Distance Education

No matter where you live, NIC offers ways for you to pursue your education. We offer hundreds of courses in a variety of formats and scheduling options so you can find an option that works for you. Distance learning courses are structured so you don’t have to be in a classroom to learn.

Distance classes are offered in two different formats:

  • Lock-step courses are good for students who like a fixed schedule. These courses follow the same schedule as a classroom-based academic schedule.
  • Flexible courses allows students to work through the course material at their own pace, with a fixed deadline to have the course completed.

Have questions about becoming a distance learner? Contact an NIC educational advisor for help.

Become a Distance Student

Step 1: Explore your options

Browse the Distance Education course offerings by term at NIC Connect or through our Distance Education Guide.

Not sure what is right for you? Contact one of our educational advisors to talk about options, funding and career paths.

Step 2: Apply to NIC

Apply online at Education Planner BC.

Once you have successfully completed the application process, paid your application fee and met applicable admission requirements, you will receive myNIC login instructions and details from us about next steps.

Application Information

Applicants to North Island College must be:

  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident, a landed immigrant or their dependant, or those participating in international reciprocal transfer agreements, such as visiting armed forces personnel based at a Canadian Forces base, and be
  • Eighteen (18) years of age or older. Applicants under 18 years of age may be admitted 1) if the applicant turns 18 before the end of the first calendar year of their post-secondary studies, or 2) by special request and discussion with an NIC counsellor.

Application tips

The application requests your program selection. This is the full program name as it appears in the NIC Calendar or under Programs & Courses. Exceptions: for administration purposes, the program selection for university transfer is designated as University Studies, and for upgrading as Adult Basic Education (ABE).

When to Aplly

NIC accepts applications at any time during the year. Applications generally open October 1 for the following academic year. We accept students on a first qualified, first invited basis. This means that once a student applies and meets all of the mandatory admission requirements, the next available seat in the program will be theirs, assuming there is no waitlist. We encourage students to apply early in order to meet deadlines and ensure there is space available in their chosen course or program.

NIC will communicate with you at your personal email address immediately after receiving your application. You will be given an NIC email address in this communication; all future correspondence from NIC will be to this NIC email address.

Step 3: Complete the admission requirements

Submit documents showing that you meet the admission requirements for your program of choice and/or course prerequisites. The details of the admission requirements are listed in the admissions tab of your program page and in the individual course descriptions.

There are a number of ways to provide documentation or meet your course or program prerequisites, including:

  • Official high school transcript
  • Official post secondary transcript
  • Placement assessment
  • Mature student status (See student policies for details)

If any additional information is required, we’ll contact you by email to your NIC email address to let you know.

Step 4: Register

If you have successfully completed the application process, and met the application requirements, you will receive a letter of invitation which includes information about registration, next steps, paying your tuition, academic schedules, and deadlines. Before registering in classes, you will be asked to submit a non-refundable tuition deposit. This amount varies by program and will be applied towards your tuition. Detailed information about tuition, fees, and payments is listed under Tuition & Costs in the Student Services section of the website.

There are two ways to register in courses:

  • For continuous entry/exit programs you may have to register in person at a campus or centre.
  • For all other courses you may also choose to register online at myNIC.

Step 5: Get ready for classes

To find out which course materials, text books, and supplies you’ll need, visit the bookstore on campus or use our book search online.

Distance Learners registered in Flexible/Lockstep/Web classes can see Distance Student Book Order Information.

Distance Exams

Distance exams may be written at any NIC campus or centre. The Open Exam Schedule is posted the same date as the on-campus exam schedule, as listed in (academic schedules and deadlines (key dates)).

Distance exams can also be written at another educational institute if it’s closer to you. The Off-Campus Exam Application should be submitted no later than three weeks before you hope to write the exam.

To book a distance exam:

  1. Three weeks ahead of time, notify your instructor that you will soon be ready to write your exam. Tell them when (your desired test time) and where (which NIC campus or centre). They will send your exam to that location.
  2. Two weeks ahead of time, contact Student Services at 1-800-715-0914 to make the booking at your chosen location. They will arrange for a test supervisor. It is important at this time to make sure your exam has arrived from the instructor.

You will be asked to present photo ID at your exam. Please arrive 10 minutes prior to test time.

If you cannot attend an NIC campus or centre, or another educational institute, you may be able to write your exam under the supervision of an approved invigilator. Please contact assessment services to learn more about this option.