Program at a glance
Area of Study
Upgrading & Preparatory
Open to International
At a glance image
Take your first steps in your own community
Start in September!
This certificate program prepares you to earn the admission requirements you'll need to pursue college or university-level studies.
Taught at the Saanich Adult Education Centre near Brentwood Bay, you get the best of both community and college worlds.
Upgrade your education
Designed for Indigenous* students, Indigenous College Prep (ICP) program support and prepares you to get the admission requirements you need to enter other college programs and pursue university-level studies.
Located in Victoria, BC, traditional territory of the Coast and Straits Salish peoples, Camosun College welcomes 1,100 Indigenous students each year.
Support from community
ICP is delivered primarily in community at the Saanich Adult Education Centre, part of the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board located on the Tsartlip First Nation near Brentwood Bay. One course is held at Lansdowne campus in the winter semester offering an opportunity to experience college life on campus.
Students will receive help and guidance from learning skills and career readiness specialists, Indigenous advisors and Elders.
What you’ll learn
In addition to increasing academic skills, you’ll have opportunities to explore your strengths and gifts as you develop personal, career and educational goals.
You'll be encouraged to build on your self-awareness and pride as an Indigenous person as you discuss issues, challenges and opportunities impacting First Nations communities. While examining Indigenous history and culture, you’ll receive guidance through circle and Elders’ teaching.
Are you of Indigenous ancestry?
*Camosun College views any student who is a descendant of the Indigenous peoples of North America to be an Indigenous student. This includes status and non-status Indians, Métis, Inuit and Native Americans who reside in Canada.
You may be eligible for UCEP funding (University College Entrance Preparation) if you're a First Nations Band member.
Thinking of entering this program?
If you have the opportunity to be funded by a band, and you need to upgrade to meet the program prerequisites, do so now and then apply to your band in January or February so that sponsorship is in place for beginning these programs in September. To learn more, drop by or book an appointment to see one of the Indigenous Advisors.
A personal investment will open up a world of opportunities
The Indigenous College Preparation certificate prepares you to enter college or university-level studies. Acquire the academic skills, knowledge and credentials to move towards higher education and/or a career in the field of human services.
Effective from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022.
Scholarships, bursaries and awards
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 Eyēʔ Sqȃ’lewen - Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections
Getting her spark back
Lorri Leonard, Shuswap Nation
For over 20 years, Lorri Leonard had a perfectly good career going as a hairdresser when not just one but two bouts of breast cancer convinced her it was time for a change – and that eventually led to her taking English upgrading at the Grade 12-level in the community, at the Saanich Adult Education Centre.
“Maybe I could have gone right into college-level,” she says, “but it was so foreign and so scary to be even thinking about going back to school that starting slower really was better.”
Lorri does not have fond memories of high school, to put it mildly. “It was an incredible struggle,” she says, “and just simply walking on campus to talk to an Indigenous Advisor brought back bad memories. It was really hard, very emotional. But Sekwan Wabasca was great. She helped me start my journey. I started back at school the same day my son started kindergarten.”
So far, Lorri’s journey has taken her to the very top of the School of Access academic rankings and on to completion of the Indigenous Studies program. Her goal: to transfer to the University of Victoria for a BA in early childhood education.
Lorri says that “without Indigenous College Prep, I would probably have dropped out by now. But Camosun has given life back to me. I’ve got my spark back. I’m excited again and I can’t wait to get out of bed each day.”
Curriculum & courses
Ready to get started? Get your application in for the September intake.
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.
- C in English 11
- C in English 11 Camosun Alternative
For more detailed information about this program and specific admission requirements, see the 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 our students’ individual journeys.
Sandee Mitchell, Anishinaabe (Kebaowek and Nbisiing First Nation)
Program Leader IFS | ICP and Elders Voices and Events Coordinator
Chair, Community Learning Partnership
Tommy Happynook, Jr., Nuu-chah-nulth (Huu ay aht)
Marcey Louie, Nuu-chah-nulth (Ahousaht)
Indigenous Advisor | Instructor
Wendy McDonald, Metis/Cree (Northern Manitoba)
Coordinator of Learning Support | Instructor | Indigenous Advisor
Find a full list of courses and specific admission requirements.