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Academic program: A program of study, usually involving theoretical knowledge and research, and usually leading to a certificate, diploma, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree.

Admission Requirement(s): Prerequisites that must be complete to qualify for admission to a program.

Aegrotat: An unclassified degree which a student may receive based on satisfactory term marks but which the student has been unable to complete due to demonstrated exceptional circumstances, e.g. illness, death in the family, etc.

Application: The formal way of notifying a post-secondary institution that you want to be a student there.

Apprenticeship: paid, work-based training usually combined with post-secondary education. Typically, about 80-85% of an apprenticeship is made up from work-based training and the other 15-20% is made up from technical training taken in a classroom and shop setting. Apprenticeship lengths can range from one to five years, but most require four years to complete.

Assessment: An evaluation of a student’s ability in a particular area.

Associate Degree: The degree awarded after a two-year period of study which can be either terminal (vocational) or transfer (the first two years of a bachelor’s degree).

Articulation: The system used by post-secondary institutions to determine which courses at one institution are effectively the same as those offered at another. This helps students move throughout the BC post-secondary system. (For example, NIC’s English 212 articulates with UVic’s English 202.)

Audit: Taking a course for interest, and not for credit. Audit students attend and participate in classes, labs and seminars and complete course readings. Audit students are not required to complete course work, assignments and exams. Audit student are only admitted into courses and are not required to meet the course prerequisites. Audit students are required to pay all applicable fees.

Awards: Financial entrance awards, bursaries and scholarships.


Bachelor’s Degree: The degree awarded upon completion of approximately four years of full time study in the liberal arts or sciences or professional subjects.

BCcampus: BCcampus external link is an online educational service that connects students and online courses across British Columbia. NIC students, as well as students from other institutions in BC, may register in NIC and other BC post-secondary institution courses through BCcampus.

BCCAT: The British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer external link, who is responsible for the management of BC Transfer Guide and Education Planner.

Bursary: Funds designed to assist students who meet specific eligibility criteria and demonstrate financial need.


Calendar: The book of rules, regulations, policies, programs (and requirements), and courses for a particular post-secondary institution.

Certificate: Recognition of successful completion of a program of study, of varying lengths, often one year.

Continuous Entry/Exit: These courses and programs are self-paced. Students regularly attend North Island College for instruction, but proceed through course materials at their own pace, subject to completion deadlines.

Co-op Education: Cooperative Education is the integration of academic studies with paid periods of relevant work experience.

Co-requisite: A course that must be taken at the same time as the course listed (if not already completed successfully). Knowledge gained in the co-requisite course is considered essential to success in the companion course.

Course: A formal, organized learning experience, usually taught by an instructor from a prepared outline of content and learning outcomes.

Credential: The official document acknowledging completion of a program or course of study.

Credit: The value assigned to a course. For example, many NIC courses are valued at 3 credits.


Dean: The educational leader of one of the education program areas at the college.

Deferred Fees: Fees which have been postponed or delayed. These are possible for qualified students through application to an NIC Financial Aid Advisor. Such approval must be obtained prior to payment deadlines.

Degree: Recognition of successful completion of a program of studies (usually about 40 courses or 120 credits), often with a specific Major, Minor or Concentration.

Department: Faculty and administrators associated with a particular discipline or program (e.g. the English Department).

Department Chair: The head of a program or department. “Coordinator” is sometimes used synonymously with “Chair.”

Deposit: A non-refundable fee that is applied to tuition and is due at or prior to registration to affirm the student’s intent to attend the College.

Diploma: Recognition of successful completion of a program of study, usually two years in length. Post-degree diplomas are often one year in length.

Distance Courses: Courses where curriculum is offered through one or more of a variety of media, including online and correspondence. Some components may be offered on campus. Typically the autonomy of the individual learner is what distinguishes “distance” learning from “distributed” learning.

Distributed Education: Learning opportunities that extend the reach of the traditional classroom. Typically, this involves one or more kinds of electronic delivery, including Interactive Television (ITV), online discussions, and streaming videos. Distributed Learning allows us to simultaneously teach, study, and interact with groups of individuals on one or more other campuses.


Education Planner: Managed by BCCAT, Education Planner provides information on programs, admission requirements, tuition fees and application dates for all of BC’s 27 public postsecondary institutions.

EducationPlannerBC: EducationPlannerBC external link, formerly known as ApplyBC, is a free, centralized online educational planning resource and application service where students apply for admission to public post-secondary institutions in BC.

