Trades Student Orientation Guide


Trades program intakes are not always aligned with the ‘traditional’ academic September or January start dates at North Island College. Because of this, we’ve created the Trades Student Orientation Guide.

Trades Schedules

The programs and their start dates are unique to each trade. You will find specific information for Trades programs on the Academic Schedules & Deadlines link under Trades & Technical.

Once you are admitted to the program, your instructor will be the best source of information regarding day-to-day start and end times and weekly class schedules.

Who can you talk to and where can you find them?

Every campus has a Student Services desk. This is where you can go to ask about anything and everything. The experienced and knowledgeable staff will guide you to the right people to talk to.

You can also reach them by phone at 1-800-715-0914 or email them at if you would prefer.

The months before classes start

Get Connected

Plan your Transportation

BC Transit

BC Transit goes to all campuses. You can enter your address and destination, and the system will generate your route options.

You can purchase Student Transit passes at the NIC Bookstore.

Comox Valley & Campbell River Connection

If you are commuting between Comox Valley and Campbell River, the two transit systems meet at Oyster River and students can transfer between them. You can purchase ‘Dual Zone’ passes at the NIC Bookstore for significant savings.


Once you have attended your first few classes you may find others in the class that are interested in carpooling.

Health and Dental Plan

The North Island Students’ Union health and dental plan is automatically applied to all full-time students who begin in September or January and who are taking nine or more credits for six months or longer.

Visit for more information.

Students who have existing, equivalent coverage can choose opt out of the extended health and dental plan. Contact the North Island Students’ Union for more information.

Line up your funding

Pre-Apprentice/Foundation Funding Sources


NIC Foundation Awards and Bursaries

Apprentice Levels Only

The week before classes start

When and where is your first class?

  • Log in to your myNIC account. Go to Academics à Student Planning à When you click on a class in your schedule, you’ll see the class/meeting information.


  • Go to the Our Locations page à click on the tile for your campus. You’ll find information on parking, campus services and how to connect to NIC wi-fi.

Food and Coffee

Campbell River

You’ll find the coffee bar and lunch counter In the Student Commons area. Coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches and baked goods are available, and lunch is prepared by NIC Culinary Arts students.

Comox Valley

In the Tyee Hall, you’ll find Custom Gourmet. Their hours will be posted on-site and at

There are several business within a 5–10-minute walk for lunch as well.

Port Alberni

While there is no on-site source for coffee and snacks, the Tebo Centre is located near several businesses which provide coffee, snacks and lunch.

Smoking policy on campus

  • Your instructor can advise which smoking areas are nearest to your classrooms and work

Tool Crib

  • The Tool Crib works like a library – for tools. It saves the expense of purchasing all the tools you will need to complete your program.
  • You pay a refundable deposit and NIC makes tools available to you. The tool deposit is not included in your tuition. It will be returned at the end of the term if all borrowed tools and tags are returned in an acceptable condition. Tools will not be distributed without proof of payment from the Registration office.
  • Your instructor will introduce you to the Tool Crib at your campus.

Student Technical Support

Books and Supplies

  • Some programs want you to wait until your first day of class to buy your textbooks. Look in your welcome email and/or course outline to see what your instructors advise.
  • Search for your book at the NIC bookstore.

First week of class

Get your ID card

  • Go to Student Services and ask an Enrolment Services Representative to snap your photo and order your card

Library and Learning Commons

Student Life: Get Connected | Get Supported | Get Involved

Learn about college events in the Student Life newsletter that is delivered into your NIC email inbox or on the Event Calendar page. Find out about PAID and VOLUNTEER student opportunities. Email if you have any questions or want to connect with your Student Life team.

Facing difficulties? Need help?

Reach out to our FREE and CONFIDENTIAL Early Assist program and get connected with campus and community resources that meet your needs.

This program is essentially a one-stop shop for information and YOU can self-refer to the program. Faculty also refer students who they feel may benefit from additional support to the Early Assist program.

Email to make an appointment.

Finding work in your trade

Connect with your Skilled Trades BC Apprenticeship Advisor for the North Island Region.

Visit the WorkBC Find Jobs page for more resources on how to find skilled Trades jobs.