We are a member of LearnNowBC

Any course you complete with us is acceptable at any secondary or post secondary school in Canada. Graduates from our school receive the same Dogwood Diploma issued by any High School in BC.

Last updated
February 14, 2018 11:19 AM

















































































































































Frequently Asked Questions

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Prospective Student?
Existing Student?  
Need Tech Help?

Student at another online school?

Answers for Prospective Students

How do I register for an online course?

The first step in starting an online course is to attend a registration interview and confirm your identity.  Please visit the Home page for registration details. Most students can start their online course as soon as they have completed their registration. Students can usually register for courses at any time. (Note: students can NOT register for courses when our sites are closed for holidays). Please do not register for courses until you are ready to start working in them. There is an expectation that a certain amount of work be completed and submitted within 30 days of enrolling, if it is not, you may be suspended or withdrawn from the course.

If I have already graduated high school, how much are the tuition fees?

The Ministry of Education has announced that effective September 1st, 2017, graduated students can now take some grade 11 and 12 courses tuition FREE. We offer the following courses that are now Tuition FREE for graduated students.

Adult Literacy Foundation courses (upgrading courses below Grade 11 level) are still tuition FREE for ALL students, including high school graduates. The Ministry of Education website lists these free courses.

For courses NOT covered under the tuition free announcement, adult students who have completed graduation from a secondary school or high school in BC or in another jurisdiction have to pay a tuition fee of $375 per course.

Courses NOT free for Graduated students

Graduated students born AFTER July 1, 1998 do NOT have to pay the $375 tuition fee for any courses if they register for an online course and become ACTIVE in the course by submitting a significant number of Assignments or Assessments by April 27th, 2018.

What is the tuition fee for international students?

Please note that effective September 4th, 2017, our international student fee will increase to $1,175 per course. International students who are already enrolled at New Westminster Secondary School will also pay the tuition fee of $1,175 per course.

May I register for a course at any time during the school year?

Most online courses are available year round. However, during the summer, not all the courses are offered. To find out which courses are available and which are not, click on the Course Outlines link on the left side.

How long does it usually take to complete a course?

Our courses follow BC Ministry of Education curriculum and learning outcomes. Courses are designed to be completed in about 120 hours of study for well-prepared students. For example, if you work on your course 10 hours a week, it would take you 12 weeks to complete it. Well prepared students have completed courses is as little as 100 hours or even quicker especially if they have taken the course before. Please contact the teacher of the course for more details.

How do I write tests for my online course?

Most courses allow you to write the first test anywhere as it does not require a password. All other tests are password protected and so must be written at either the Columbia Square Education Centre (or if you are an NWSS student in room 187). You don't have to schedule a time. Just come in during our regular hours. Please bring photo ID.

How can I complete high school if I have not completed any courses in grades 10, 11 or 12?

You will be asked to write an assessment and staff will go over your previous learning and work experience and will recommend a path towards graduation which may include taking upgrading courses before starting grade 11 and 12 courses. (Note: the GED is no longer available for students in BC).

I don't live in New Westminster, can I still take courses there?

Students who live in BC can take our online courses. A student does not in the lower mainland can also register for our online courses, although the registration process is more complicated, and students may require a proctor (who is usually a teacher) who lives in their area to allow them to write tests. Please email Cyndy Hinton (chinton@sd40.bc.ca) or Jim Kemp (jkemp@sd40.bc.ca) for more information about registering and proctoring.

Is there wireless access available in the Columbia Square Education Centre and in Room 187 (at NWSS)?

Not at this time.

Is the Columbia Square Education Centre wheelchair accessible?

Yes, there is an elevator to get to second floor. We also have wheelchair accessible washrooms.

Do I have to write the Provincial Exams?

If you are completing the 80-credit Dogwood, you MUST write the following provincial exams: Communications 12 and English 12 (or the new English Literacy Assessment once it is available) and the Mathematics Skills Assessment (once it is available).

If you are completing the 20-credit Adult Dogwood, the Provincial Exams are optional. If you plan on attending a post-secondary institution, we recommend that you write the English 12 Provincial Exam or the new English Literacy Assessment (once it is available).

What's the difference between the Adult Dogwood and the Regular 80 Credit Dogwood?

All Post Secondary Institutions in BC accept both the Adult Dogwood and 80-Credit Dogwood as completion of Grade 12 graduation in British Columbia, including for entrance into post-secondary colleges and universities. The Adult Dogwood requires the completion of FIVE 4-credit courses, while the 80-Credit Dogwood is usually completed by students under 19 years of age and requires completion of at least 20 courses (which is 80 credits).

