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Colleges in British Columbia

British Columbia has 11 public colleges, five private colleges and six theological colleges. Each institution has its own set of admission requirements. However, special considerations may be given to Aboriginal people, mature applicants and those with disabilities. Generally, these post-secondary schools require students to complete a high school education in order to qualify. Some programs may have required academic prerequisites for admission.

The British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer mandated all colleges and universities to develop policies that will allow students to transfer from one institution to another without losing their credits. In addition, nearly all colleges have an international students’ office that can cater to foreign applicants who wish to study in BC. There are many academic and technical programs to choose from in the province.

Vancouver Community College

Vancouver Community College was established in 1965 as a public community college. It is the oldest and largest community college in area, and it accommodates more than 26,000 students every year. More than eight percent of students come from other countries. VCC offers four-year bachelor’s degrees in arts, business and community services. Career programs that grant one-year certificates and two-year diplomas are also available. These programs are offered at VCC’s two campuses in Broadway and Downtown that can be accessed through the Sky Train.

In addition, VCC offers part-time and full-time programs in the spring, summer and fall terms. There are also courses available for students who want to supplement their high school education and continuing education for professionals. The following are the major programs offered at VCC.

  • Apprenticeship Training
  • Business
  • Design
  • ESL
  • Health Sciences and Human Services
  • High School Plus
  • Hospitality
  • Instructor and Teacher Training
  • Languages and Writing
  • Music and Dance
  • Sign Language Studies
  • Technology
  • Transportation Trades

Douglas College

Established in 1970, Douglas College is one of the largest public colleges in the region. It has an estimated 14,000 credit students, 9,000 continuing education students and 1,000 international students enrolled every year. The college offers university degree and transfer programs, diplomas and continuing education for personal and professional skills upgrades. It also offers more than 30 major career training programs.

The transfer credit program is the most common choice for students. With this, they are able to complete two-year degree level courses before they enroll in institutions like the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. Programs offered at Douglas College include the following.

  • Accounting
  • Animal Health
  • Arts
  • Business Administration
  • Nursing
  • Physical Education
  • Musicianship
  • Behavioral Intervention
  • Computing Science and Information Systems
  • Youth Justice
  • Hospitality Management

Langara College

Langara College was established in 1965 as a part of Vancouver City College. It was only in 1994 that it officially became Langara College. It is a public degree-granting college that serves an estimated 23,000 students every year. Langara offers university, continuing studies and career programs.

The school’s university studies programs are a popular choice for BC students as they have smaller class sizes, competitive tuition and excellent student support services. These university-level programs include bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, certificates, diplomas and citations. The College of Nursing, Business Administration and Recreation Management also offer four-year degree programs. Courses and programs cover the following areas.

  • Health
  • Humanities and Social Services
  • Science and Technology
  • Arts
  • Business

Camosun College

Camosun College was established in 1971 as a public post-secondary college. It offers university, career, technical and vocational programs at the Interurban and Lansdowne campuses. In 2009, the college had an estimated 12,500 full time students.  Camosun College offers programs in the following areas.

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Continuing Education
  • Employment Preparation
  • Engineering Technology
  • ESL
  • Human Health Services
  • Sciences
  • Sports and Exercise
  • Trades and Apprenticeships

Northern Lights College

Northern Lights College is a post-secondary community college established in 1975. It is also called BC’s Energy College. The school offers a number of options where students can earn an associate degree, certificate or diploma. The typical number of enrollees every year reaches 10,000. These students attend the college’s programs at campuses and access centers in Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Dease Lake, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson and Tumbler Ridge. The following are programs offered at Northern Lights College.

  • Business Management and Applied Business Technology
  • Career and College Preparation
  • Clean Energy Technologies
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Oil and Gas training
  • Practical Nursing and Health Care
  • Teacher Training
  • Trades and Apprenticeships
  • University Arts and Sciences
  • Visual Arts
  • Workforce Training and Continuing Education

Okanagan College

Okanagan College was established in 1963 as a vocational school. Okanagan is a public college that offers more than 120 certificates, degrees and apprenticeship programs. Every year, the college has more than 8,500 students. Students attend the college’s programs at five different campuses and smaller access centers. Main campuses include Vernon, Salmon Arm, Kelowna, Revelstoke and Penticton. Okanagan College offers the following programs.

  • University Studies
  • Business
  • Computer and Information Systems
  • Engineering Technologies
  • Health and Social Development
  • Trade and Apprenticeship
  • Foundation Programs
  • International Programs
  • Distance Education
  • Continuing Studies

College of New Caledonia

The College of New Caledonia was founded in 1969 as a public post-secondary community college. It offers university credit, career, vocational and technical courses at campuses in Lakes District in Burns Lake, Quesnel, Mackenzie, Venderhoof and Nechako in Fort St. James. It has about 5,000 students annually. The college offers the following programs.

  • Business
  • Dental Programs
  • Fine Arts
  • Health Science Programs
  • Social Services and Early Childhood Education Programs
  • Technology Programs
  • Trades
  • Industrial Mechanic
  • University Transfer

Sprott-Shaw Community College

Sprott-Shaw Community College was established in 1903 as a private college. SSCC typically has a student population of over 4,500 annually. It offers programs in the following areas.

  • Business
  • Health and Development
  • Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Trades

Selkirk College

Selkirk College was founded in 1966 as a public post-secondary community college. It offers more than 60 programs for an estimated 2,400 students every year. These programs are delivered at eight different campuses and access centers located in Boundary, West Kootenay, Nelson, Castlegar, Kaslo, Grand Forks and Trail. Selkirk College is comprised of the following schools.

  • Arts
  • Academic Upgrading and Development
  • Business and Aviation
  • Digital Arts and New Media
  • Health and Human Services
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Industry and Trades Training
  • Environment and Geomatics
  • University Arts and Sciences
  • Selkirk International

Ashton College

Ashton College was established in 1998 as a private college. It offers programs and certificates for both local and international students through on-campus and online education. There are also programs for professionals such as continuing education and development workshops and seminars. The following are the programs and courses offered at Ashton College.

  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Business
  • Business English
  • Financial Services
  • Home Inspection
  • Immigration
  • International Trade
  • Payroll Administration
  • Sales and Marketing
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