Elective: An elective is normally a university transfer course that students select outside of their major area of study, to fulfill program graduation requirements.

Entrance Awards: Funds awarded to first-time NIC students that are applied toward tuition fees.


Faculty: The teachers at a post-secondary institution. In many institutions, “faculty” also refers to a grouping of departments and programs in a similar area (e.g., Faculty of Arts).

Full-Time: For BC Student Loan purposes, full-time is considered enrolment in at least a 60% course load for their program of studies. Some external agencies may set different requirements and guidelines. Full-time definition may vary for other purposes at North Island College.


Grade Point Average (GPA): A weighted average of a student’s performance in credit courses. “Weighted” means that the calculated average puts proportionately more “weight” on courses with more credits.

Graduation: The process of receiving formal recognition, usually by the granting of a credential (certificate, diploma, associate degree or bachelor’s degree) for having completed a program of study.


Industry Training Authority (ITA): the government agency that governs and develops the BC industry training system external link, including Interprovincial Red Seal (Accredited) Training Programs.

Institution: A college, university or university-college established for the purposes of delivering higher education and authorized to confer recognized credentials.

Interactive Television: Scheduled classes may be offered through Interactive Television (ITV). ITV allows students to interact with a scheduled class at another location via live video linkage. ITV classes are listed on the campus/centre timetable.


Laddering: A process which allows you to build upon previously earned credits or credentials, either from secondary or postsecondary institutions.

Lock Step: Students in Lock Step courses must complete exams and assignments on a fixed four month schedule with fixed deadlines that parallel scheduled classes. Rules for scheduled classes apply to Lock Step distance courses as detailed in the Academic Schedule. Lock Step works especially well if clear timelines help you get the work done.


Minimum Course Load: Required number of credits or courses to be eligible for a student loan (usually 60% of a full course load).


Online Learning: Online learning is an option for students who wish to learn in their own environment using technology and/or the Internet.


Part-time: Attending less than full-time. In the case of university transfer, usually fewer than three courses.

Placement Testing: Testing English and/or math skills that allows the institution to accurately place students in courses.

Plagiarism: The presentation of another person’s or source’s words and/or ideas as one’s own. Plagiarism ranges from an entire assignment that is not the student’s own work to specific passages within an assignment taken from a source without acknowledgment.

Practicum: Practice experience in the community that is related to students’ program of study.

Preceptor: An individual approved by the College who provides daily, on-site supervision for students participating in a Preceptorship.

Preceptorship: a period of field experience in which the student performs actual clinical or other professional procedures under the direct supervision of a preceptor.

Prerequisite: A prerequisite is an educational level that must be achieved in order to register in a higher level. A prerequisite course is a course that must be taken before a student can take more advanced courses in the discipline.

Prior Learning Assessment: Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a process that enables people to gain recognition and credit for what they already know and can do. It involves the identification, documentation and assessment of learning acquired through informal or independent study, work experience, volunteering, non-credit courses and other life experiences.

Program: A program is a definite plan of studies that may result in a certificate, diploma or degree.


Receiving Institution: The institution to which you are transferring.

Registration: The process of enrolling in individual courses after completion of all required admission procedures.

Residency: The number of courses or credits (or percentage of the program) that must be completed at the institution granting a credential.


Scheduled Courses: Many courses offered at NIC campuses are offered as scheduled classroom instruction. Instructors teach course content through lectures, laboratories, seminars and other forms of direct face-to-face contact at regularly set days and times.

Scholarships: Funds awarded to students for high academic achievement.

Section: A specific offering of a particular course.

Self-paced Courses: Delivery of course curriculum in a manner suited to the students learning needs.

Sending Institution: The institution from which you are transferring.

Student Services: The department that is responsible for maintaining all student records, admitting all students, maintaining the registration system, administering financial assistance, etc.


Term: A period of study during which all course material is covered and exams are completed.

Timetable: Published several times each year, the timetable lists all the courses and labs offered each academic term or session. Includes the course code, name, time, location and instructor for each course and lab offered.

Transcript: The formal document provided by the post-secondary institution that verifies the student’s enrolment and achievement in the institution. The transcript records course titles and numbers, dates of enrolment, grades, and any credential(s) received.

Transfer: Consists of the granting of credit (transfer credit) toward a credential by one institution, for programs or courses completed at another.

Tuition: Instructional fees.