Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Adult Basic Education (ABE)

BC residents can now access Adult Basic Education tuition-free (applicable fees still apply).


Open Learning (OL), through Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses and programs, assists you 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 BC post-secondary institutions.

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 programs:

Choosing Courses

Where you start begins with what you already know and can do.

If you want to register in courses for the BC Adult Graduation Diploma, you may not need all the ABE Advanced Certificate courses. However, to succeed in your studies, you do need certain skills in English and mathematics. English and math assessments are available to help you decide where to start.

The courses you take may depend on which ones you have successfully completed.

You may be able to apply credits earned in high school toward the BC Adult Graduation Diploma. For the diploma, you are normally required to complete at least three courses as an adult learner, one of which must be completed with TRU, either distance (with OL) or on-campus.

Your choice of courses depends on your educational goals.

      • If you plan to transfer to a vocational or university program, you must complete at least one advanced-level mathematics course and four provincial-level courses, including English 12.
      • Some post-secondary institutions also require that you have an elementary understanding of a second language.
      • Check the admission requirements for the institution you want to attend. See BCCAT (British Columbia Council on Admissions & Transfer).

The number of courses you choose depends on what you can handle.

Most students start with one or two courses. You may find that your learning is more effective when you work diligently and finish quickly rather than take a large number of courses at the same time. Most ABE courses are completed in seven and a half or nine months (30 or 36 weeks), but you can finish sooner.

Before Registering or Applying

Please read about distance education and course delivery formats.


Email Student Services if you have any questions about our ABE programs and courses.