Upgrading Instructor with students

Academic Upgrading, Certificate

Foundations of Academic Upgrading, Certificate

Intermediate Academic Upgrading, Certificate

Program at a glance



Area of Study

Upgrading & Preparatory

Study options



Work experience


Open to International



4 months

At a glance image

Upgrading female math student

Gain confidence and open doors to higher learning

Start dates vary

Our courses and programs help you gain confidence, prepare for further academic studies, complete admission requirements to college or university programs, meet employment requirements or satisfy a personal goal.

Upgrading Instructor with math student

Foundations of Academic Upgrading program offers three study options:

  • Certificate in Fundamental Academic Upgrading

  • Certificate in Intermediate Academic Upgrading

  • Individual courses are also available for Pre-requisites

Upgrading programs and courses are tuition-free for domestic students. The Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) will continue to cover the cost of textbooks and student and registration fees for eligible students.

Certificate in Fundamental Academic Upgrading

The Foundations Academic Upgrading program is designed for students who want to upgrade their basic reading, writing, and math skills.

This program is available full or part-time and varies in completion time.  

Opportunities for Academic Advancement

Completion of this program certificate can prepare students for academic upgrading courses at the Intermediate level, and, in some cases, will provide direct entry into some college programs. For a full understanding of how this certificate can lead to other programs, students are encouraged to see an Academic Advisor.

Certificate in Intermediate Academic Upgrading

The certificate in Intermediate Academic Upgrading is designed for students requiring upgrading in math and English, as well as students who wish to undertake career exploration combined with academic preparation. 

This program is available full or part-time and varies in completion time.

Opportunities for Academic Advancement

Completion of this certificate prepares students for courses at the Advanced (math) and Provincial levels (English) with ENGL 050, and for direct entry into Technology Access Programs, HCA, as well as the math for the Electrical Foundation Program.

Individual courses are also available for Pre-requisites

Gain admission requirements or finish grade 12

Camosun offers a range of upgrading courses in English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics that prepare you to enter trades and career programs or college and university programs and courses.

Courses can be taken individually or grouped to complete a Certificate in Academic Upgrading or the BC Adult Graduation Diploma. 

BC Adult Graduation Diploma (BCAGD)

For adult learners who want to take courses in order to complete high school and obtain their adult high school diploma, contact an Admissions Advisor for information. 

You will take five courses, including:

  • a Language Arts 12 BC secondary course, or ABE equivalent or higher, and
  • a Math 11 or 12 BC secondary course, or ABE equivalent or higher, and
  • three Grade 12 level BC ministry-authorized courses or ABE equivalent or higher

Once you have completed your course requirements:

  1. Contact Academic Advising to confirm you meet the course requirements
  2. Once course requirements are met, email Student Records – Graduation and Credentials with your request to apply to graduate from the BCAGD. Please include: your full name, student ID, the name you wish to appear on your diploma and the address to which you would like it mailed (no pick-up option available).

This diploma is for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. If you are an International student, please contact Camosun International for your options.

A supportive learning community

As well as offering programs on both the Lansdowne and Interurban campuses, the School of Access engages with Community Learning Partners (CLP) off-campus sites to enhance your education.

Our instructors are highly qualified and committed to providing a friendly and caring learning experience in an adult learning environment. We understand diverse learning needs and are committed to student success. We provide Help Centres staffed with expert tutors and filled with resources to assist you. 

Advantages of upgrading at Camosun

Our scheduling is flexible to fit your busy life: part-time, full-time, daytime, or evening. Take advantage of Camosun's customized upgrading to meet the admission requirements for specific trades, human services, or access career programs.

If you’re working towards admission into another Camosun program and enrolled in the courses you need to meet its admission requirements, your application may be granted provisional qualification status. You’ll need to complete your prerequisite courses at least two months prior to the start of your chosen program.

Tuition-free for domestic students

Upgrading programs and courses are tuition-free for domestic students. 

Upgrading mature student

Estimated tuition

Effective from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021. 

