PSE Terms and Acronyms

Aboriginal-Controlled Post-Secondary Institutes
In BC, Aboriginal-controlled post-secondary institutes are not-for-profit, community-based schools which are governed by their communities and work to serve the educational needs of adult Aboriginal learners in their community (or communities). Aboriginal controlled post-secondary institutes offer a broad spectrum of courses and programs that include: college and university programs leading to certificates, diplomas, and degrees; Adult Basic Education leading to the Adult Dogwood Diploma for secondary school completion; language instruction; occupation specific training and upgrading; and a broad spectrum of lifespan learning programs that support Aboriginal people, communities, languages, and cultures. Many Aboriginal controlled post-secondary institutes in BC are members of the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association (IAHLA).
Academic Year
The length of an academic year for a Program of Study as defined by the Post-Secondary Institution.
Accredited Institute
A school that has passed the quality tests of an accrediting body. A school must be accredited in order to be eligible for PSSSP/UCEP funding programs.
Applied Degree
Is typically vocational (training) vs. theoretical, although theoretical work may be part of the coursework. Typical programs combine an element of training with an element of creativity, for example, a bachelor of broadcasting.
Associate Degree

A credential offered by many institutions in the BC Transfer system. Comprises of two years of university-level study in a variety of areas. Typically will ladder into a degree program. For more information, refer to the BC Transfer Guide.

Bachelor Degree

A Bachelor’s degree, also known as a baccalaureate degree or an undergraduate degree, is the credential awarded for the completion of a program of study designed to acquaint the student with the basic conceptual approaches and methodologies of a principal discipline or disciplines, to provide some specialized knowledge, and to nurture the capacity for independent work in the discipline/disciplines and field of practice. Bachelor’s degree programs are typically four years in length, and form the foundation for further degree programs (i.e. Master’s and Doctoral Degree programs, also known as graduate degrees).

Certificate

A credential typically offered at the undergraduate level. A relatively short program (usually one year or less). May not ladder into a degree program.

College

For public colleges in BC,  an educational institute designated as such under the BC College and Institute Act. Use of the term “college” is not restricted for private post-secondary institutions. Most private post-secondary institutions must comply with provincial regulations for private career training institutions. Under the Act, the purpose of a college is to provide comprehensive:

  1. Courses of study at the first and second year levels of a bachelor’s degree program;
  2. Courses of study for an applied bachelor degree program;
  3. Post-secondary education;
  4. Adult education;
  5. Continuing education;
Co-op Program

A program of study which alternates periods of study with periods of work placement.  Work terms provide experience in a workplace setting related to the student’s field of study.

Correspondence/Distance/Online Education
E-learning programs that are supported electronically and can involve both out of classroom and in-classroom education (blended delivery). Content is delivered via the internet, intranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD Rom.
Course Load
The rate at which the student is currently working in order to complete their program of study.
Diploma

A credential typically offered at the undergraduate level. Longer than a certificate, focused on training for employment, and typically taken full-time. May not ladder into a degree program.

Full-Time Student
A student who is enrolled in at least 60 percent (40 percent for students with permanent disabilities) of a full course load for at least 12 weeks in a Program of Study at an eligible Post-Secondary Institution and leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree.
Full-Time Studies
At least [60] percent of a full course load for a Program of Study offered by an eligible Post-Secondary Institution.
Graduate Programs
Typically require a bachelor’s degree as a pre-requisite, and include programs at the masters and doctoral levels.
Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning (IAHLA) Institutes
Aboriginal controlled adult and post-secondary education institutes in BC. IAHLA institute are community based and offer a broad spectrum of programming.
Institute

For public institutes in BC, an educational institute designated as such under the BC College and Institute Act.  Use of the term “institute” is not restricted for private post-secondary institutions. Most private post-secondary institutions must comply with provincial regulations for private career training institutions. Under the Act, the purpose of:

