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Options open for adult students

Alt education free for returning students

There’s a lot of different reasons an adult would go back to school.

But there are also many perceived obstacles that keep people from returning to the classroom.

Agassiz Centre for Education’s administrator, Sandy Balascak, said that the most common question she hears from adults in the community is “how much is that course?”

The answer is always the same, she said.

Free.

She’s hoping that message gets out to more adults in the community who may be tossing around the idea of getting their Grade 12, or even taking courses that could get them into post-secondary education.

There are courses like science and math, English and even First Nations studies.

“Every year, we encounter so many people who think they can not come to ACE or will have to pay large amounts for tuition,” she said.

There are other concerns she hears, too, including: “I graduated so I can’t go back to a public school.”

The Agassiz Centre for Education (ACE) is a ministry-funded public school, accepting both grads and non-grads.

“While some institutions will charge for upgrading, ACE is a public school and provides Ministry funded courses, so there is no tuition,” Balascak said. “Adults can choose from a list of Adult Basic Education courses that include academics, computer studies, etc.  As long as the residency requirements are met and the courses meet the Ministry standards, adults may qualify.”

Another common concern is finding time to attend classes, while juggling family responsibilities and working.

“We recognize that adults have busy lives and we can provide a flexible schedule,” Balascak said. “We can provide direct instruction for those who need or want it, but can also accommodate doing much of the work at home. We individualize programs and schedules to meet the needs of the student.”

There are even online options for certain programs, she added.

Then there are those who feel they’ve gotten “too old” for education.

But ACE has students everywhere from 19 to 55, with most adults finding it easier than they thought.

And finally, there are people who studied outside of B.C., worried that their credits won’t transfer.

Most often, they will, Balascak said.

“You may be able to transfer some credits, and you can take the courses you need to make up the remainder of the credits,” she explained.

For more information on how to register, phone 604-796-9496 or email Balascak at ace@sd78.bc.ca.