Course Fees

Additional Student Fees

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

Upgrading programs and courses are tuition-free for domestic students. The Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) will continue to cover the cost of textbooks and student and registration fees for eligible students.

There are many financial resources to tap into while you are at college to help with your education and living costs. Apply for scholarships & awards that are specifically given to program students, as well as awards specific to the School of Access.

You may also want to visit Financial Aid & Awards for more information about funding.

Related link:

School of Access

Curriculum & courses

Course list

Course name

Admission requirements

Fundamental Upgrading and Intermediate Upgrading

Ready to get started? 

When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the following admission requirements.

Tip: Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.

All of:

  • By assessment*
  • Informational interview with the Foundations Dept Chair if a student's English assessment places them in ENGL 021, ENGL 022, ENGL 023, ENGL 024 or ENGL 025.  A student whose English assessment places them in ENGL 033 or above is not required to attend the informational interview.

*Students are admitted based on their previous educational background and experience. A student should contact the Assessment Centre for an English or mathematics assessment.

For more detailed information about this program and specific admission requirements, see the Academic Calendar.

Academic Calendar

Our teaching staff

Camosun College is fiercely proud of the excellent quality of its instruction. Our teaching staff are experienced, inspiring and supportive of students' individual journeys.

Faculty/staff profile


Zahra Khimji

Chair - Academic and Career Foundations

Zahra has thirteen years of teaching experience in the Northwest Territories working closely with ABE and Indigenous students, as well as six years of ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Puja Gupta

Puja Gupta

Chair, Community Learning Partnership

I am originally from a small city in India. I moved to Canada in 2008 and landed in this beautiful territory of the Lkwungen, Esquimalt, and W̱SÁ ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Mice Albano

Mice Albano

English Instructor

Mice Albano has been a visitor to the land of the Lkwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ for the past 30 years. Her ancestors are from the Guarani nation in B ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Jennifer Bennett

Jennifer Bennett

Instructor, English, Math and Computer Studies

Greetings! Originating from Ontario, I have English, Irish and French ancestry. I am grateful to have been a visitor on the beautiful land of the Coas ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Karen Lightbody

Karen Lightbody

English, Math and Computer Studies Instructor

I began supporting students in the School of Access in 2007 as an Instructional Assistant in English Language Development. Since that time, I have als ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Mark Kunen

Mark Kunen

English and Math Instructor

In 1970, I moved to Canada from the United States. Camosun College has been my place of work since 1978. I teach English and sometimes Math at the Vic ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Nicolas Mai

Nicolas Mai

Math Instructor

Hello, and welcome to Academic Upgrading at Camosun College. My heritage is French on my father's side and Africaaner on my mother's. I moved to the b ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Wendy McDonald

Wendy McDonald, Metis/Cree (Northern Manitoba)

Coordinator of Learning Support | Instructor | Indigenous Advisor

I started at Camosun College as a student in the First Nations Teacher Assistant Program (1989) and went on to work at the Saanich Adult Educatio ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Faith Shields

Faith Shields

English and Math Instructor

Faculty/staff profile

Augustine (Ruse) Rusekampunzi

Augustine (Ruse) Rusekampunzi

Math Instructional Assistant - Academic Upgrading

Faculty/staff profile

Zack (Richard) Zajchowski

Zack (Richard) Zajchowski

Instructor, Academic and Career Foundations

I'm Richard Zajchowski, but everyone knows me by my nickname "Zack". I have enjoyed many years of teaching/learning work at various Canadian post-seco ...

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Upgrading trades student in front of servers

Learn more

Find a full list of courses and specific admission requirements.

Contact information

Contact a Student Navigator

Questions? We want to hear from you!

Campus location

Student Navigators are available on both Campuses from 8am-4pm weekdays.

Tia Primrose:
Text or Call: 250-216-7156
Messages Only: 250-370-3466

Ghofran Zrek:
Text or Call: 236-638-3503
Messages Only: 250 370-3847




International Admissions

International students please contact International Admissions