Is there a cost for on-line learning if I am an adult?

NO COST – FOR MOST COURSES: The Ministry of Education will cover the cost of your tuition for most courses you require to upgrade for post-secondary and will completely cover your tuition costs for any courses required for you to complete your graduation. See for more information about tuition-free courses.

What if I don’t have the internet where I live? Can I still do distance education without a computer?

VERY CHALLENGING BUT . . . In rare cases solutions can be found for very isolated students to work without regular use of a computer . . . HOWEVER, every library in BC is equipped with computers and internet that are free to use. Connect with SCIDES to discuss solutions to your situation. And . . . if you are uncomfortable using a computer, we can help you with that.

Do you offer all the courses I can get at a public school?

MOST OF THEM AND MAYBE SOME YOU CAN’T GET THERE. Every public school in BC offers at least some courses that are unique to their school. SCIDES offers a complete slate of BC Ministry of Education courses and some additional ‘local’ courses. If a different public school offers a specific course you want, you can usually be ‘cross-enrolled’ and enjoy learning from both institutions.

Do I have to come to the school for registration or testing?

NO – SCIDES registration is fully online (you can get help to do this from our Registrar by phone or in person). Testing can be done on site if convenient for you or you can make arrangements with your course teacher to have tests supervised off-site.

Do I have to take a full course load, or can I take just one or two courses?

YOUR CHOICE – SCIDES can provide you with what you need when you want it. We are happy to discuss your learning needs with you and to tailor a path that meets your needs.

Do I have to sign up for an on-line school that is nearest to me?

NO – SCIDES has been selected by the BC Ministry of Education (from a list of applicants) to be a Provincial Online Learning School. This authorizes us to provide learning services to all students who are residents of BC – regardless of where they live.

Do I have access to a counsellor to help me with my program?

ABSOLUTELY – we have a dedicated Academic Counsellor for our school-age students and another for our adult learners. In addition, most of our staff are knowledgeable about Ministry of Education requirements.

Can I do an on-line course while I am enrolled in a public school?

YES – being “cross-enrolled” into an online course opens broader opportunities to you as a learner. The Ministry of Education has stated that any BC public School student has the RIGHT to take their online courses from any Provincially Authorized Online Learning School – you do NOT need to take your online courses from your own district.

Is there a time limit to when I must complete my course?

THERE IS FLEXIBILITY - You are expected to progress through your course in a timely manner. This will vary by student and accommodations can be made for students who need a break or more time. Courses should usually be completed within a semester/school year if students are school age and within a year for adults. Most courses take about 100 hours to complete.

How do I choose an on-line school?

WELL … we think SCIDES is great! When choosing a school, you want to consider these things:

Can I connect with my school easily?
SCIDES usually has at least 2 staff members answering phones and emails during regular hours.

Are the teachers easy to reach when I need help?
Teachers at SCIDES will answer their phone, connect by email, ZOOM etc, work with you in person. They are available to help you with your learning as you go, check your understanding as you prepare for exams, work with you to improve your learning if your grade isn’t as high as you need, and coach you through your frustrations.

One thing we hear all the time is appreciation for the fact that we DO pick up the phone and spend time informing people on their queries. It’s important to us that you understand.

When during the day or evening can I access help from a teacher?

SCHOOL HOURS (9:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Most of our teachers work either earlier and/or later than these hours. You can make arrangements by email with your teacher for special circumstances. Class rooms are always open and you can always connect by email.

What are the common challenges of on-line learning?

COMPLETION! Generally, students who complete an online course and engage with their teacher through the learning process achieve very satisfying grades. When doing an online course, regular commitment and steady pacing are important. The greatest indicator of success in a course is connecting with the teacher. An online course is not ‘easier’ than a face-to-face course as the learning meets Ministry of Education standards. Online courses provide flexibility in many ways that can lead to greater success. Commit to the course and take advantage of the support available. Unlike face-to-face classrooms, your teacher is 100% focused on you when you reach out.

How much time do I need to spend each day, on average, to work on an on-line course?

COMPLETELY FLEXIBLE: In total, most courses take 100-120 hours to complete. When you work on a course, consider productivity instead of time-spent. The more productive time spent, the sooner the course is complete.

Will on-line courses be accepted by post-secondary institutions?

YES – Courses offered by BC Ministry of Education authorized schools are accepted by post-secondary institutions. We can proudly say that SCIDES is often recommended to post-secondary applicants who needed to upgrade by those institutions! They have seen the benefits of SCIDES courses to their students.

