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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Adult Basic Education


ABE Intermediate Certificate (Adult Grade 10) College Preparation
ABE Advanced Certificate (Adult Grade 11) University Preparation
BC Adult Graduation Diploma (Adult Grade 12) University Preparation


Open Learning (OL), through Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses and programs, assists students with career and college preparation. ABE programs offered through OL are designed by the Ministry of Advanced Education and are similar to ABE programs offered by other post-secondary institutions in BC.

An adult learner in the context of ABE means a person who is either at least 19 years of age or who is 18 years of age and has been out of the public school system a minimum of 12 months.

OL offers the following for adult learners:

  • ABE Intermediate Certificate program (Grade 10 equivalency) and ABE Advanced Certificate program (Grade 11 equivalency) for adult learners interested in entering the workforce, vocational programs or Grade 12 studies
  • BC Adult Graduation Diploma program (Grade 12 equivalency) (replaces the former ABE Provincial Diploma option and the "Adult Dogwood" ) for adult learners to complete their BC Ministry of Education secondary school graduation requirements to enter the workforce or post-secondary studies
  • The flexibility to transfer courses from other colleges and schools
  • The opportunity to take prerequisites needed for entry to other post-secondary institutions in consultation with the selected institution
  • A range of related services, including English and mathematics assessments and financial assistance

Choosing Courses

The course or level you begin with begins on what you already know and can do.
For example, if you want to register in courses for the BC Adult Graduation Diploma, you do not necessarily need all the ABE Advanced Certificate courses. However, certain skills are needed to succeed in a course. Assessments are available for English and mathematics placement.

Courses students take may depend on courses they have already completed.
For example, students may be able to apply credits earned in high school toward the BC Adult Graduation Diploma. To obtain the diploma, students are normally required to complete a minimum of three courses they have taken as an adult (at minimum be 19 years of age, or be 18 years of age and have been out of the public school system a minimum of 12 months). A minimum of two of the required courses must be completed through TRU to obtain the diploma.

The choice of courses depends on the student's educational goals.

  • Students who plan to attend a college and then transfer to a university or who plan to take certain vocational programs must complete, at minimum, an advanced-level mathematics course and four provincial-level courses, including English 12.
  • Normally, students who plan to go directly to a university or an institute are required to complete a minimum of eight courses (four advanced and four provincial). Some universities also require an elementary understanding of a second language. Students are strongly advised to consult the college or university they plan to attend with regard to entrance requirements. Admissions and transfer information is available through BCCAT (British Columbia Council on Admissions & Transfer).

The number of courses students choose may depend on how much work they can handle.
Most students start with one or, at most, two courses. Learning is more effective when students work hard and finish quickly rather than take a large number of courses at the same time. Most ABE courses should be completed in seven and a half or nine months (30 or 36 weeks). Students have the option to finish sooner.

Prior to applying for an ABE program:

Refer to individual course descriptions for availability of courses outside Canada. Contact Student services Student Services for program updates.

Residency Requirements

Most TRU programs offered through Open Learning have residency requirements as specified in the program descriptions. Residency requirements are the number of TRU-OL courses or credits that students must complete to graduate from a TRU program offered through Open Learning. 

All students who plan to complete a TRU credential through Open Learning must complete and submit a Program Admission form.

Individual course descriptions are provided for all programs offered. Before registering, read through the information about distance education provided on this website. It examines various topics to assist students to start and continue successfully as distance learners.

Also, read about TRU-OL course delivery formats. This includes requirements for web-based courses.


Email Student Services.