The Adult Dogwood may be all that you need to apply to a community college or other postsecondary institution. You should check with the college or post-secondary program you plan to apply to in order to find out what prerequisite courses are required. You may have to take specific courses as part of your graduation program in order to successfully meet the entrance requirements for your post-secondary program. A teacher will assist you with course choices at the time you register with us.  (Note: the GED is no longer available for students in BC).

How do I get my Personal Education Number (PEN)?

The PEN (Personal Education Number) is a 9 digit number that can be found on a student's transcript or maybe found on a report card. If a student has attended high school in BC, our staff maybe able to retrieve a student's PEN from the Ministry of Education.

Answers for Existing Students

I want to complete some courses in BC but I will be moving to another province. Will I be able to transfer my credits?

Yes, we will provide a transcript on request.

I attended a school in another province in Canada. Can I get credit for those courses?

Yes, you can get credit for courses taken at the secondary level elsewhere in Canada as long as the courses are are similar to those offered by the BC Ministry of Education. To find out if your courses qualify, you will need to provide a copy of your transcript and then talk to a teacher.

Do you provide textbooks and printed material or does the web content include everything I need to complete the course?

While some courses require a textbook that students pick up on deposit, some courses have all necessary material within the online course. If a textbook is necessary for the course, a $100 refundable deposit will be required (the $100 deposit will be refunded if the book is returned within one calendar year, in the same condition). Some courses require workbooks. The cost for the workbooks are between $10 and $30 depending on the course.

How can I pay for the deposit on materials or course fees?

We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard and debit cards. You must pay in person. We do NOT accept personal cheques or other credit cards (i.e. American Express).

Can I write more than one test per day?

Yes, most courses allow students to write more than one test in one day, if the student has adequately studied for the test. However, please note that most courses do not allow students to rewrite tests. Please contact the teacher of your course for more information. 

How do I get help with my course?

If you have questions about course material, or require individual instruction, please email your online teacher. Our teachers may be able to help students by email, by phone, by video link, or by meeting face-to-face with students.

How does a student WITHDRAW from their course?

If you have started a course and now do not want to complete it, please email your teacher and ask to be withdrawn from the course. Teacher email addresses can be found on the "course outlines" link. 

What percent do I need to get an A grade?

Letter Grades, and their equivalents:

A (86-100%) Excellent

B (73-85%) Very Good

C+ (67-72%) High Average

C (60-66%) Average

C- (50-59%) Minimal Achievement

I (0-49%) Incomplete

F (0-49%) Fail (Final Grade)

The Grade Point Average (GPA) scale used by the Ministry of Education is:

A = 4, B = 3, C+ = 2.5, C = 2, and C- = 1.

What score is a passing mark in our courses?

A passing grade is 50% but students should aim for at least 70% for mastery of the material.

Are there computers that I can use at the Columbia Square Education Centre?

We have 10 PC computers in the centre that our registered students can use to access their course(s), and write tests. All computers have access to a printer. Students may only print materials related to their courses. Please check with staff before printing.

Tech Help

My course is no longer listed in BlackBoard?

You may have been made inactive because you have not logged in recently. Contact your online teacher.

I can not view images or equations in practice tests?

Change your browser's settings to allow pop up windows. Make sure that your Java is up-to-date. Make sure the browser you are using is the computer's "default" browser.

How do I submit assignments for my online course?

You should complete your assignments using a word processor, such as Microsoft Word (make sure to save your file as a DOCX or RTF file), or you can type your answers directly into the assignment submission box. After completing and saving your assignment as a document, follow the instructions provided in the course for attaching the document. If you use Pages on a Mac or iOS device, export your document as a Word document.

Is my computer good enough for an online course?

To take part in an online course, you should have:
For Windows: A Pentium 4 with a 1 GHz or better and Windows XP or better. ADSL or Cable connection is required.

For Macintosh: You should have an iMac, iBook, MacBook, MacBook Pro with 1 GHz or better and OS X 10.5.or better. You must have an ADSL or Cable connection.

Which Internet browser should I use?

We recommend that you use the latest version of Safari, Chrome or Firefox. Make sure you are using the latest version of your browser and that Java is up to date. You must make sure that Pop-up blockers are turned off. If you require assistance setting up your computer, please contact your teacher.

Students at another School

I am taking a online course with another School District, College or University. Can I arrange for the staff at your school to proctor my tests?

If you are taking a course through an online program that is registered with LearnNowBC (http://www.learnnowbc.ca/) then the proctoring will be FREE.

If your school is NOT a member of LearnNowBC, then the cost is $50 per hour for proctoring. Note: Students who are currently registered and "Active" in one of our online courses will receive a 20% discount on the proctoring fee (only $40 per hour). Please email Jim Kemp (jkemp@sd40.bc.ca) for more information about proctoring.