through ElderCollege and attendees must be a member of the Campbell River ElderCollege to register ($10 +GST). Membership is available online or in person at your nearest campus.

About When I'm 64:

"Funny, poignant, authentic." - The Record, Katherine Gibson

Tales of loss and shattered expectations and the power of choice. This contemporary play highlights six women in Comox Valley who are facing life-altering transitions. Watch a "Behind The Scenes" video for more about the play:



Do you want to know more about ElderCollege? Learn about our unique community of adult learners.





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When: Tuesday, November 03 from Noon to Nov 03 12:45 PM
Where: Comox Valley campus, Stan Hagen Theatre in Komoux Hall
Cost: Free

North Island College Fine Arts & Design program and Emily Carr University present artist Birthe Piontek as part of the Artist Talk Series, at NIC in the Comox Valley. Admission is free and lectures are open to the public.

Birthe Piontek is a fine art photographer based in Vancouver BC, Canada. Originally from Germany, she moved to Canada in 2005 after receiving her MFA from the University of Essen in Communication Design and Photography. Birthe describes her photography as an exploration of the individual and is interested in the concept of Self.

Her main focus is portrait photography but she also utilizes other art forms like installation and sculpture to investigate the essence of portraiture and to what degree identity can be visualized. Her work has been exhibited internationally, in both solo and group shows, and is featured in many private and public collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the Museum of Applied Arts in Gera, Germany.

Birthe's project The Idea of North won the Critical Mass Book Award 2009, and was published as a monograph in 2011. She was nominated for the AIMIA AGO Award 2014, and her recent project Lying Still was shown during the Capture Photo Festival in Vancouver in spring 2015.

Her work has appeared in a number of international publications like The New York Times Magazine, Le Monde, Wired and The New Yorker among others.

Any questions regarding the NIC/ECU Artist Talk Series, contact Sara Vipond at:

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When: Tuesday, November 03 at 6:45 PM
Where: Stan Hagen Theatre, Comox Valley campus
Cost: Free admission, everyone welcome

The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society, with the support of North Island College, is hosting a forum about the Project Watershed community vision for the restoration and long-term conservation of the decommissioned Field Sawmill site.

The informal community open house is set for November 3rd with our supporters, local stewardship groups and interested members of the general public. We have received support for this project from the City of Courtenay, the K’ómoks First Nation and other senior environmental organizations.  We feel that hearing from the local community is an essential next step and part of our due diligence process for this project.  The objectives of the open house are to:

1.         Communicate our conservation and restoration vision for the property;
2.         Gauge from those attending the open house the level of support for this project in the community;
3.         Solicit input regarding particular constraints, issues or design features that we should consider.

This event is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 in the Stan Hagen Theatre on NIC's Comox Valley campus. The doors will open at 6:45pm.  

Displays will be present and the forum will start at 7:15 pm.

For more information, contact Lisa LaRose at 250-703-2871.

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When: Tuesday, November 17 from Noon to Nov 17 12:45 PM
Where: Comox Valley campus, Stan Hagen Theatre in Komoux Hall
Cost: Free

North Island College & Emily Carr University Artist Talk Series Fall 2015 features lectures from acclaimed Canadian artists. Public is welcome.

Ken Blackburn holds a BFA from Queen’s University and an MFA from the University of Windsor. His art is multi-disciplinary, interested in exploring the nature of pattern, or underlying energies that animate and articulate daily experience. With a background in sculpture Blackburn works through a broad spectrum of mediums and environments. Of interest is the relationship between the visible world, a space/place we tend to refer to as reality, in dynamic with the invisible world, that which we consider as the spiritual or emotive. 

His involvement in social practice focuses on the role of cultural institutions within community development, a straddling between the visible community and the invisible animations that activate communities. Ken Blackburn is the Executive Director for the Campbell River Arts Council and the Public Program Manager for the Museum at Campbell River. He has worked and travelled extensively around the world.

Interested in Fine Arts & Design at NIC? Visit our program page for more information. Contact Sara Vipond: with any questions about our Artist Talk Series.

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Save the date! NIC’s first ever Student Parent Info Night will be taking place at the CV Campus' Stan Hagen Theatre on November 17 from 7 pm - 8:30 pm.

Choosing a college can be one of the toughest decisions you and your family will make this year. Get the answers and support you need to make your choice and ease the transition to college.

This will be an enjoyable evening for parents and high school students to learn about programs from faculty who teach them, and to ask advisors your application questions.

You can also enter to win a $500 NIC tuition credit!

For more information about the event contact Lori Boray at 250-334-5267 or email: Curious about what NIC has to offer? view our Programs and Courses guide.

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When: Thursday, November 26 from 6:30 PM to Nov 26 8:00 PM
Where: Campbell River
Cost: Free
Course Code: GENI 1212


NIC's Campbell River campus is hosting a Metal Jewellery Information Session, Nov 26, Thur 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm in Room D210. This free information session will give prospective students the opportunity to meet instructors and learn about the Metal Jewellery Design Certificate as well as the Jewellery and Metal Art summer workshops and part-time evening and weekend courses available at NIC.

Tour the well-equipped studio, discover more about the field of jewellery making and design, learn about jewellery-making equipment and tools, and see what past students have accomplished. There is no cost to attend but we ask that you please confirm your attendance by pre-registering.

Learn more about NIC's Continuing Education programs or watch this video featuring our Metal Jewellery Design Certificate program:




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Electricians are predicted to be the ninth most in-demand occupational group requiring post-secondary training in BC. Work BC Predicts up to 7,400 Electrician job openings over the next 7 years according to the BC 2022 Labour Market Outlook.

Be in demand! Register for our Electrical Foundation program beginning Feb. 2016 at NIC's Port Alberni and Campbell River campuses:

  • Industry Training Authority (ITA) approved training.
  • Learn strong theoretical technical training while also developing a solid mastery of applied skills.
  • Earn apprenticeship technical training credit towards Interprovincial (Red Seal) certification.

Career possibilities:

Skilled electricians are needed in a growing number of areas, including residential, commercial, and industrial electrical construction, electrical maintenance and service, marine electrical work, and utilities.

Program Highlights:

The Electrical Foundation program, which consists of two blocks of training, provides you with strong technical knowledge while developing the fundamental skills that electricians require.

During the first 8-week block, you gain generic trade skills and knowledge, preparing you for further study. In the second block, which lasts for 16 weeks, you will participate in an enhanced year one Electrical apprenticeship training session. Here, you will develop both the theoretical and practical skills required of a first-year apprentice.

Mickey Bliss (pictured right with student) is an award-winning instructor with NIC.

Questions? Contact Student Services at 1-800-715-0914 or email: