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Adult Basic Education

College/university preparation and high school equivalency courses.

Where: College Wide
Starts: September through June
  • Receive individual support every step of the way, from your initial assessment, to your self-paced learning plan, to one-on one assistance in class.
  • Learn what you need to achieve your goals. Depending on your career path, you may need English or math or both.
  • At NIC, you are part of an adult learning community with classmates working toward a specific goal, just like you.



  • College is NOT high school.  At NIC, you are part of an adult learning community, with fellow classmates who are working toward a specific goal.
  • Your classes are flexible. Upgrading classes offer a variety of daytime and evening classroom sessions that you can work around your personal schedule.
  • You'll start at a level that feels right for you. Our skills assessments make choosing courses easy, ensuring that you are placed in the right class level for success.
  • We’ll help you keep up. At NIC, some of our courses have a set schedule with established deadlines, while others are flexible and you learn at your own pace. Either way, you won’t be alone. Our instructors help you keep moving forward, providing extra instruction and encouragement every step of the way.
  • Education is for everyone.  No one can take it away from you.  Our world is rapidly changing and we need to keep up with it for our families and ourselves.  Upgrading is one way to do this. Upgrade yourself.  Keep current. Challenge yourself. 

Did you know ...

Your past grades don’t matter. What matters is where you’re headed. We’ll help you get started at a level that feels right, and you’ll move forward at your own pace with the support you need.
Different programs have different requirements.  Depending on the program, you may need English or math or both. Speak with an educational advisor for more information.
You can finish your BC Adult Graduation diploma along the way. If you’re planning to take a college program, you can also take upgrading courses at the same time and graduate from college with your BC Adult Graduation diploma too. This may qualify you for a wider range of job opportunities. Ask an educational advisor for details.

How Does Upgrading Work?

  • NIC’s educational advisors will work with you to recommend courses that are right for you. Advising sessions at the college are 30 minutes long. You can request a telephone appointment if that’s easier than coming in person. Speak to an advisor to find out if you need to upgrade.

  • Apply to the Adult Basic Education program.

  • Take an NIC assessment or provide NIC with your high school transcript.

  • Work with your advisor to develop your course plan.

  • Register and start classes.

Course Timetables / Study Options

You will find a wide variety of upgrading courses available at all NIC locations. There are scheduled courses that meet at the same time every week, or you can choose more flexible options like our continuous entry and online courses. The continuous entry and online courses are generally self-paced, but must be completed within four months of registering. Some courses allow you five months to complete, and they all include instructor support and follow-up.
Educational advisors at your nearest campus can provide you with a timetable of courses suited to your goals and your schedule. It is possible for you to build your timetable around jobs and child care. Contact an educational advisor to make your appointment today. 

Admission Requirements

  1. Complete and submit the NIC Application for Admission form, writing Adult Basic Education as the program name.
  2. Submit any transcripts you may have.
  3. Meet with an educational advisor to discuss your upgrading goals. A skills assessment may be required and will be booked at this time.
  4. If you have a documented disability, please contact Access for Students with Disabilities for assistance with your assessment.

International Language Requirements

For international language requirements click here.

Once you have submitted transcripts and/or completed an assessment, NIC educational advisors will recommend courses from the following list which are best suited to your current skill level personal goals.

Fundamental level courses provide you with the reading, study skills, writing and math they need to move on to other courses or for personal satisfaction.

Intermediate level courses provide the skills to meet the requirements of some employers and some vocational programs.

Advanced level courses provide the skills to start some vocational or technical training.

Provincial level courses provide the skills for Grade 12 equivalency and the Adult Graduation Diploma.


  • ENG-013 Fundamental English Level 1
  • ENG-014 Fundamental English Level 2
  • ENG-015 Fundamental English Level 3
  • ENG-025 Fundamental English Level 4
  • ENG-026 Fundamental English Level 5
  • ENG-027 Fundamental English Level 6
  • ENG-035 Intermediate English
  • ENG-052 Advanced English
  • ENG-096 First Peoples Literature and Composition
  • ENG-098 Essay Writing and Critical Reading



  • BIO-060 Concepts in Biology I (Inhabiting the Human Body)
  • CHE-051 College Preparatory Chemistry I
  • CHE-060 College Preparatory Chemistry II
  • PHY-050 College Preparatory Physics I
  • PHY-060 College Preparatory Physics II

Other Subjects

  • FNS-060 First Nations Student Skills 1
  • FNS-061 First Nations Student Skills 2
  • FNS 096 BC First Peoples Studies
  • KWA-096 Introduction to Kwak'wala

Tuition & Costs Estimate for
Fall 2017, Winter, Spring & Summer 2018

Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit tuition page.

Domestic Fees

per Credit
NISU Fees $5
Student  Union (NISU) fees are $5 per credit. Book costs and Lab fees are course-specific, and not all courses have Lab fees.    

International Fees

Term 1
Tuition $6,365
NISU Fees $65
Total $6,430
Additional Costs for International Students include the $100 Application fee (required) and the $250 Accommodation Placement fee (optional).
Tuition  fees may vary, depending on the number of courses taken. Book costs and Lab fees are course-specific. Not all courses have Lab fees.

Nadine Simpson

Nadine Simpson

Department Chair, Faculty

Adult Basic Education

BSc, Biology (Vancouver Island University, 2006)

BA, Anthropology (Vancouver Island University, 2006)

Subjects: Mathematics
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5083 | Location TTB - 127

Jeannie Cameron

Jeannie Cameron



MSc, Mathematics (Dalhousie University,1993)

Subjects: Mathematics
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5060 | Location TTB - 117
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9772

Sara Child

Sara Child

Faculty, Researcher

Adult Basic Education, Humanities & Social Sciences

Master of Education Indigenous Language Revitalization (UVic, 2017)

Subjects: Early Childhood Education, English, Human Service Worker, Languages
Mt. Waddington Regional Campus 250-949-7912
Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre 250-902-0552

Brad R. Jones

Brad R. Jones
Port Alberni Campus 250-724-8764
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9700

Donna Ley

Donna Ley
Mt. Waddington Regional Campus 250-949-7912 ext. 2876

Mac Newton

Mac Newton
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4152 | Location TYE - 219

Janice Nicklin

Janice Nicklin


Adult Basic Education, Mathematics-Science

BSc (University of Winnipeg)

Certificate, Secondary Educaiton (University of Manitoba)

Masters in Leadership and Training (Royal Roads University)

Subjects: Mathematics
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4083 | Location TTB - 122
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9770

Danita Schmidt

Danita Schmidt
Mt. Waddington Regional Campus 250-949-7912 ext. 2861 | Location PH - 112
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9700

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