  1. Providing courses of instruction in technological and vocational matters and subjects;
  2. Providing course of instruction at the bachelor and applied master degree level (Specific to the British Columbia Institute of Technology);
  3. Performing other functions designated by the Minister.
Internship
A period of supervised practical experience undertaken after graduation from a program, which is required for licensure or professional practice. Internships are not eligible for funding under the PSSSP/UCEP.
Official Transcript
Is a copy of a student’s permanent academic record, which includes all courses taken, all grades received, all honors received and degrees conferred to a student. An official transcript is prepared and sent by the issuing school with an original signature of a school official.
Part-Time Student
A student who is enrolled less than 60 percent of a full course load for a Program of Study at an eligible Post-Secondary Institution.
Part-Time Studies
Less than 60 percent of a full course load for a Program of Study offered at an eligible Post-Secondary Institution.
Post-Secondary Institution
An accredited Institution that grants certificates, diplomas and/or degrees and is a post-secondary institution recognized by provincial or territorial Minister of Education, or recognized to deliver post-secondary education programs by arrangement within an eligible post-secondary institution.
Practicum
A supervised and mandatory (required for graduation) portion of an educational program emphasizing the practical application of previously learned theory, methods, skills, professionalism, orientation and ethics in a specialized area of study which does not exceed more than 20 percent of the total program.
Private Institution

An institution, controlled or managed by a body most of whose members are not selected by a public authority. Private institutions do not receive provincial funding.  Most private post-secondary institutions must comply with provincial regulations for private career training institutions.

Public Institution

For public institutes in BC, use of the term “institute” is not restricted for private post-secondary institutions. Most private post-secondary institutions must comply with provincial regulations for private career training institutions.  An institution controlled or managed by a body most of whose members are elected or appointed by or under the scrutiny of a public authority. Public Institutions receive provincial funding.

Self-Paced Programs
Programs designed for completion in a specific time frame but may also be delivered at a reduced course load. All students must complete 100 percent of the course work, though the time required for completion may vary depending on the percentage of course load carried.
Semester
A distinct study period, lasting at least 12 to 17 weeks, which forms part of a longer program, as defined by a Post-Secondary Institution.
Status First Nation
A person whose name has been entered in the Indian Registry maintained by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada as defined by the Indian Act. This can include affiliated members who have status through their Band but not a full membership with their Band.
Transferability
Is something to keep in mind if you plan on furthering your education or changing post-secondary institutions. Transferability is tied into the concepts of recognition and portability. If your courses/program are transferable, it means that another post-secondary institution recognizes the work that you did, and will count your credits/credential towards your new program, saving you time and money.
Undergraduate Programs
Include all academic programs at a post-secondary institute up to and including bachelor degree programs.
University

For public universities in BC, an educational institute designated as such under the University Act. Universities are able to confer all levels of degrees – bachelor, master, and doctoral.  Use of the term “university” is restricted by provincial law. Some private post-secondary institutions have been granted approval to call themselves universities and are regulated under private legislation, such as Trinity Western University.

Common PSE Acronyms

AANDC Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
ABE Adult Basic Education
ASP Aboriginal Service Plan
AVED BC Ministry of Advanced Education
CEP Common Experience Payment
CSL Canada Student Loans
FNESC First Nations Education Steering Committee
IAHLA Indigenous Adult Higher Learning Association
IEP Individual Education Plans
PSE Post-Secondary Education
PSSSP Post-Secondary Student Support Program
UCEP University and College Entrance Preparation Program

BC Public Institute, College, and University Acronyms

BCIT BC Institute of Technology
CAM Camosun College
CAP Capilano University
CNC College of New Caledonia
COTR College of the Rockies
DGC Douglas College
ECUAD Emily Carr University of Art & Design
JIBC Justice Institute of BC
KPU Kwantlen Polytechnic University
LAN Langara College
NIC North Island College
NLC Northern Lights College
NVIT Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
NWCC Northwest Community College
OKC Okanagan College
RRU Royal Roads University
SEL Selkirk College
SFU Simon Fraser University
TRU Thompson Rivers University
UBC University of British Columbia
UFV University of the Fraser Valley
UNBC University of Northern BC
UVIC University of Victoria
VCC Vancouver Community College
VIU Vancouver Island University