What qualities make a successful on-line learner?

* ALMOST EVERYONE can be a successful on-line learner if you are determined and willing to put in the work and connect with your teacher.

SELF MOTIVATION – set goals and work towards them. Establish a pace that will have you complete your course in a time line that meets your needs and do your best to stick to it. Use extra time like school holidays to get ahead of schedule if you can. You never know when “life” is going to happen.

ENGAGEMENT WITH THE TEACHER – your teacher is an excellent resource and support person. When you need a little motivation or learning help – reach out. Our teachers take the time and care about your well-being and success.

ACTIVE LEARNER – a learner who takes the time to read the instructions, follow directions, and identify the pertinent information. Most courses also include videos and interactive components that drive and/or enhance learning – watch these and participate.

What resources do I need for on-line learning?

COMPUTER AND INTERNET CONNECTION - if you do not have these in your home, your school and/or public library can provide access. If this is a barrier to you, please reach out to SCIDES and we will do our best to find you a solution.

Sometimes a PRINTER – usually only in courses such as math where writing your answers is so much easier than typing. Again, if this is a barrier – let’s try to problem solve.

For some courses – SCANNER/PHONE – to upload and submit.

TELEPHONE – to establish a strong connection with your teacher – you are not required to speak with your teachers but it sure can be helpful. 

What is the difference between on-line learning and homeschooling?

Online learning will result in the exact same credentials as in-person learning from a BC public school. We ARE a BC Public School. Homeschooling allows parents to provide learning to their children without consideration of BC Ministry of Education standards and therefore students who are fully homeschooled are not awarded BC Graduation status. Students who are homeschooled are eligible to take online courses to supplement their learning. For full information about homeschooling from the BC Ministry of Education website click here.

Are there French Immersion on-line courses available?

Unfortunately, SCIDES does not offer a French Immersion Programme. We do, however, offer French as a second language through to the grade 12 level.

What are registration dates? Is registration on-going?

ONGOING – SCIDES accepts applications throughout the year. There are a few times when SCIDES is closed for school holidays and sometimes for a week or two in the summer months (you can still submit your application and all courses remain open). Students in Grades K-9 are expected to register prior to September 1st to ensure a properly scheduled school year and are encouraged to start the process early. If you are taking Grades 10 – 12 courses, registration is always open.

Are there costs for textbooks or other materials for my on-line courses?

NO MATERIALS COST – there may be costs associated with printing of study materials and students in senior math and science courses are very likely to want to purchase their own scientific calculators. Connect with SCIDES if these are barriers.

Can seniors take on-line courses?

YES – there is no limit to learning and we have had many successful senior learners.

Are there on-line courses for English as a Second Language Learners?

NOT CURRENTLY FOR BEGINNERS – there may be such programs in schools other than SCIDES and we may be able to help you find them. This is something we hope to provide in the future. BUT If a second Language learner is hoping to improve on their basic skills, we have Literacy Foundations courses that may be suitable.

Is there a cost for classes if I have already graduated?

NO – not usually. The BC Ministry of Education will cover the tuition cost for most (unfortunately not all) courses you require for upgrading and/or post-secondary programs. Unfortunately for those rare courses that are required and not covered by the Ministry, we do need to charge tuition.

After I register, how soon can I start my course?

RIGHT AWAY! – If all required paperwork is submitted at the time of registration, your course should be open to you within a day or two. If you don’t receive notification that your course is open or that you require further documentation within 2 days, please contact our Registrar (after you have checked your ‘Junk’ email folder)

How do I get my transcript?

Transcripts are issued by the Ministry of Education and are sent to you once you have completed your graduation requirements. We submit your completed courses to the Ministry of Education weekly. It usually takes about a month after your last course is completed for a transcript to be issued.
You can get your own transcripts by creating and account in the BC Ministry of Education Student Transcript Services. You will need your Provincial Education Number and we can help with that if needed. Furthermore, Post-secondary institutions can access your records directly from your Ministry file if you sign a form giving that permission. Call our Academic advisor to find out more.

How do I register?

REGISTER ONLINE from our website, Click the ‘Sign Up’ button at the top.

sign up button

Phone the Registrar 1-800-663-3536

Are on-line courses free if I am still school aged?

YES THEY ARE – and you are considered to be ‘school-age’ until June 30th after your 19th birthday.